Learning The Sabbath


Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Exodus 20:8
Sabbath Definition -  a day set aside for rest and worship. According to Exodus 20:8 the Sabbath is a day of rest commanded by God to be kept as a holy day of rest, as God rested from creation.

Today’s Story:

Once upon a time, when I would think about, or attempt to keep the Sabbath, it didn’t go so well.  I really had no clue.  Over the years I have felt confused and or frustrated and sometimes like a complete failure, or I would just ignore it all together.  It has gone in cycles that looked something like this.

I would decide “Ok we are going to do this. It is an important Holy day.  We need to obey and honor God in this.”
But how?  What is the formula? What are the Rules?  Rules and regulations. I am very good at following rules. (Kinda like the Pharisees)  No shopping, no working…..
Sit on the couch and stare.  Now what? We’re not supposed to do anything.
This feels insane, not holy.

Then, to top it off, I would try to practice this on Sunday. I thought it was for Sunday only, the Holy day.  But on Sundays you have to get up early for church, rush to get out the door with the kids and your marriage intact,  there is Sunday school class to teach,  snacks to provide, after church meetings, lunch that needs to be made….. sometimes it’s the only day to invite guests and entertain or to go be entertained, and then rush around Sunday evenings to make sure all homework has been done and clothes washed to start the new week. Sunday evening slump, for the dreaded Monday morning.  I was a parent stuck in survival and catch-up mode.  Sunday would NOT be a day of rest. I would end up more exhausted than ever. Then start to feel resentful.  So not only was I more tired,  I was worse off, feeling  bitter and resentful. This is not Sabbath. Great.  A total failure.  I’m a horrible unholy, bitter, resentful person and I’m going around breaking the ten commandments.

OR,  if you think about it, maybe Sabbath doesn’t really apply to us now, it’s just something they did in the old days. Maybe it’s not that critical. It’s the least important commandment. It is only about rest after all. It’s not about the big things like murdering or stealing.  Maybe it’s not for mothers of young children, maybe it’s a fairy-tale.  Rest is frowned upon in our society and sometimes feels unachievable anyway.  Let’s just put that back on the shelf.

So then I would forget about it for a while. A long while.

Since those days I have been on an incredible journey of healing with the Lord.  Very hard and sometimes very painful work. But through this process, I have learned who I am and what is life giving to me. I have been learning to truly trust God and have been set free from things I never thought possible. I have been growing deeper in my relationship with, and understanding of, my identity in Christ.  I also began practicing gratitude.  Keeping a gratitude journal (which has probably been about 15 yrs now) has been life changing.  I have been learning to be intentional and in the moment, set free from fear of lack, and living in simple abundance.  I’m learning about minimalism and making room for what is important in my life, by getting rid of what isn’t.  Which brought me full circle back to the Sabbath this summer.

In the healing of my past wounds, in the learning of what is life-giving, and being intentional, and knowing who I AM (loved) in Christ as opposed to how he wants me TO BEHAVE,  the light finally went on!

  “For so many years I got it wrong. I used my Sabbath to prepare for the rest of the week, when I should have used my week to prepare for Sabbath.”  I didn’t just read this quote from Kathy Lipp in one of her books,  I learned it, I am living it!     
Again.  “I used my Sabbath to prepare for the rest of the week, when I should have used my week to prepare for Sabbath.”    WOW

Now I intentionally carve out time and plan (preferably a 24hr period) where I can be still and know that He is God.  I pray, I worship, I write in my gratitude and/ or prayer journal. There may be a special outing, or not.  Time spent with people, or not.  The day I go to church or not. I might read or write, or not. It might include serving others, or not. Time in nature.  A walk in the woods or an afternoon at the beach, or not.  There may be cooking, or maybe eating out.  No rules.  However, there is no prepping and planning for the week ahead during this time. There are no shoulds, nothing that drains or sucks the life out of me.

There may be surprises, things unexpected, but there are no distractions.  I love my Sabbath and I am very protective of it.

What happens varies from week to week.  It varies on how I feel led to plan, and what is needed, what God knows I need. But it is ALWAYS a time of rest, of being filled, of doing and receiving life-giving things.

I used to think it was the least important commandment.  Now it is the most important one to me (and I think, makes keeping the other commandments more doable)

Kinda like that Seek ye first the Kingdom of God thing.

I anticipate the Sabbath like a child anticipates Christmas, only instead of gifts from Santa I receive gifts from my heavenly father, my Abba Daddy.  A time of communion. I looked up the word communion after writing this  and it says *the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level*

It is intimate, it is 2 way.  I am so richly blessed.

May you be richly blessed also.

The End.


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   
Matthew 11: 28-29

On a side note.  Last night after work we stopped in downtown Langley and  happened upon this British specialty store called  Mary's British Home.  We even got to meet Mary. She is in her 80's and still going strong.   Now that was a special treat!  Check out the link below.  I purchased these Walkers gingerbread men for the grandkids.  My kids are 1/4 Greek, 1/4 French Canadian and 1/2 British but we always tend to celebrate more the of Greek and French culture. Who can blame us when you think of the food, oh the food, the dancing, the Joie de Vivre, OPA!!!!!! 
Now I am thrilled to have something British to incorporate in our family Christmas tradition.
  And in case you were wondering, besides all the delectable home baked goods, yes they do have Mushy Peas.

http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/longtime-steveston-candy-shop-moves-to-langley  

A new part of our Christmas tradition

Festive environment in the downtown square


This weekend my Sabbath will have the usual reading, writing, and praying but it will also include a massage, a foot soak, a pretty drive, and a wonderful Christmas feast (that I'm not cooking) at one of my favourite places with 2 of my favourite people.  I look forward to this time of filling up before I get back on that busy holiday train.   

Choo Choo!!!


One of my favourite places with 2 of my favourite people


Kilby Historic Site

Where we ate our Christmas feast







Nature is often a part of my sabbath


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Comments

  1. Very well written and thought provoking. I am enjoying all your posts! Thank you Dede for opening your ❤

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