happiness

Sabbath Sundays.

One thing I’d like to start doing this year is implementing a Sabbath day in my week. Since I work Monday through Fridays and usually run errands on Saturdays, Sunday is the perfect day for my personal Sabbath (and when my husband doesn’t work on some Sundays, this is a great time for us to relax together). Last week Sunday was New Year’s Day, and the perfect Sabbath kick-off. We slept in late, spent a lot of time talking about the future, did a little bit of cleaning, lounged around on the couch, and went out for dinner and a movie. I don’t advocate cleaning or going out much on Sabbath days, but it was personally a good start for us and every moment was full of joy. It was a day that we truly needed.

Actually, my entire first week of January was incredibly relaxing. Work wasn’t terribly hectic and every evening was free for me to unwind. I can’t remember the last time I had a week with no evening commitments. What a glorious thing to have sometimes. I am cherishing every moment while I can, because I know not every week will be like this. I’m also looking forward to using some of those evenings to reconnect with my friends.

Today was absolutely lovely. I slept in a little bit, worked out with my husband, enjoyed a simple breakfast with him, hung out with my cats, washed my clothes, continued reading a couple books, drank tea, texted some friends, cooked a light lunch using leftovers, listened to music, and wrote this post. I know I will go to work tomorrow feeling refreshed!

I highly recommend you carve out some time for a Sabbath if you haven’t already. Your week probably seems busy with work, school, appointments, kids, errands, driving around, and other commitments. Then you have to cook/eat, clean, find time to sleep, maintain relationships, and overall just never get a chance to rest! Resting is just as important as being productiveWithout rest, your body works and works until it burns out. With rest, your body is recharged and ready to dive back into your busy schedule! Find one day you can keep to yourself. If a whole day just isn’t feasible, carve out a few hours in an afternoon and slowly increase the time.

What To Do On A Sabbath

  • Read a book.
  • Write.
  • Listen to music.
  • Play a board game.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Play outside.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Take photographs.
  • Create something.
  • Make love.
  • Spend time with your family.
  • Pray. Meditate. Spent time in quiet.

What NOT To Do On A Sabbath

  • Anything work-related. No emails. No phone calls. No thoughts.
  • Cleaning. Create time to clean the day before.
  • Laundry. Make sure everything has been done earlier.
  • Working on the house or in the garden (unless that’s your hobby).
  • Shopping. Do your shopping earlier in the week.
  • Finances. No paying bills, balancing checkbooks, nothing.

What to Limit On A Sabbath

  • Time on the Internet and within social media.
  • Your phone. Putting it away or turning it off is best.
  • Cooking. You obviously have to eat, but try to prepare meals ahead of time if you can, or make this the night you throw a frozen pizza in the oven.
  • Cleaning. Cleaning a recent spilled mess is fine, but try to avoid whipping out the vacuuming or giving your bathroom a complete scrub-down. Have dirty dishes? Put them in the dishwasher or clean them right away. If you’re not cooking on Sabbath, you shouldn’t have too many dishes to clean anyway.
  • Workouts. Sometimes your Sabbath seems like the best day for you to work out, but your body really needs to rest. Try not to make it a habit of working out on your Sabbath day. Some relaxing yoga might be OK.

Of course, no Sabbath has to be perfect, and we all have different things we enjoy doing, so create your Sabbath to make it the day you want it to be. What could you add to the list above? If you already have a Sabbath day, how do you spend it?

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6 thoughts on “Sabbath Sundays.

    1. Oh, my two Sabbaths so far have not been computer-free (how else would I have written this?), but that is an aim I have for future ones. Maybe instead of dumping the computer altogether, you just allow yourself on it during certain times.

  1. Wow – loved this post. Just started following you. I’ve been working on a dissertation (almost done, yay!) and have taken Sundays off. It sharpens my focus for the week, even though it’s time away from “productivity.” Our family spends lunch together after church, we enjoy each other’s company. You hit the nail on the head with this one. (It also brought some astonishment, that the Creator designed us to enjoy a weekly day of rest, rather than frenetically trying to work every day. That’s cool.)Blessings on your Sabbath tomorrow!

    1. What is your dissertation on? I’m glad you’ve decided to take Sundays off and have noticed the benefits. Your Sundays sound lovely. I, unfortunately, was not able to take my Sabbath this past week as I was out of town for a business convention (oh, the irony), but I look forward to next week’s! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. I write a lot about Sabbath on my blog, since I’ve written a book on it: Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity (Zondervan 2009).Sabbath realligns priorities, makes you more productive, yet less frantic.I had four books release in 2010, and worked a part time job, and raised my teenagers. And practiced Sabbath. Giving God your time will make you more productive. It’s one of the places where you “can’t outgive God.” Sabbath has been, for me, one of the most profoundly transformational spiritual practices I’ve ever engaged in. Here’s a link to a recent column I wrote for church leaders on Sabbath: http://www.buildingchurchleaders.com/articles/2012/joysabbath.html

    1. Your book, Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity, was actually the first book I read this month and the inspiration for this post. It is also how I found your website. (I also read Breathe right after that one.) I absolutely loved what you wrote and it had me constantly thinking about how I could realign my life to create not just time for myself, but time for Him and others. I find that when I set aside that time, I am so much more refreshed. I am sure that in the midst of your four books, teenagers, and job, your Sabbaths were very cherished. People who lead busy lives are in need of a Sabbath the most. You are more than right — we are so much more productive when we partake in Sabbath. I only wish that everyone find and embraces this idea. Thank you for the link to the article — I will take a look at it now! 🙂

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