Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sabbath....continuing the conversation

I really enjoyed all of your responses on my last Sabbath post. It seems many of you practice many of the same things I talk about and also feel the need for a "Sabbath".
Abby said something really good in the comments and had a really good question:
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..... if you have any ideas about how a pastors family should take a sabbath i am open!

My husband is not a pastor, but he does play in the worship band most Sunday mornings, so that leaves me with getting everyone ready and out the door by myself most Sundays. Generally, I try to prepare for Sunday morning on Saturday. Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies has a wonderful article about this very thing. Read it here. I refer to it often.

If anyone would like to share how they prepare and/or observe the Sabbath, I would love to hear in the comments or a link to your blog. Also, if you are a pastor's wife and have some words of wisdom for Abby, please leave a link in the comments to your blog or write something here!


memphismemory said...

I remember my own mother getting all of us kids ready for church after my preacher dad went to the church to begin his Sunday after the busy Saturday nights.

Mother studies for Sunday School lessons and Childrens Church and cleaned house and prepared for the meal that must be ready after we got home from Sunday morning services. She would get all of us fed, dressed and herself, then to church on time and then we would stay til everyone else had gone home.

Sunday evening was all over again and then after that, my dad would make fried balogna sandwiches for us because we had not had time for supper and he did not eat two meals before preaching again in the evening. We lived too far from town to go out to eat. I have wonderful memories of those days.

Prairie Chick said...

I am not a pastor's wife, but I do find Sunday's relatively exhausting merely with the extra work of getting everyone ready early, making sure something is "brewing" for lunch, and then rushing out of the house. Sunday is also a day we like to set aside for fellowship with other believers and practicing hospitality, while enjoyable, is not exactly "relaxing".

We personally choose to take our sabbath rest on Saturday. We get to sleep in, have a leisurely "nicer" breakfast, and the only commitment we have on this day is to do whatever we feel like doing to enjoy one another and revel in the day. We eat very simply (bruschetta or taco salad, or something we can whip up in a matter of 20 minutes).

Also, I work very dilligently to have all my chores done Monday through Friday so that weekends entail solely "keep up".

I do believe the sabbath rest is more of a mentality and does not have to be legalistically set to one specific day. My dh gets every 2nd friday off, and sometimes friday becomes our sabbath and saturday we do projects around the farm and house, or vice versa. The important thing is thinking ahead, planning for it, being ready for it, and enjoying it.

Monica said...

I've loved reading this series and have yet to comment.

We began taking the Sabbath "seriously" about 8 years ago. It's been an ongoing area of growth for us, but the Lord has been faithful in His direction and promised blessings as we seek to rest in Him.

The first thing we did was to give up going out to eat. This was often a "treat" of my in-laws after church. For a mom like myself, I considered this a huge "sacrifice".

We began calling Sunday's The Lord's Day- because that's what it is.

We are happy to fellowship outside of church with family and friends when the opportunities arise on the Lord's Day or have people into our home. But with the size and age of our family right now, we normally attend worship morning and evening and between times are quietly at home resting and reading. No TV. No radio. Just time and each other.

My husband often reads the Bible to the kids until they fall asleep and we get a little nap ourselves. I enjoy walks, sitting outside, reading/studying uninterrupted (usually). This is something I rarely get during the week.

We want the Lord's Day to be the highlight of our week and it has become that. We often serve the kids special foods this Day. My favorite. Cotton Candy for desert. That was a treat.

The kids have come to look forward this Day as we have. It is such a blessing!!

Getting ready? The best thing for us is to have everything laid out the day before and lunch in the crock pot. With pre-teen girls we are noticing a bit of rushing and crying before church and we really need to better become prepared the night before to avoid going down that road:)

Crystal said...

I think taking the Saturday as resting day is a fabulous idea! God commands us to keep the Sabbath Holy. I think serving others is a Holy thing. And, resting on Saturday, can restore your soul and fellowship with Christ, while as a preacher's wife, you can still keep Sunday Holy, by doing what you're already doing: serving others and the little ones among us, children.

Christine said...

We are a ministry family (music ministry) and we certainly don't have the Sabbath thing all wrapped up neatly! However, after many mornings of weeping and gnashing of teeth trying to get the 6 of us ready to go (at 7:15 or 7:30) for our 3-service morning we began establishing some routine into our mornings: laying out clothes ahead of time, light breakfast and everyone gets the same thing (they then have donut holes at church between services), and of course getting up a bit earlier! We have had less arguing and smoother mornings since we have implemented these things.

Once we come home, Jason and I are exhausted (he plays organ and accompanies the groups, I direct groups and organize the music for the morning) and don't do much else. This is a day for wrestling on the floor, playing games, taking walks, reading, napping, watching a bit of TV (the kids hardly get any media time during the week) and other family-time activities. Most Sunday evenings we have "family worship" with a lesson, a hymn and prayer time. I do have rehearsals in the afternoon some of the time so back to church I go!!

I guess we do practice an unofficial Sabbath more than I thought, although it would be nice to have a day other than a "work" day to set aside!

Terry said...

I am not a pastor's wife but I find that for our family Sunday mornings can be so hectic many times that it sort of paints the whole day in that direction. In addition to church, it's the day we usually spend with our extended family.

For us, Saturday is a much more restful day. It's the day I cook a big breakfast, we stay in our PJ"S a little later than normal, and most of the day we are each other's primary source of companionship and entertainment. We usually watch a movie that day together also. Even though it's not "church day", for us it is certainly a day of rest. I would imagine that a ministry family would have no other choice but to pick another day of the week as a day of rest because Sunday, for that family, is a workday!

Beck said...

You know, for a long time we had a great Sunday pattern - we didn't watch tv or use the computer, but instead we really focused on relaxing and being together as a family... and everyone was happier. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

We just do the errands, shopping, chores, etc. at other times during the week! Saturdays are often spent preparing to go to church and rest on Sunday with simple meals. Our children are very young though and we don't have the sports commitments on Saturdays yet. I find that when we are not rushing out on errands and doing chores we have some time for *each other* and even that goes VERY fast. My husband is not home during the week until late though, so we need this day with him.

We also review our family memory bible verses, catechism and even sing hymns when we can. It still goes so fast! Doorposts sells a mini-book on how to make Sunday the most special day of the week. I want our children to look back and treasure our Sundays together honoring God.
Mary Brooke in Atlanta

Jodi said...

When we first started being intentional about keeping the Sabbath, I also had a hard time feeling like Monday morning wouldn't bring twice the amount of cleaning.

So a few things I do...Like others said, when I go to bed Saturday night the house is clean, dishwasher empty, and everyone's clothes are laid out. On Saturday I also make a crockpot meal, put it in the fridge, and then turn the crockpot on when I get up Sunday morning. We do something easy for Sunday lunch (like PBJ served on paper towels), and then have our crockpot meal for dinner. No pots or pans, and very minimal dishes. I give the house a quick tidy before bed, and am generally able to wake up Monday morning without extra work waiting for me. :)

Preparing for the Sabbath does add some extra work to my Saturdays, but when God sent manna to the Israelites He did, after all, tell them to collect twice as much on the sixth day!

TAMI said...

Just found your blog today via Seedlings In Stone, and although this is an older post I just wanted to add that we also celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. As a pastor on staff at our church, Sunday is a work day that starts e-a-r-l-y. That makes Friday the day we "prepare" for our Sabbath by finishing any tasks or projects that can't wait until Sunday. For us, that Friday prep is key to guarding that set aside day of rest & refreshment.