If you have a toddler at home, you know that no matter how exhausted he is, he resists going to bed. The wearier he gets, the more he fights. I remember my son throwing himself on the floor to kick and scream, “I don’t NEED a nap! I’m NOT tired!”
When my kids did this, I rolled my eyes and tried not to laugh, but actually I’m not so different. I’ll stay up late, get up early, and multi-task until my brain goes haywire. I’ll work past the point of exhaustion to get one more thing done. Then I fill my weekends with projects.
Maybe it’s time we took another look at the Sabbath.
The Almighty certainly didn’t need to rest, but He chose to set an example for us. He commanded His people to observe the Sabbath because He knew they needed a regular rhythm of work followed by rest to recharge.
But many of us have a hard time resting on Sundays.
If you serve in full-time ministry, it’s a work day for you. If you’re a parent of small children, corralling the kids into church clothes and out the door might exhaust you more than anything you do all week.
Sometimes we sabotage our Sabbath by filling it with activities:
- Social commitments
- Grocery shopping and errands
- Yard work and house maintenance
- E-mail and paperwork
Of course nothing’s wrong with doing one or two of these things on Sunday, but if we’re not careful, we wake up on Monday more tired than ever.
How Can Busy Women Really Rest?
Minimize Weekend Chores
I’m exploring lifestyle changes to lessen time I spend doing chores on my rest day. Adopting one or two of these ideas might help you too:
- Break down a large task, like cleaning the garage, into small chunks, and do it over a week rather than on Sunday afternoon.
- Run errands after work on a week day.
- Do 15 minutes of cleaning each day, so housework doesn’t pile up for the weekend.
- If you must clean on the weekend, set a timer for 45 minutes. When it rings, stop.
- Rest from cooking. Eat leftovers, sandwiches, or takeout.
Maximize Relationship with God and People
Joining corporate worship provides a weekly rhythm of grace for our families. A few extra minutes with God, whether it’s time to read a devotional book or take a prayer walk, can refuel our spirits. Our family has a long-standing tradition: pancake breakfast before church. Sunday is also a great time to watch a movie, play a game, or go outdoors together.
Choose the Best Time for Your Sabbath
If Sunday’s a work day, or just plain exhausting, how about choosing another Sabbath time? Maybe you can’t take another day off, but you might find a consistent pocket of time during your week when you can refuel. I take Monday afternoons off after home school.
God ordained the Sabbath as a gift for us because He knew that we’d be happier and work more effectively with regular breaks. Sabbath rest may look different for each of us. Watching a movie with my family is restful for me, but a mother of small children might prefer to leave her kids with a sitter and go sit in a coffee shop.
Now it’s your turn. Is Sunday a rest day for you? Do you have a hard time unplugging from responsibilities?
This was originally posted at Barbie Swihart’s Whispers of Grace. Visit Barbie’s blog, and I think you’ll enjoy her beautiful graphics and transparent words as much as I do. She also hosts a Saturday linkup.