Steps to Implementing a Sabbath


Steps to Implementing a Sabbath

Back at the end of February I attended a personal growth event – First Steps to Success in San Antonio. To say it was life changing seems rather cliche, but it is true. I am planning to attend this event again in the next few months when it comes to Cleveland to stay focused, inspired, and connected.

One of the key components that came out of attending this event, as well as by viewing Time Secrets from Dani Johnson, was the concept of observing a Sabbath and my lack of intentional time management.

Now, for me (who did not grow up in a Christian home), I really had no idea what a Sabbath was and had not taken the time to discover what the Bible truly said about it and how it impacts my daily life now. I am not here to debate Scripture and how you may interpret the Sabbath. I am here, however, to share my thoughts on taking a day of rest for you, your family, and from your work.

The Sabbath is referred to in the Ten Commandments. It is number four:

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:8-11

Until I had some discussion on this topic, I felt it really wasn’t relevant to me in this day and age and especially with all the things I had to do. How on earth could I take a day of rest?

Well, after praying, seeking wise counsel, hearing how others implemented this into their weekly schedule – even those that not only run a household but have home businesses – I soon discovered that in fact by NOT observing the Sabbath I could be acting in disobedience and not allowing God to truly be glorified in my life.

“We simply do not value rest. Busyness is lauded, and idleness is of the Devil.” – Andrew Gilmore in Do No Work: Beat Burnout, Find Inner Peace, and Strengthen Your Faith by Studying the Most Overlooked of the Ten Commandments

I read Andrew Gilmore’s book to get more perspective and it was dead on. We are a burned out generation and if we do not take intentional actions to counter the burnout, it will only get worse. Much worse.

So how do you implement a Sabbath with a house to run, people to feed, activities to do? Let me share with you how I’ve put this into action in my own life over the past two months.

Plan Ahead

So, at our house, a day of rest means I do no housework, I do not cook meals, I do not check email, I am not on Facebook for business, and I don’t grocery shop. So this means I must plan ahead for these. I manage to take care of home tasks ahead of the day 0r they just don’t get done.

I will often plan ahead for dinner and have plenty of leftovers so my family can help themselves through the day. Or we may decide to eat take-out or grab a pizza, whatever fits in our budget. I spend no time checking email – which initially was a huge battle and temptation for me, but as the weeks went by, it gets easier. As a mom who runs two businesses mainly online, this was a leap to trust what the Lord has in His plan and that everything will still be there when I return!

Find Fun

I mentioned how our family has started hiking more. This is an activity I love to do, however I was in a pattern where I felt we really didn’t have the time to get away and enjoy the outdoors like this. I was dead wrong. When you are intentional with your time and you decide how you will spend it, amazing things can happen. We’ve had some excellent hikes as a family and I look forward to more! Maybe your family loves games, or road trips – it doesn’t matter – just do something as a family and build that time together.

Pick a Day that Works

For us, we will look at the calendar a month out and determine whether we will observe our Sabbath as a family on Saturday or Sunday. It changes between those days because we have different commitments and ideas on what our Sabbath looks like. So again, planning ahead is key. We block it out on the calendar – being intentional with that time.

Find Rest

Be careful to dedicate time to prayer, Scripture reading, and allowing God to speak to you and refresh your heart. Having a Sabbath doesn’t mean you just fill another day to the brim with activities and stuff – it means you are being intentional with giving that time over to the Lord and allowing Him to be a huge part of your day.

I encourage you –  set the tone for your family. Bring this idea up if you are not already setting aside a day for the Lord each week. I have found it so good for our family, my soul, and my businesses. I come back refreshed and renewed to tackle my daily tasks.

Do you take a Sabbath each week? What does that look like and how do you manage your family?

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  • Mariana Spilborghs

    Hi Susan!
    Well first of all I loved your post. As a Seventh Day Adventist, I am used to the Sabbath and have been practicing it for years now. It was a little ‘weird’ in the beginning, not knowing what to do with all those hours. Soon I started to enjoy those hours though, and now is such a part of my week that I can’t live without. I even breathe deeper in the Sabbath! For us, Sabbath is a steady period of time, which runs between Friday sunset (in which we do a small sunset worship) and Saturday sunset. Many people (from outside) think that Sabbath is a day in which “you can’t do anything”, but once you start enjoying the Sabbath hours, you realize that you either force yourself to not do certain things, or soon you are not keeping the Sabbath anymore. Life is a never ending list of things to do, so if you don’t make it purposely, you are soon swallowed by the urgent tasks. And if our God provided the weekly rest for us, that is because He knows how important it is to stop our daily ‘marathon’ to rest and get close to Him.
    The Sabbath is a gift for the humanity!

  • Tara Ofisa

    Ditto Mariana on the SDA Sabbath keeping history at my house. It blesses my heart to see Sabbath coming to the forefront in the Christian world. I’m seeing it more and more and can personally attest to the blessing of keeping a Sabbath. I think for those of us in the SDA world it’s been a bit of a journey and effort to keep the Sabbath in a positive mainframe and really simplify life. For those of us in active ministry and small children in tow it’s often rather tricky to keep the Sabbath the way we’d really like to when we’re sometimes busier on the Sabbath than any other day of the week with church services etc.

    Over the years God’s made it clear to me that in my life it’s about practicing Kingdom living. In other words, a day to practice what it will be like to dwell in His presence and not worry about all the little details and what-ifs that will be non-existent when we get to experience life in heaven. So I do my best to rely solely on Him and not stress or worry about things on Sabbath even when I’m very busy. I prepare as best I can and then I try to just let God take the wheel and direct and provide for me on Sabbath. There have been times when I haven’t been able to pre-prepare a meal and I’ve given it to Him and asked Him to provide. Wouldn’t you know it, we usually find ourselves unexpectedly invited to someone’s home for lunch on those Sabbaths! His goodness just tickles me.

    I can’t tell you what a difference it makes for me to have those Sabbath hours. Thanks for sharing your Sabbath-keeping journey with us Susan! I believe you will be amply blessed for reserving that time with God for you and your family.

  • Pingback: Steps to Implementing a Sabbath – The Confident Mom – Medics Online()

  • Kamala

    Check out Andrew Wommack’s Our Sabbath Rest. You can YouTube it or watch it on his Roku channel.

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