Keeping Sunday a Sabbath

I love a sweet Sunday afternoon nap. I love the warm sheets in a cool room and the rumble of a storm echoing at my window. It’s wonderfully lazy and beautifully quiet.

But sometimes, Sunday is chaotic. Sometimes I have to run to the grocery store for a dessert to bring to the church potluck. Sometimes I get emails from my boss. Sometimes the garage door sticks. Sometimes we run out of dog food. Sometimes, it’s not a sleepy or lazy afternoon at all. Some weeks, my Sundays aren’t Sabbaths. They’re stressful.

Those Sundays don’t look like what I think a Sabbath should look like— one that’s restful, peaceful and quiet. You’ve heard it before— that we’re overloaded in a fast-paced world running on caffeine fumes and we need to slow down, but I don’t want to just slow down. I want to stop, to breathe, to rest.

Slowing down isn’t enough. I have to remind myself to not just slow down on Sunday. I need to stop. I need to remember the Sabbath because I’ve forgotten about it, and so here at my dirty kitchen table, with a wet dog at my feet and laundry to do and a book to write and a full week ahead, I’m resting in him, “for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work,” Hebrews Chapter 4 says.

I’ve made Sundays about my recovery, my reward, my relief for the week, and I’ve still been so tired. I have still been so exhausted. I’ve still been so frustrated, and so I’m exchanging my idea of Sunday and entering God’s rest. I’m not hiding in God’s rest or fighting for God’s rest. I’m entering it.

Joyfully. Hopelessly. Wearily.

Sabbath quiets my soul, which has spent most of the week crying out for perfection. I will never be the wife or writer or woman I think I should be, and God’s rest reminds me that my very best is fulfilled in Christ. I can rest. I can stop and breathe and know that his grace is perfect.

I’m remembering the glory and grace of the Sabbath again. I’m picking up at the place where I forgot it, and even if my Sundays don’t look like the traditional Sabbaths all the time, even when it’s chaotic, my prayer is that I rest in God’s peace through it all.

Because I worry a lot that I’m not hustling enough in my writing and so I dream up amazing plans and set deadlines and goals. I have the best ideas and plans for my week and the greatest motivation to power through the days ahead, but Sunday, I’m giving it up.

I’m giving it up and entering God’s rest. I’ve long used Sunday as a day to thumb through my to-do lists and schedule my calendar, but I’ve forgotten the greatness and holiness of the day.

I’m remembering it again.

I’m keeping the Sabbath by giving up my plans. I’m resting in the promise that my week will be so much more than I could have imagined and so much sweeter than I had planned.

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NOTE: I’m linking up at The High Calling today.

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5 thoughts on “Keeping Sunday a Sabbath

  1. dukeslee says:

    Amanda,

    This is delightful and soul-refreshing. “I’m keeping the Sabbath by giving up my plans.” That’s it, isn’t it? A day when we really remember what it means to surrender, and then actually practicing it in our real lives. Thank you for this. So grateful that you’ve linked up with us at The High Calling.

  2. laura says:

    In this crazy world it’s sometimes hard to see how Sabbath is this–entering God’s rest, as you say–and not about a day off, recovery. I’m excited about the Sabbath theme this week at the High Calling. So much good stuff to reflect on about the benefits of keeping Sabbath. I’m glad I found you there, at the link up.

  3. It is so hard these days being pulled in every direction all the time. Good for you for Keeping the Sabbath. It can be any day, don’t you think, and every day, if you take just a moment to sit and breathe and live in gratitude for all that you do have. Continue to take time for yourself and to connect/re-connect with your Divine. It will most definitely feed your soul. Namaste.

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