Exhausted for My Sabbath

Why does it seem that whenever I blog about a topic my life seems to reflect the opposite? Here I am sharing Keri Wyatt Kent’s posts about steps for creating a Sabbath habit and I’ve had an exhausting weekend, with minimal rest. There was much spiritual refreshment (with Bible studies and church) and great fellowship (the 5K run and a graduation party). But it just might have been too much of a good thing. I’m vegging now.

I guess I need especially step 10 this week. Here are steps 7 to 10 for your edification. Thanks, Keri, for allowing me to share them on this blog.

I Just Need a Rest: 10 Steps to Creating a Sabbath Habit: Part III
By Keri Wyatt Kent

7. Sleep!
Many of us are sleep-deprived. Why? We’ve said yes to too many things, or we
believe way too strongly in our own importance. It may be that the first step
toward Sabbath practice in your life is to give yourself the gift of a full
night of sleep at least that one night.
8. Start at sundown. In over 15 years of practicing Sabbath, I have found that
following the biblical timeframe for Sabbath works best. So if your Sabbath day
is Sunday, it actually begins at sundown on Saturday. At that time, simply
stop. Set aside your work, knowing it will be there in 24 hours. Your Sabbath
might begin with a meal with friends or family. Take your time, make it
leisurely. Have conversation, chew your food, savor the experience. Hang out
with the people you love. Then go to bed, get up and go to church, and you’ve
already made it through half a Sabbath! If this is all you can manage, that’s a
starting point. Sabbath ends, then, as the sun sets on Sunday, which will give
you some time to prepare for the week ahead if you need it.
9. Find your joy. Sabbath rest doesn’t mean sitting around watching the
walls. Rather than focusing on what you cannot do, think about what you have
freedom from, and what you can do with that freedom. Play is a big part of
Sabbath practice:  My husband and I
like to go sailing on Sunday afternoons in the summer. We experience joy and
praise God for the beauty of his creation when we are on the water. Take a walk
or go for a run. Read a book. Call a friend and really listen. Play with your
children. Take a nap without feeling guilty. Pray without watching the clock,
because there is nowhere else you need to be.
10. Lean hard into grace. Like any spiritual practice, Sabbath-keeping won’t always
go perfectly. Some weeks will be better than others. There are times when your
best intentions will go up in flames and your attempts to rest will fail.
That’s okay. God’s grace is sufficient. Know that you will get a chance to try
again next week, and don’t give up! And if it does go well, don’t let yourself
get legalistic or proud. This is not something you’re doing to impress God or
anyone else.
Most of us are longing for rest. We are just so tired. But we never
stop. Here’s the thing—no one is going to make you stop. You have to choose to
receive the gift of Sabbath. It’s a choice you won’t regret.

 Keri Wyatt Kent is a speaker and author of seven books, including Rest: Living In Sabbath Simplicity. For more on Sabbath and her ministry, visit www.SabbathSimplicity.com.


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