“Because of our desire to succeed, to meet these ever-growing expectations, we do not rest.  Because we do not rest, we lose our way.”

“Sabbath is a way of being in time where we remember who we are, remember what we know, and taste the gifts of spirit and eternity.”

“We must have a period in which we lie fallow, and restore our souls.”

“Sabbath time is time off the wheel, time when we take our hands from the plow and let God and the earth care for things, while we drink, if only for a few moments, from the fountain of rest and delight.”

“It is the presence of something that arises when we consecrate a period of time to listen to what is most deeply beautiful, nourishing, or true.”

“It was not Israel that kept the Sabbath, it is said, but the Sabbath kept Israel.”

“Once people feel nourished and refreshed, they cannot help but be kind; just so, the world aches for the generosity of a well-rested people.”

(All quotes taken from the book Sabbath: Finding rest, renewal, and delight in our busy lives by Wayne Muller)

Until recently, I thought the Sabbath was all about going to church on Sunday mornings.  That’s pretty much it.

I’ve always gone to church, but honestly, my soul has never felt completely at rest.  I have always rushed through my weekends just as I rush through my week.  I took time out of my schedule to attend church, and while I gained some great benefits from church, I would leave the church service each week ready to rush through the rest of my day in order to get ready for the busy week.

But lately, that has been changing. My soul longs for more.  It knows that more is out there.  A better way of being and living.  My soul has been tired, weary, thirsty and used up.  Looking for rest.  Needing to be filled.

The world of the Sabbath is opening up to me.  There is much, much more out there!  And I long to really, truly observe the Sabbath with my family in ways that provide rest to all of our souls, minds, spirits and bodies.  Ways that we can be filled with quiet, each others’ presence, the lives of friends, and filled by the Holy Spirit.

And I know that for this to happen, there must be a plan.  A set time where we stop each week.  A time that is sacred and holy to our family.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same time each week.  There just needs to be intentional time.

So, I’m wondering: what is your experience with the Sabbath?  How have you tried to set aside a time weekly, or even daily, to quiet your soul, spend time with God, listen to Him and allow Him to fill you back up?  I’d love to hear from you!

Learning from the curveballs

I have a dear friend who is like a sister to me.  We’re two peas in a pod.  It’s really kind of creepy how alike we are.  We think and act so much alike.  I love this girl.  I love that we can both be going through lots of crap in our lives, and we can get together and talk about it and laugh like crazy about it all!  Who does that?!  But I am thankful that I have this friend that I can be real with and who shares my enjoyment of laughing through pain.  I believe everyone needs a friend like this.  I hope that everyone has someone like this.  I pray that my kids will find at least one friend like this.  Someone who they know that no matter what they do, that friend is going to be there and love them.  This is that kind of friend for me.  She’s really the best.  I just hope I’m kind of that kind of friend for her.  I think that she’s done way for me and been there for me way more than I’ve probably been there for her.  But anyway, on with the story.

Recently, this friend and I spent a few hours in her car after going to an event together sharing stories, joys, pains, laughter, etc.  In the midst of this talk, I confessed to her that I’ve always struggled with feeling like I was expected to be the best.  At everything!  How unrealistic!  What was I thinking??  You’d think I was smarter than that (or maybe not!), but I really believed it.  I’m not sure where this came from, but I do know I have really always felt like I had to be the best.  And I worked as hard as I could to prove to everyone that I was really great.  This friend has known me since birth and she immediately was like “yep!  I can see that!” and went on to bring up examples from our childhood.  And that was a little embarrassing.  But really freeing to share all this with a friend.  For her to realize this about me but still think that I was OK as a person.  And to call me out on all the times just in that conversation itself where I sort of still said ways that I feel like I have to be the best.  Whew!!  What a good friend!

Over the last five years or so, life has thrown me lots of curveballs.  Lots of big, fat, hairy curveballs!  Life hasn’t been perfect like I expected it to be.  I haven’t been perfect like I thought I should be.  The people in my life have not been perfect like I expected them to be.  I’ve realized that in a lot of ways, I have always had warped expectations of myself and the people I love.

Over the last year, I’ve decided that there are a few ways that I want to try to be the best…that I can be.  Here they are:

I want to do my best to make other people feel important

I want to do my best to respect others…especially my loved ones

I want to do my best to show love to everyone.  The kind of love that Christ shows me everyday.


I don’t really care if I’m the best at anything anymore.  Sure, I want to do well.  But really, the main thing I want is for people to want to be around me and be drawn to me because of the way that I make them feel about themselves.  By making them feel important, respected and loved.  Because after all, this is the way Christ treats us.  Even when we’re big screw-ups.   And darn it, shouldn’t I/we be trying to do that too?!

I struggle everyday with how to do all this.  Shoot, I struggle with it over and over all day long.  It’s a journey!  And I’m actually thankful for all of the hard things along the way that have brought me to this point.