Sabbath: Angie’s Take

One of my last seminary courses was Sabbath Keeping. Every Monday my husband and I convened with a professor and other seminaries at a local retreat center. We ate breakfast, discussed readings, and prayed together. And then we had hours on our own. It was fall, my absolute favorite time of year. I sprawled out on a blanket under a tree, under a warm sun and a crisp breeze. I wrote. I read. I slept. I slept some more. (I was in the early days of my first pregnancy when exhaustion and fatigue were reality.) We’d re-group and discuss and pray some more. Then my husband and I would go out to lunch. It was perfect.
I enjoyed setting aside a day for Sabbath keeping.

Then I had that baby. Then I had another one. I don’t know what Sabbath is anymore.

That’s not entirely true, but it feels like it. I am pretty good about not working—doing my job that I get paid to do—on Fridays or Saturdays. But it doesn’t feel like hanging out at a retreat center for hours, reading, writing, and sleeping.

Now, even when I’m with my family and having a “Sabbath,” I have no quiet time alone. I go to the bathroom with an audience. I play peek-a-boo with a toddler while I bathe. By the time the kids are in bed, I’m exhausted. I enjoy catching up on adult conversation with my husband. And I go to bed. That’s what my “days off” look like at this stage in my life.

I believe those days at home, with my family, without working except for checking e-mail are extremely valuable! They are not restful. They do not rejuvenate me; they exhaust me. They are important and necessary.

But I find other ways to enjoy the feeling of Sabbath. If I get to ride into Midlothian (the nearest civilization) for work, then I’m conscious about enjoying that time alone with myself and God. I make a point at least once a month to camp out in a coffee shop, or to coffee shop hop between a few. On those days, I usually read my Bible, blog, and process. I anticipate those days, and I LOVE them.

I’m curious to hear how other parents celebrate Sabbath.

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