Sabbath: My Favorite Day of the Week
Sabbath: My Favorite Day of the Week

When you think of the Sabbath do you immediately think of the “olden days?”

Your mind may take you to historical places and the days of nothing being open on Sundays (I was not alive during the “closed on Sunday” times but I have heard stories). 

 

Sabbath is so much more than that and is still relevant today. I started my journey of taking a Sabbath at the beginning of 2021 and have learned a ton, failed some, and started again. I want to share just a little bit of that with you in hopes of encouraging you to find some deep, Christ-centered rest in your own life. 

Why I Started a Sabbath

Starting Sabbath for me was as simple as needing rest. Not just a nap and a snack. Not just getting my nails done or having some downtime but REAL rest. 

 

The kind of rest that can be found only in Jesus and in his word. A rest that brings peace. I was looking for that all of the time. But I was looking in the wrong place. Which is pretty hard for me to admit since I have been a believer for as long as I have been. 

 

I couldn’t figure out why I was not only tired but run down. Completely on empty. I was frazzled and irritated all of the time. 

 

During this time of exhaustion and irritation, I was working literally 7 days a week. Not only did I work for my church but I was also freelancing as a writer. Freelancing is great but it requires almost constant hustle, especially when you are just getting started. 

 

I realized something had to change so I made a big one. I went down to only one job and started to set aside Saturdays to cease from my striving. My phone goes off (most of the time), my computer stays off (all of the time), I spend extra time with Jesus, and I am intentional about enjoying what I already have instead of buying more things. Time with my children just resting, playing board games, or going outside is always on the agenda. 

 

It is a time to be grateful, peaceful, and focused on Jesus and all he has done.  It is being fully present where I am. Even if my kids have some kind of sporting event, I make sure the phone is off and I am fully there in the moment thanking God all the time for this opportunity to be all in for my kids. 

What I do When I “Fail” at Sabbathing

Yes, I know, Sabbathing is not technically a word. Google told me, Grammarly told me, and people in my life have told me. It’s fine though. You know what I mean. 

 

That last section paints a beautiful picture of the Sabbath. Of a time set apart. But I don’t want you to feel like I’m perfect in my attempt or that nothing ever goes off the rails or is high jacked by family plans that are out of my control. 

 

There have been times when some of my children have not been home or my husband has been traveling so I have needed to have my phone on. There have also been times when urgent work matters have to be handled on a Saturday. 

I would be lying if I said that these moments don’t feel like failures. Like I am a fraud. But more than that I can FEEL that I missed taking a Sabbath that week. I am tired, run-down, and more overwhelmed than usual. 

 

What happens when I miss a Sabbath? What do I do? Well, I don’t give up. I plan for the next one. I continue on the path of rest because going against a society soaked in striving and busyness is going to take time, effort, and a lot of do-overs. So I just try again. 

How to Start Taking a Sabbath

How I started may not be how you will start. I am an all-or-nothing kind of person and rarely do I “ease” into anything. I tend to just dive in headfirst and hope I don’t crash into a rock. So I decided the last week of December 2020 that the first Saturday in January would be go time. Sabbath, here I come. 

 

I didn’t tell anyone anything other than “my phone is now off on Saturdays.”  That was literally it because honestly, not everyone needs to know. This is between me and God. You may also be thinking “Katie, there is no way my family will be on board with this. They won’t give up screens and busyness.” 

 

Well, neither did mine. I still don’t think my family knows why I don’t go to the store on Saturdays or why my phone is off. But they do reap the benefits. My kids notice that I am not on my phone. They see that I have time to watch them do a flip on the trampoline or play a board game. They can feel the rest that happens as I lay down to read or nap while they also have a quiet time. 

 

They don’t need to necessarily be on board. It would be nice if they were. I would love for all of us to have a screen-free day of focusing on Jesus and rest. Something that we partake in together. But now is a time of setting the example. Of laying a foundation that hopefully, they will build on later. 

 

While I can’t control that (because I would need my husband to also be on board) I can control what I do. I know that I am a much better person, parent, and follower of Jesus when I have made room for a day of rest. 

 

So while I can’t tell you how to start I can give you some tips for how to make it easier. 

 

Plan Easy Meals 

By this, I mean things that your older kids can make themselves or help you with. If your kids are young and can’t then plan really simple things. The kids will enjoy the changeup and you will get a bit of a break from making bigger or more complicated meals. 

 

I always make sure we have frozen waffles on hand so the kids can pop them in the toaster for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and something easy for dinner. One of my favorite Sabbath dinners is a riff on a charcuterie board. A great idea from one of my friends. 

 

Get crackers, cheese, cut up apples, layout grapes, and cook some smoked sausage. I put it on a tray and let the kids have a snack-type dinner. Easy and yummy. 

Ignore the To-Do List

This is key. I don’t even make a to-do list on Saturday. I seriously don’t. I work hard during the week to make sure all of the things are done by Friday evening so I don’t need to worry about it on Saturday. 

 

There have been many times I didn’t finish everything but I just ignore it on those unchecked items (which is not easy as a type-A list maker). Rest is so much more important than finishing up the list. It will still be there the next day. That dust isn’t going to go anywhere. 

Give Yourself Grace

You will not be perfect at this. Especially in the beginning. Even though we desperately need rest and were, in fact, designed by our creator to need rest we tend to buck the system and say we don’t need it. We fight against rest instead of embracing it. 

 

So when you are starting out I would encourage you to keep going. Don’t give up if one day of rest doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Try again next week. God knows your heart and will give you all of the Grace you need, so be kind to yourself. 

Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!

Tyler OJ Campus

Teresa Ator: teresaa@gcc.org

Bethanie Tayler: bethaniet@gcc.org

Tyler UB Campus

Max Heller: maxh@gcc.org

Marthe Durosiermarthed@gcc.org

Lindale Campus

Molly Pontius: mollyp@gcc.org

Debra Kirby: debra@gcc.org

 

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