The Sabbath Experiment (reposted from The Green Grandma)

If you haven't yet checked out The Green Grandma, definitely do. Hana's one of my favorite fellow bloggers and a beautiful friend, inside and out. Her recent post on keeping the Sabbath holy has really challenged me. And to be honest, I still haven't figured out how to make it work in our family given my hubs' crazy variable schedule. But I do know that God's commandments were meant for me too, so I'm going to pray on it and trust He will show us His way for our family. Hana has graciously given me permission to repost this message here. I hope this challenges you as it has me. Enjoy!


A piece of backyard

Lately I have been convicted of being too busy. Quite honestly, I work every day, seven days a week. It may only be for a couple of hours, but I at least check emails, respond to clients, etc. seven days a week. It seems my clients have no respect for weekends, because they, too, are working seven days a week. This, I believe, is a destructive pattern, and I have decided to put an end to it. After all, God Himself created for six days and rested on the seventh.

The Sabbath. What does it mean to you? Are your Saturdays and Sundays filled with running here and there, doing housework/yardwork, working on your computers, grading papers, crunching numbers, etc.? Where does rest fit in?

I am not about to get into a theological debate on which day the Sabbath actually occurs. For some, it is Saturday and for others, Sunday. For me, I will recognize the Sabbath, my day of rest, mostly on Sundays. But occasionally, it will be a Saturday for my husband and me. Why? Because I refuse to be legalistic about this. The point is that we are to rest from our work one day a week.

What does this mean for me? No emails. No blogging. No work in my office. No laundry. No cleaning. Will I cook? Maybe. Will I clean up after cooking? Maybe.

And my husband? He won't do yard work, rake leaves, clean out the garage, etc. Will he water the plants? Possibly...if they really need it. But basically, he won't be working either.

As I said, most of our Sabbath time will occur on Sundays, starting with church. After church we'll have lunch with the kids and grandbabies and then, who knows? Maybe a walk in the woods, or an afternoon playing cards. Maybe we'll have dinner with friends. Or we'll watch a Hallmark movie marathon. Or nap. It won't really matter, as long as we are relaxing.

Why do I think this is important? Well, for one thing, God tells us in His Word to do this. But it goes beyond that. I have not researched this, but I have a strong suspicion that the rise in stress-related conditions started within a few years of America ridding itself of the Blue Laws. Remember them? Because there were laws that did not permit most businesses to be open on Sundays, life was different. People spent Sundays with their families...and not at soccer games or at the mall. They shared Sunday dinners with Grandma or they went on picnics. Life slowed down for one day every week.

But then the Blue Laws were repealed and our frantic, busy pace seeped into our Sundays, making them a day like all the rest. And no one seemed to notice how this was affecting marriages and families and...our health!

Bill and I started The Sabbath Experiment on Saturday. We planned to do it on Sunday, but because of some very sad news about two friends who died, we chose to take Saturday off and revisit some places we used to like to go. We spent time walking hand-in-hand in the Wildflower Reserve in Clinton, PA and ate breakfast at a favorite place we rarely go to anymore. We visited my late husband's grave. We drove by our friends' homes. We honored memories. We bought fresh produce from a local farm market and cooked a simple dinner when we got home, eating in the living room as we watched a movie. It was a bittersweet day, but a relaxing one. I am, understandably, quite sad about the loss of my friends. But burying myself in work would not have made anything any easier. Spending the time with my husband (and best friend) did.

Was it hard for me not to check on work when I got home? Absolutely. I am not predicting that this will be an easy transistion for either of us. But I believe the dividends we reap will be well worth it.

My challenge to you...for your emotional, physical and spiritual to follow suit. See where The Sabbath Experiment takes you. And then let me know how it has changed your life. I, personally, am expecting great things from it.

Keeping it healthy with a day of rest, Hana

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