I've been a passionate advocate of Sabbath practice for a number of years now. I've studied it, lived it, and even spoken on the topic numerous times across both the U.S. and Canada.
My definition is simple: intentional rest, mind, body, and spirit. It can involve anything from long walks to prayer and journaling and hot tea, anything that fills you back up after long seasons of pouring out.
For me it's typically all of those things, plus insightful reading, deeply nourishing food, intimate conversations with my husband, hot baths and beautiful music. It picnics, flowers, both candle and sun light. It's time to regroup, set new boundaries, think creatively, and get alone with God.
It happens like clockwork for this introvert. I go and go and love every last minute, and then I hit a wall. It's inevitable, precisely how I'm wired. And thus, I have to withdraw. You know how I know I've hit a wall?? When I have a meltdown and sob to my husband and eat a gazillion calories worth of Haagen Dazs. It's glaringly obvious.
The last many days in Nashville were wonderful. They were full of friends and family, celebrations and coffee shops and country drives. They were filling in so many ways, but also exhausting.
Our two day drive home gave Josh and I time to talk thru a number of projects and big decisions, only one of which was envoking 'Family Sabbath.' All three of us need rest, desperately. In addition, we need to encourage better rest by eliminating sugar for a season. (Um, yeah. Clearly sugar is my coping mechanism when I'm overwhelmed. I eat it by the truckload. It seriously makes me feel better, at least momentarily. But it does not contribute to my well being on any level. Lately it's outta control. Gotta hit the brakes.)
Josh and I also celebrated 11 years of marriage just this week, but our journey as a family unit is still new. In all the years to come, I want our children to be able to request a period of Sabbath at any point in time. If mom and dad become frazzled or distracted or stressed by the busyness of life, I want them to to be so comfortable and familiar with this concept that they never feel helpless or neglected. Although life will certainly have busy seasons, our family always, always comes first. I want them well equipped to get our attention if ever necessary.
And because our home is in a constant rotation of hosting friends and family, something we love and consider ourselves made for, it's also time for a momentary pause. It's incredibly healthy every once in a while to draw the blinds.
So. Beginning tomorrow we Sabbath. We accept limited invitations and we pause all hosting. We do not eat sugar, we exchange television for books, we sit and make eye contact when we talk, we pray together, we shut down the computer and turn our phones to vibrate, and we rest. Kind of like a spa day for our souls.
If you find yourself longing for your own Sabbath, perhaps this will be a conversation starter with your own loved ones. Or if you would like to join us for either parts of this journey (the Sabbath or the sugar fast), please do. We'd love it. I'll be posting daily updates via Instagram. I'll happily tag you as a little accountability check to see how you're doing. Just leave a comment below to let me know. No sugar runs thru this coming Sunday, June 2nd. Only 6 days. Totally do-able. ;-)