Sunday, April 27, 2008

Emotional and mental rest on the Sabbath

Another aspect of my continual probe into what Sabbath rest means for me is the idea that not only is Sabbath rest a day where I physically rest, but also a day of emotional and mental rest.
Let me explain this.
My date book stays closed.
I do not plan anything, look ahead into my week, or worry about the week to come.
Instead, I focus on what the day means: a resting of the body, mind, and soul.
By resting my Body, I do no unnecessary work. (No catch up, no laundry, no cleaning, no organizing.) I will cook and clean up meal preparations.
By resting my Mind, I will not plan out my coming week, or indulge any worries or concerns. It is a discipline to focus on this day as being one free of worries, or concerns, and mainly rest. 
By resting my Soul, I read and meditate Scripture, and listen to worship music, as well as attend church service, where I am fed spiritually for the coming week.

Now, you might say...
"Shouldn't every day be a day of mental rest? Isn't that why Jesus came?"
And I would say, "Yes."
Jesus did say:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30 NIV)
Every day should be a day of mental and emotional rest for our souls. This is why Jesus came, and reconciled the law. The Christian life is a continual Sabbath.  

But what I find, on the Sabbath, is that a break from the necessities of life: the planning, the doing, that is a necessary part of life really forces me to have the emotional and mental rest on the Sabbath, just as doing no uneccesary work on the Sabbath gives my body the rest it needs.

18 comments:

Stacy said...

Good thoughts, Andrea. I like how you broke it down like that- Body, Mind and Soul; not just the physical rest but emotional and mental rest, too. I do that, too! (Though I've not articulated it so well before!)

Blessings to you and yours,
~Stacy

Betty Dickerson said...

That was great Andrea! This is my goal for most Sabbaths.

You gave me some great thoughts to "chew" on. Just reading them helped me feel more restful!

Blessings,
Betty

The mom, the robot, and the dancer said...

I don't know what denomination you follow, but you observe the Sabbath the same way my faith does. I love it too! Our children always call it their favorite day because they know that we bask in God's goodness, and we set aside all the "extras" that get in the way every other day. Thanks for your beautiful thoughts on His day!

JAN said...

Several years ago I went to a workshop at our local home school convention. It was a workshop on mothering. The speaker, (sorry,I can't remember who it was!) said that if we followed the Sabbath and actually rested, at the end of the year those Sabbath rests add up to a 6 week vacation!
One thing we've done this year that has really helped make it possible for me to REST on Sundays is a schedule change in our little school. We take Mondays off. That gives us Sunday to relax and then Monday we clean, laundry, run errands, work on lesson plans etc.

Andrea said...

Mom/Robot..
My faith is a plain and simple Christian. :)
Currently, we attend a Calvary Chapel.
While the evangelical faith doesn't generally place a huge emphasis on "taking back the Sabbath"...I have begun to do so in my own life, and in my family's life. It has been wonderful to practice a day of rest. While I don't believe it is law, there are certainly benefits to it.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Love the idea of the mental rest--focusing on that day alone and not looking ahead.

The Arnold Family said...

I try to do the same. On Sundays I always take a nap. And this is a big deal for me...trying to EVER take a nap with 4 small children. It's hard to explain. After church, I am just plumb worn out. And I take a nap. It is almost like God is giving me this rest and rejuvenation to start my week off with, especially considering I don't sleep well throughout the week.

I am adding your blog to my bloglist if thats ok.

Anonymous said...

Andrea, I have really enjoyed your writings about the Sabbath. Not to be proud, but to honor our Lord and what He tells us in His Word. That is certainly a great point about the mental planning for the week - you are spot on as it relates to my life. A while back you posted about the Sabbath. In our family, we worship together (still working out attending Sunday School with pregnancy, newborns, etc.), enjoy lunch at home and we all REST. We enjoy being at home without work and getting together with friends or family. The day just flies even without any work. I want to cherish and protect these special Sabbath days as a family without any running around town, etc.
love from Mary Brooke in Atlanta

Abby... the Oregonian said...

i am a mother of 3 boys and a pastors wife. the sabbath has always been a pretty foreign concept to me because it is my husbands biggest work day and therefor my most "single mom" day. i love the idea of a sabbath, but not sure how to create that. also... i find when i do take a day off of the cleaning, laundry, organizing, etc... than i have double and often triple the amount of work to do the next day. that alone keeps me from wanting to take even an afternoon off!! i am not sure how i found your blog, but i have enjoyed reading it and being uplifted by your thoughts. if you have any ideas about how a pastors family should take a sabbath i am open! abby osborn

Goodlikeamedicine said...

I feel rested just reading this!

My pastor said something last week about the Sabbath being a day of "reflection" and planning that made me feel, for the first time I can remember, free and okay to be able to sit down and think through things ... I had always considered that "work" and that I would be disobeying in that.

Anyway, here's notes from what he said:


1.The art of living well is a life centered on the purposes and patterns of Christ. Living as a called person as
compared to “hurry sickness.”

Living as a called person and the Lord’s Day (Isaiah 58:13-14)

Sunday questionnaire and point of reflection*
∗ Have I “made spaces” in my life this week to hear from God and how will I do so in the coming
week?
∗ Is there a sin to confess or a relationship to restore?
∗ How am I going to seek to make the rule of Christ supreme in my life this week, a) in my personal
walk, b) relationships, and c) kingdom advancement?
∗ In what one specific way will I love the Lord my God this week with all of my heart, mind, soul,
body, and strength? (Is the gospel of grace shaping the contours of my life?)

The Sabbath/Sunday should be a time to remember, reflect, listen, and plan. It should be a “slow me down”
day.

“I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what C. S. Lewis calls their “divine, magical, terrifying, and ecstatic” existence.” --Clyde Kilby Resolution #6, Clyde Kilby’s Resolutions

links:

Goodlikeamedicine said...

Woopsy! Here they are :)

sermon notes

audio

Goodlikeamedicine said...

(I'm commenting up a storm here - haha!)

Abby, I just read your comment as well. I can relate; I am in the same situation. I often feel like a single mom on Sundays. I try to look to the Cross and enjoy the fellowship with other believers in our body to replace the loneliness that sometimes I feel during worship when I am alone. Also most Saturday evenings we try to make our Sabbath begin by eating a quiet dinner at home and having a special time of worship together...

Joy said...

Andrea,
You said so well what I have been contemplating in my own life in regards to the Sabbath. My husband and I have both been meditating on what "keeping the Sabbath holy" meant in our modern lives. You have said it so beautifully!
I know that my own struggle with it is the care and keeping of four young toddlers...just getting out the door to church is exhausting and sometimes frustrating. Do you have any words of advice?

Terry said...

Wonderful post, Andrea. Thanks for sharing it. I have to allow God to help me to REALLY rest on the Sabbath. Most of the time I'm "resting" outwardly, but my mind is going a 100 mph.

Peggy said...

Andrea,
I truly enjoy the peace that your blog conveys to me...the readers. I want to honor you as the blog of the month for the month of May. May I use your photo in my entry when I write it up?

Peggy
The Simple Woman

Jen said...

Thank you for sharing these ideas. I really need to implement REST into my Sunday. I really like your approach to it.

L.L. Barkat said...

I'm still indebted to you for the nap idea. Love it. Rest, rest!

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