In Praise of Mini-Sabbaths

“six days you shall labor and do all your work”

Exodus 20:9

~

 

Ah….. Wednesday afternoon.  It has become a favorite time of mine.  So have Monday mornings.  In my new season of life ~ one kid in college = one less kid to homeschool; one busy sports calendar (#hockeymom); oh, and a part-time job for me ~  Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons have become my “mini-Sabbaths”.  And I’m praising God for them.

There’s a lot of my calendar where I don’t have control.  Hockey practices and games, Bible study, work, dinner… these things have to be done at certain times, either because someone else is in charge, or because it’s just gastronomically required.  Other things in my life also need to be done ~ like teaching my son or helping my daughter with something, laundry and sundry homemaking pleasures (no, that’s not sarcasm) ~ but I can work them in when it makes sense for me.  I have some control.  Then there are things like reading, writing, a phone call to a friend, that aren’t obligations, but are necessary for my sanity and sense of well-being.

That’s where mini-Sabbaths come in.  This is when I can take mental and emotional deep-breaths.  (And sometimes actual deep breaths.)  They give me time to catch up and refocus.  They are times of peace and rest.  They give me time to think, and I come away re-energized.  Monday mornings are also a chance to get my ducks in a row for the week, and Wednesday afternoons are a chance to get my ducks in a row for the rest of the week.

Have you noticed recently how many things in your life need to be re-charged?  The phone, the computer, the iPod, maybe even the camera if you’re old school like that (we are).  But they all re-charge at different paces.  The camera battery has to be plugged in overnight for it to get a full-charge, whereas my phone might need less than an hour.

People are like that too.  We all need to recharge, but not in the same way (reading, sleeping, listening to music) and not for the same length of time.  My daughter and I were laughing recently at a skin care item we’d seen called “Balancing Dynamics”.  “Sounds like a contradiction in terms,” I said.  To balance something means to level it out, and something that’s dynamic is constantly changing.  How can you balance something that’s constantly changing?  And then I thought, that’s exactly why you have to keep working to balance it. Life ain’t getting any less dynamic this side of heaven.

The Sabbath exists to strengthen us and give us rest.  It gives me a chance to balance.  I know what edifies me, and what exhausts me, and my mini-Sabbaths enable me to “labor six days” as He commanded, doing and accomplishing in my life, without burning out or snapping at my husband and kids.

Which means I’m probably not the only one praising God for them.

 

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~ “Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day

    and hallowed it.” ~

Exodus 20:11

~

 

Answers to yesterday’s “First Lines” quiz:

Moby Dick

Peter Pan

Genesis

The Wind in the Willows

John

Lamentations

Ecclesiastes

1984

The Grapes of Wrath

Exodus

The Great Gatsby

 

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