Honoring the Sabbath

I have learned from hard experience that the Lord had a very good reason for making the Sabbath for man.  We need the rest after six busy days!

It used to be that I would do carryover work from the week on Sundays, trying to catch up, but would find that come Monday, I was tired before the new week even began!  Seemed like I could never catch up.

But in keeping with a new understanding the Lord has been giving me of walking in His rest instead of my works, I decided to make our Sabbath be more what the Lord intended--a day of rest.  I'm not talking here about keeping Shabbat as the Jewish people do; more the spirit of the Sabbath.  A time to stop and refresh, focus on the Lord and His Word, rest.

It's hard!  Church life often makes our Sundays one of the busiest days of the week.  But, together with my hubby, we've decided to keep the decks as clear as possible.  I was reading a couple of weeks ago in Exodus 16 in the account of God giving manna to the Israelites.  They were commanded to gather twice as much the day before the Sabbath as none would appear on the Sabbath.  It occurred to me that I could ask the Lord for that same kind of thing--help on Saturday to get all my work done as well as preparation for Sunday.  Here's some of what I do to get ready:

-  I cook ahead, maybe even from Friday, and cook extra so that on Sunday all we eat is leftovers.

- I set up breakfast before bedtime Saturday night.  Sometimes I make a breakfast casserole or waffles ahead of time so that it's just a quick warm-up in the morning.

- Fresh placements and napkins out to look pretty and special for the Lord and my family.

- Giving or tithe check written and ready.

- Church clothes picked out and ready.

- A quick house pick-up and dishes put away.

It's so wonderful to wake up and not begin the day in a frazzled rush, getting us out the door to church.  I'm able to have my quiet time with tea and actually have my spirit prepared for worship service!  What a concept.

Another thing that has contributed to a peaceful Sabbath morning is Hubby's involvement.  It seemed that I was the only one who could read a clock on Sunday mornings.  No matter what time we got going, we were always in a late, mad rush out the door to church.  My indigestion and irritation did not help me receive much from the Lord!

So after some discussion, Hubby agreed to take over the leadership of Sunday mornings.  He set times for all of us to be up, showered and dressed, and when I had to have breakfast on the table.  It's incredible--we actually now have extra time in the morning, to the point that we have leisurely family talk over breakfast!!!  It's wonderful.

So all taken together, our Sabbath is becoming what it ought to be, little by little.  I look forward to it now, knowing I have 'permission' to not do my to-do list for one whole day.  If it must be done, it just might have to wait until Monday!


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