This summer, I have felt a tug, a tug I know came from God. I know it came from God because His voice is the only one I would ever listen to when it told me I needed to rest.
So many things have gone on this year, from wrecking my car to waiting five months to get on this drug trial for Austen. I have been so tired and exhausted. So much so that I went to my doctor to have her recheck my thyroid levels. I was sure that they were once again high, and that was the cause of my neverending exhaustion. It turns out they weren’t high, and I needed to look elsewhere from some relief.
Sabbath. That’s what was continuously whispered in my ear.
Rest. But how?
Over the summer, I tried to ease into this idea. Like a child dipping into a pool toe by toe, step by step. I wasn’t sure exactly how to sabbath, but something in me told me it was what I desperately needed. The doer in my did countless google searches trying to figure out exactly how sabbath was supposed to be done. Funny, isn’t it? I was doing a lot of work to try to learn how to rest.
Online I came across Shelly Miller’s Sabbath Society email list and signed up that very moment. Her words on Fridays have been a small piece of rest, a breath of fresh air, to remind me sabbath is coming. I also got my hands on her book Rhythms of Rest, originally hoping it would tell me exactly how sabbath is supposed to work. But instead, I was immersed in Shelly’s own story about learning how to sabbath, and her struggles with figuring out what it means. Here’s a hint, it’s not all about rules and Sundays.
Sabbath In Practice
After moms of wading slowly into sabbath, last weekend I decided it was time to dive in. I chose this on a Friday and had it all planned out. We would start having our ‘feast days’ our Sunday dinners, if you will, on Saturdays. So we could have leftovers on Sunday after church and rest. Well, that didn’t work out. I spent all day Saturday making a ton of freezer meals and ran out of time to create our feast. Then Austen seized all day Saturday as well and seized Sunday morning.
A while back, I wrote a post about how I refuse to let myself feel bad if we have to miss church. Last Sunday, I felt terrible. We have missed a lot of church lately. Whether due to illness, Austen’s seizures, or Addi going to violin camp. It has been about 4-5 weeks since I have stepped foot at the alter and I needed church last Sunday, notably since I will be missing tomorrow due to being in Dallas. But with Austen seizing it just wasn’t an option.
I sat an cried. Church is like recharging the battery of my soul. Once I leave I feel rejuvenated and can breathe a bit deeper. I didn’t see how I could fully feel rested if I wasn’t able to go to church.
In her book, Shelly Miller mentions that when people ask her how to sabbath she tells them it’s about doing what doesn’t feel like work. To some, pulling weeds is a dreadful task. To others, it’s a time to think and restore their brains for the work they have to do on Monday. Last week, getting the kids ready for church and knowing Austen would cry the entire time through, while I was worrying whether or not she was going to seize again felt like work. It felt like a lot of work. So we stayed home.
I made our feast meal one that was quick and easy. A roast that tastes amazing but requires very little work to get in the oven.
I sat and knitted while watching a show with my kids.
I read a book while Austen, postictal from another seizure, slept in my lap.
It wasn’t how imagined my perfect sabbath to be. But it was, without a doubt, perfect.