Rest. What is that?
Is it curled up on the sofa with little warm bodies while you read aloud The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
Is it cuddled in bed with the ones you love telling stories of when you were growing up?
Is it quietly coloring and drawing while you listen to music?
Is it a nap on a Sunday afternoon after church?
Is it a ninja/wrestling match with a seven and two year old followed by a dance session with the baby?
Rest is all of this and more! And it. Is. Glorious!
Our family is in the pursuit of rest this year. I have felt like the Lord has been urging me to observe a Sabbath. The holy day of rest that He created for His people in the very beginning of creation.
1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
This is something that I know many others wrestle with, each in their own way.
It is a hard concept to entertain when you have a busy family and are ushering multiple kids to multiple activities each day of the week. But I have felt and feel even more so that it does not have to be that way.
While I agree that varying activities can enrich your child’s life, I feel even more so that not spending intentional time at home, together, communicating and laughing and sharing space together will shortchange our children on a rich and solid foundation of faith and family. By not building time for rest and connectedness into their lives early on we inadvertently teach them that the only way to be anything or anyone is to go, go, go.
I want to raise our boys to work hard those 6 days of the week but with each day to carry the joy and rest and peace they received the Sabbath before and took look forward to the Sabbath to come. I want them to be able to see God in all of the endeavors and the things that they face all week and to meet Him in the quiet of Sabbath to restore and refresh. I want that peace to shine from their hearts and their faces to the people they meet and work alongside in between.
At first when I began praying and reading about practicing a Sabbath I was a little overwhelmed. An orthodox family would observe from sundown on Friday evening until sundown on Saturday evening. But as I explored further it became apparent for our family that our Sabbath would begin on Saturday evening at 7:00 and continue until Sunday evening at 7:00.
Next became deciding what our Sabbath would look like. This part was a little trickier but provided great conversation at the dinner table as we decided together what we would and wouldn’t do on our Sabbath. The “wouldn’t” was easy; we wouldn’t watch television or utilize any devices, we wouldn’t work on any projects, we wouldn’t do any cleaning beyond tidying up after meals and play, and we wouldn’t work (except for my husband for just a short while – the fish need to be fed!), and we wouldn’t shop or cause others to work.
What would we do? This first Sabbath we spent the first night reading aloud and talking. We went to church in the morning and then came back home. While DH went in to take care of the fish the kids and I warmed up lunch and colored some bible coloring pages. Then DH got back and jumped in on the coloring too. I fed the baby and read some of my book while the littles napped. Then we all got in to a game of UNO before dinner and while it warmed in the oven. We capped off the evening with some glow-in-the-dark racetrack fun and more reading aloud. Then, upon irresistible request, the boys talked DH into some hilarious karate and wrestling shenanigans.
As we observe each new Sabbath in our home we will begin introducing more of the traditional aspects into is such as lighting a candle, speaking blessings upon the children and one another, and Sabbath prayers.
I recently read a book called Celebrating Biblical Feasts: In Your Home or Church by Martha Zimmerman. This book was rich with concept for what it could look like to participate in the biblical feasts as a Christian family. I gleaned so much information and affirmation from it that I purchased my own copy so I could have it to reference as we establish these traditions and blessings in our young family.
I look forward to sharing more as our family grows in this obedience out of love for God.
Do you and your family observe Sabbath? Are you more traditional or is your observance modified a little?