Rest…

Our small group has committed to practicing Sabbath Rest. We’ve decided to practice the discipline of rest in an effort to honor the God who made us and try to find the unforced rhythms of grace the Bible promises. On a weekly basis, we try to pause. To unclutter our lives and just rest.

It’s hard. It’s actually very hard to organize our lives around a day of rest. It makes us reconsider the rest of our week. It helps us prioritize. It forces us to plan well. If we know that Sunday is a day of rest, we need to get things done on Saturday (and all through the week) to support that. One of the things we’ve noticed is that it helps to know that rest is coming. We can push through and get a load of laundry done each day of the week because we know that there won’t be any laundry on Sunday. We can push through the yard work on Saturday, knowing that Sunday we’ll rest.

We’ve talked about what rest is for each of us. For me, it is time away from my office and responsibilities. It means putting aside the laptop and picking up a book. It means ignoring the housework and daily responsibilities, but I might decide that process of preparing a pot roast would feed my soul. For Keith, it is putting away the responsibilities and demands of the office and focusing his attention on the things he loves at home. For both of us, it is the chance to set aside the timetable of demands and just be We are figuring it out.

We are committed to grace in our Sabbath keeping. Sometimes, often, it is less than perfect. We are moving toward a different rhythm, even while we still struggle to make it work in our actual lives. How do families with small children take a day of rest? What is work and what is rest? How do we actually make this work in our lives? We are figuring it out, week by week, in our own ways. It’s good to do this in community, learning and growing together.

Sometimes, we just can’t do it. Life happens. We’ve decided not to linger there but to keep going, moving toward the next Sabbath. It feels a bit radical to try to live out this ancient rhythm, in the midst of our over-scheduled, overwhelming lives. And maybe that’s the point. It’s a chance to push back against the craziness and the busyness that has swallowed our culture and decide something different for our lives, our families.

When it works, it is magical. The luxury of sweet unscheduled time is precious and pure. An afternoon nap, solitude, a long walk, time unstructured all await our exploration. Keith loves to sit on the back porch and listen to the swaying tree tops, birdsong, and sounds of life in the woods around our house. It is music to his soul. I love the crunch of leaves under my feet as I wander down the drive. I love time to escape into words and just be. For us, this is time to stretch out our souls and rest.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message

simplethings   I hope you are enjoying this exploration of simple things that make life special. This is part of the Write 31 Days challenge. Click here to follow along.

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