When did it become normal to work all the time and never allow ourselves true rest? When did we start saying yes to everything because it's what we are “supposed” to do? Why do we value hustle over rest? Somewhere along the way, I adopted these things to my life. I thought I was supposed to be busy, always working, always moving forward in something. I believed the lie that in order to be productive and successful I had to do all the things, all the time. Even on Sunday when we are supposed to be resting.
The meaning of sabbath
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
Exodus 20 8-11
God gave us a day to rest because he knew we needed it. We can't go all the time without falling apart. Trust me, even if you think you can, you can't. And you're not supposed to. You don't have to. I used to think that Sunday was just another day for me to get more done. It is a day when my husband is home so I have help with the kids meaning I can do what I need to do to get ahead, right? Wrong. What I quickly found out was that I was spreading myself too thin and never giving my body and mind a chance to stop and breathe.
Why and how I'm making it a priority
To be honest, I'm not sure why I didn't practice a Sunday sabbath sooner. I mean God is telling us not to work on that day. He is giving us permission to stop. What more do I need to get the hint? I struggle with sitting still. I struggle with putting my to do list aside sometimes. And I truly love the work that I do so sometimes I genuinely just want to do it. But when all of that takes away from resting in the lord the way He intended, it's time for a change.
I’ve felt pulled in this direction more and more lately but I knew that I needed more rest. More white space. More margin. I recently read a chapter in The Finishing School about this very thing and when I read Val’s words, I was encouraged to make this change. The way she talked about Sabbath and rest made me realize that it's something I need to make time for. It's hard for us to understand the concept when we are so inclined to work hard and do more. Taking a break and stepping away even for one day seems weird. But God designed our days so that we would have enough time to get everything done that we need to and still have time to rest. In fact, you'll probably find that you'll get more done in less time when you honor God’s wish for you to rest one day a week.
Instead of being left with a list of things still to do on Sunday, I’m planning ahead. I’m planning my week knowing that Sunday is already booked. That there is always a standing reservation on that day for nothing. Instead of using Sunday to finish up those things that didn’t get done the rest of the week, I’m spending Sunday resting intentionally. And as always, if we aren’t intentional about these things, they won’t happen. So in order to make sure this happens most Sundays, I plan ahead.
What does rest mean to you?
Rest doesn’t have to be taking a nap. Although that is a pretty good way to rest in my book, it doesn’t always mean doing nothing. Rest can look different for you. They key is figuring out ways you can rest. Resting in the Lord on Sundays has become a new priority for me. That means more bible reading, more praying, more devotionals, and more time spent for Him. That also means more naps, family time, and filling my soul with the things that really matter. What does rest look like for you?
Going against the norm
Once I started being more intentional about taking Sunday off from everything, I realized that I need this pace of life every day. I found myself wondering why every other day had to be so crazy and hectic. Why can’t we live a slow and purposeful life every day? I’m going against the norm and embracing slow in my life and business. I’m choosing slow over hustle. I’m saying no more often. I’m doing just enough to make me and my family happy without bending over backwards to make everyone else happy too. And you know what? It feels so good. It feels good to say it. It feels good to do it. This is what I’ve been needing. This is what I’ve been craving, and God knew it all along. He led me to this place and in this season, it’s just what I need.
Do you practice Sabbath in your life? Even if it’s not on Sunday, taking a day to rest in the Lord is so important for us. I’ve learned so much in the short time I’ve been more intentional about this, but one this is for sure: I should have done it sooner and this will be our new normal from now on.