Practicing Sabbath

My husband and I have been in this two-year class at church where we learn about different spiritual disciplines to connect with God in new ways. One of the past retreats was on silence, solitude, and Sabbath. I quickly realized that silence and solitude were some of my strong suits, but setting aside a day of the week to intentionally rest for Sabbath was something I had entirely forgotten about.

I decided to give it a try and for my first attempt I shut off my phone for 48 hours and that was a nice break from technology/people. Another time I set a day aside to do things that were restful or refreshing, ie- no work or chores, just things I enjoyed. I read a whole book that day. I took a nap. It was lovely.

Then I forgot about it for a while and we had about three weeks in a row that were pretty bananas. All good things, but wildly busy and we have been intentionally less busy for the past two years so this kind of caught both of us off guard. We decided to try a Sabbath day together this weekend, and holy smokes it’s been wonderful.

Historically, Sunday has been our day to “get things done” like laundry, cleaning, errands. But we wanted to try a “be around home day” and a “buy nothing day.” To make this work, Andy woke me up from a cat-nap on the couch Saturday night at 7 and said, “Time to go to the grocery store!” We planned a quick week of meals, checked to see what ingredients we didn’t have, made a list, and zipped down the street to Aldi.

This morning we went to early church, then back home to make brunch. Andy left on a bike ride and I did the only part of work I would allow that day, helping write my Aunt’s resume that I had promised to do. I gave myself an hour time limit, stuck to that and then took a nap. Andy returned and he took a nap while I caught up with a friend out of state. I prepped veggies for the grill and Andy made dinner. He put on classical music which makes us feel like we’re older than we are, but it’s also proved to be really relaxing.

I sliced up more veggies and washed some fruit for us to enjoy this week for lunches and I mindlessly said, “I need to sweep and mop the floor.” Andy was quick to reply, “Not today, no work today!” I smiled- I appreciated how intentional he was being about today.

There was a moment with the windows open and the music on where I said, “Oh my gosh, why haven’t we been doing this every week?” There’s a reason that God suggested that we rest once a week. It’s like taking in a slow, deep breath before the new week begins. And I realize not everyone can take a whole day, but even fanagling a few intentional hours can make an incredible difference.

I’m off to do some reading next. But I didn’t want to let the day go by without recognizing how lovely it’s been.

Sabbath. What a great idea, God.