An Invitation to Rest

Spiritual Disciplines

I’ll never forget the first time I ever really heard about Sabbath on a Monday morning with my coworkers. I remember thinking, “wait this is on the SAME list as do not murder and we ignore it…. whattttt…..”. I was 25 and had never been told it was good to rest for 24 hours out of my week. I knew it was part of the Ten Commandments but I never gave it a second thought.

I listened to coworkers as they chatted about why they couldn’t make this spiritual discipline work and my heart stirred with the overwhelming feeling that our striving and to-do lists were more important than God’s intricate design for our lives. And though we wouldn’t have admitted that in that moment, I think the root of the inability to rest is rooted in the sinful belief that Eve believed when the serpent tempted her in Eden. “God is holding back from me and I cannot fully trust him to flourish me.”

My love of Sabbath runs deep because I can see a stark difference in the way I lived and surrendered my life to Christ in my pre Sabbath days vs my post Sabbath ones.

As an only child, I’ve always been very self critical and have struggled with perfectionism. Always striving to do better and be better and placing my identity in how happy those around me are with me. Will they like me if I’m stronger, more successful, a harder worker? If I never let them down? It didn’t take long to realize I will let everyone down. And that’s when the Lord beckoned me, “come to me, walk with me, learn the rhythms of my grace.”

So my family intentionally pauses every Sunday. I started this with my husband when we were newlyweds. We’ve been consistently pausing through early parenthood with newborns and infants and toddlers. Recently a close friend asked me what that looks like with a one year old and a three year old.

On Sundays you will find us waking up at 7am for church at 8:30am. Instead of snapping at my family to get out the door to church we usually show up 5 minutes late, thankful the Lord still wants us there.

We linger over the sermon we heard, sharing what God taught us and what we need to carry into the next week.

We don’t stress over a fancy meal but delight in fresh fruit, cold sandwiches, or the abundance of leftovers that we had during the week. A sign of the provision of the Lord.

We rest. We put our feet up. Get lost in the book that collected dust on our shelves all week.

Joey and I give each other the gift of naps. Taking turns keeping up with our kids so the other has space to refuel.

The coffee pot stays on all day as we sip  to our heart’s desire. A cup in our hand while we build train tracks and obstacle courses and work on halfway completed puzzles. Our heart slows to soak in the little one staring up at us. The one we rushed past a few times more than we’d like to admit that week.

The night comes to an end with a simple, yummy dinner. Bath times and clean ups and a warm drink on the couch in a cozy, happy home.

This may sound similar to your sabbath or this may be hard to imagine. But the most important part to capture has nothing to do with what we do but the attitude and heart posture we do it with.

On Sundays we lay down all striving, all impressing, all working and we linger and delight.

Our heart opens up to delight in what the Lord has blessed us with. The harvest that we have reaped thus far. We pause to acknowledge it and linger in the blessing of it all. Most importantly we are telling Jesus, we know you created us. We know you gave us the sabbath for our good. We believe that you will bless the work of our hands and we don’t have to strive. Here’s my two fish and five loaves, Lord. I trust you to multiply them while I sit and delight in awe over you!