Honoring the Sabbath

Have you ever had an experience or situation where a certain theme keeps popping up to the point where you can no longer ignore it and have to investigate what the deal is?

That has been happening to me for a few years now and the theme is rest. Well, it’s even more specific than rest. Rest seems too broad and general. Specifically, it’s been the idea of a Sabbath rest.

A few years ago, I had only a vague idea of what Sabbath was or what it meant. I have a better understanding now of what it is but, even more important, I’m getting a clearer idea of what it means for my life.

It makes perfect sense. I’m not known for sitting around and I’m definitely not known for rest, or being in a state of rest, in any shape or form. I’m a do-er and I like to push until I crash. That’s my way. So, it’s really not surprising that that God has been inserting this idea of a dedicated rest into so much of my reading, making me aware of it and putting it on my heart. He won’t let us stay in our bondage.

Two years ago, God put this verse on my heart:

….“This is the resting place, let the weary rest”; and, “This is the place of repose” – but they would not listen. Isaiah 28:12

Gulp! I knew it was something I needed to ponder so I taped in two places around my house. And then you know what I did? I slowly covered it with my Post-it to-do lists. Oh, my! I need help.

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Not surprising, still no Sabbath.

I’ve said to friends that I wished I could figure out a way to observe an actual Sabbath.

But, still no Sabbath.

The feeling of uneasiness continued to linger in my heart. In response, I politely explained to God that I can’t honor the Sabbath right now because I homeschool and I can’t run errands on weekdays like other people can. “But maybe when I’m not homeschooling any more, God, I can give it a try. K?”

God wasn’t swayed.

This year as part of our homeschool curriculum, we had the option to study Jewish holidays and customs. I thought this would be an excellent idea for us. Guess the first one on the list? Sabbath!

See what God did there? He’s so good!

I’m happy to announce, last weekend my family and I celebrated our own version of Sabbath.

We used the ideas in the book, Celebrating Biblical Feasts by Martha Zimmerman, as our guideline. We began our Sabbath at sunset on Friday night and celebrated until sunset on Saturday evening.

We set the table during the day on Friday. It gave a feeling of expectancy and excitement. In a way that’s hard to explain, it almost felt like God was coming to dinner. We had a delicious dinner, complete with Challah (thanks to my husband!).

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We were all a bit worried about how our day of rest would go. Would we be bored? The complete opposite happened. Our time on Saturday became sacred, not because of some ceremonial thing we were doing, but because we had time together as a family. We weren’t rushed. We rode our bikes in the morning and enjoyed nature. We had time to call friends and family. We played games and chatted. We rested and read books. It was wonderful!

As the day came to an end, the entire family agreed it was a great day and that we needed to incorporate this into our lives more regularly. Our humble goal is to honor the Sabbath once every month or so.

And, you know what, I was able to get my errands done throughout the week!

Which leads me to say, is there a theme/topic/need that God is trying to introduce into your life? Whatever it is, let Him do His work! He really does know what He’s doing and it’s for our own blessing and benefit.

Shalom, friends!

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