Each month I am looking at one of 5 positive disciplines mentioned by Michael Hyatt in this podcast to re-order our family lives so we can use the internet for good and avoid its destructive impact. The discipline for the month of August is Rest.
In the Old Testament, God gave his people the Sabbath—one day of rest out of every seven.
Imagine how hard women must have worked in those days, when they had no choice but to be self-sustaining—they had to grow all their own food and make their own clothing. I’m sure Sabbath brought welcome refreshment!
After Jesus came, God’s people are no longer bound by Old Testament laws, but there’s wisdom to be found in the idea of Sabbath all the same.
Our culture glorifies busy-ness. It’s foreign to our way of thinking to set aside an entire day each week just for rest and refreshment. In fact, it seems impossible!
But if we don’t take some kind of time to recharge, then we’ll eventually crash and burn. I’ve experienced it, and maybe you have too.
Sunday is a work day for my husband, so it’s usually impossible for us to take Sunday as a Sabbath—but we have made a conscious commitment to pencil in a rest day on our calendar–literally. We use Cozi for family organization, and “Sabbath” is there right alongside our other appointments. Sometimes it’s Friday and sometimes it’s Saturday, but at least one day a week we try to have the calendar clear.
It’s not a legalistic rule (some weeks it’s truly impossible), and we are finding our way. After all, the kids still have to eat and have clean clothes to wear, and we mamas all know that the house doesn’t stay tidy by itself. But it helps me to anticipate our Sabbath and try to cook ahead a little, catch up the laundry if possible, and just reorient my mind for rest.
It’s a relief to give myself permission to sleep a little later, watch TV or read, let a few of the dailies go, and do fun, relaxing things with the kids.
It goes so against the grain of our culture. Society is always “on.” Not only are most businesses open seven days a week, but increasingly we have “cities that never sleep”—and not just NYC. I can wake up at any time of the night and hear traffic. We are busy during the week and we feel pressured to cram our weekends full of chores, activities, and social engagements.
We’ve lost the ability to just rest.
And we’re paying for it.
This week’s challenge: Put a Sabbath on your calendar.
Take a day for some R&R. Try not to get caught up on all that has to be done around the house—let as much of it go as possible, just this once. See how you feel.
Was your week more productive? Do you have more energy? Check back and let me know!
Look for my eBook, Fearless Mothering, this fall!