Since starting our business, life has been a constant battle for more time while still trying to stay sane.
After two years of running our business, I was really blessed when a friend shared the idea of keeping a Sabbath with me. (Thank you, Grace.) I don't know why, but before we began keeping a Sabbath, I thought the Sabbath was only meant for the Jewish people. (I know.. this probably sounds so silly on my part.)
While the way we choose to keep a Sabbath in our home is constantly changing as we grow and learn more in Christ, I'm very thankful our eyes were opened to it.
As a family we have mostly attended non denominational churches, and we have been open to ideas from different denominations, including different interpretations of the Sabbath.
Because we get asked all the time, "What do you do on the Sabbath?" I thought I'd share how it looks for our family right now.
On the Sabbath, we do only restful things.
To put it bluntly, at times, the busyness of the business really makes it hard to keep doing it.
Although I know that our business is serving a purpose that really is bigger than us, it is hard not to feel so burned out sometimes.
The problem with being on the go constantly is it leaves no room to be still.
Being still makes room for reflection.
Being still makes room for listening and prayer.
When there's no room for reflection, listening and praying, I find that I soon spiral into survival mode no matter how well planned our week started.
So on the Sabbath, we do restful things.
I know in Old Testament times, no work was to be done at all, but we very much take into consideration that Jesus came and changed things. While I'm not here to declare that "Jesus honored the Sabbath and you should too," I will say that my own research of whether Jesus honored the Sabbath and told us to led me instead to verses like Mark 2:24-28, especially Mark 2:27.
We have had discussions with other Christians who pointed out that that the Sabbath is part of the 10 commandments, while others have also stated that when Jesus came, He gave us ultimate rest. The idea that our perfect rest is in Him also influences our Sabbath keeping.
So, after all of the learning that we have done, and continuous learning that still happens for us about the Sabbath, the basic thing we do on this day is simply to do restful things.
Restful sometimes means taking the kids out on an adventure for a day away from the work space.
Restful may mean helping friends with a big task.
In our home with younger children, a constantly fluctuating business, and no extended family around at all, sometimes Sabbath means giving attention to the things that were neglected all week (or weeks) like laundry, tidying different spaces of the house, home repairs, baking (although we all agree this one is pretty fun for us), gardening, homeschool planning, organizing, and all other things that are important but being ignored. Doing these things that would normally be a non restful task typically feels quite restful for us on the Sabbath because it is a break from the normal hustle of our regular business activities.
Disclaimer: sometimes, we do attempt something not on the list above and if it starts to be too stressful, we just choose not to do it and wait because our bodies have been trained now to be restful on that day.
Restful for us means trying our best to remain based in God and the purpose of life. It means remembering that life is not centered on us and therefore, we should slow down for a day and do something different for variety and perspective.
On the Sabbath, we choose not to accept orders.
Another important aspect of our Sabbath aside from rest, is the giving to God one day a week of sales. It's so natural to continue to chase sales, and choosing to step back for a day helps us to keep perspective on what is most important.
In a way, not accepting orders once a week gives us "mental rest".
It allows us to surrender this part of our life and reframe our mind to remember that our true provider is God.
Sometimes our rest day does not match the day we close our shop.
Although this no longer happens as much these days, there have been times when we would rest on a different day than the day our shop closed. This had more to do with our experimenting with a different schedule.
I think, as a small business, it's natural to experiment with different hours of operation in order to live a more unique life than you would working for a corporate job.
For example, there was a time when we tried a Wednesday to Sunday work week, then took Monday and Tuesday off so we could go out and do our grocery shopping, errands and exploring on the less busy days. Even though we rested from Sunday at sundown to Monday at Sundown, we kept our shop closed Friday sundown to Saturday at sundown for the sake of consistency and creating less confusion for our customers.
While we may still occasionally experiment with our schedule, one thing that has not and will not change is giving one day of sales to the Lord because we have seen the fruits of this obedience in our lives.
So, in order to stay sane and grounded in God's plan for our family, this is the Sabbath that we practice in our home.
Other things we hope to someday incorporate regularly every Sabbath include:
· preparing a Sabbath feast (when we can, we do what we call "mini Sabbath feasts" where we simply prepare extras with our dinner)
· giving our home a lot of extra love the day before
· singing a special song
· topic specific bible reading
· getting in the habit of making candles to light the night of Sabbath
· preparing Challah bread loaves for our family, and sharing one with a neighbor (this one inspired me after a friend shared she did this)
So this is Sabbath to us right now. I'm sure as time goes on, things can change again. We are so grateful or the gift of a Sabbath day of rest.
We do not consider ourselves to be an authority on this subject, and welcome any respectful discussions regarding this topic.