Creating a home of rest
We are created in the image of Christ.
An image that bears more than we can fathom. However, from the beginning, we know that God worked and worked and worked to create life and it was good. Then he rested. That day of rest was later incorporated into the work week for the Jews and they called it the Sabbath. A day set aside to not work; to rest. However, I find it interesting that even though He rested on the seventh day, He was not inactive.* He rested, yet he still marveled at His creation and enjoyed the things he created. (Hebrews 4)
Do you know that as a wife, as a suitable helper for your husband, you should create space in your day, in your week and throughout the year for your family to rest. Not necessarily in the, "I need to get a nap in every day" kind of rest.
A Sabbath rest.
The Hebrew meaning of shabbat— "to cease, to stop, to pause." We live in a culture that is counterintuitive to this very concept. We are pushed to juggle, multi-task and then post pictures on all of our successes managing these tasks as homeschooling parents, homemakers, working moms and all the combinations in between as if we get a reward for all the tasks we can juggle.
We are more apt to subconsciously become a servant of our schedules than consciously serve Christ. To consciously serve Christ we must be disciplined in thought and action until it becomes more of our nature only possible through the spirit.
Sadly, to create moments of "Sabbath" in our day and life we must consciously be aware of our priorities and move toward discipline and action in setting aside those moments of rest for ourselves and our families. When we enter a Sabbath rest, we can enjoy God's creation and freely worship him without being bogged down with our human tendencies of worry or anxiety.
Now don't get me wrong, working hard is necessary and good, but I will never forget these wise words I read in Priscilla Shirer's book, "Fervent".
"The enemy's intention is always to enslave you... he is actually not biased toward limiting his temptations to bad things. He can enslave you to good things, too. Your job, your ministry, even your recreational hobbies— nothing is so healthy and life-giving that he can't turn it into a cruel taskmaster, one that bosses you around and runs your life."
I read this book when it first came out and I could read it over and over and I highly recommend it.
For me, any time I go to the beach or go to the mountains (really, any time in nature) I marvel at the works of God and a supernatural sense of peace and rest come over my soul. I know that comes from God placing eternity in my heart and knowing that he desires us to be close to him and then resting in His presence. It is why my heart craves to be in those places. So how do we create that rest in our every day?
Rest looks like having peace from saying no to something you once would have felt pressured to say yes to.
Rest looks like being content in being present and not feeling guilty about not doing the 5 other things this world would say makes a "successful" Mom or Wife.
Rest looks like giving your stresses and worries to God and knowing that His peace will be your strength.
Rest looks like being more concerned about pleasing God in how you lead and care for your family than pleasing others around you and bending to their perceptions on the choices you make regarding life and family.
Rest looks like living a free life in Christ and not a life of shame from the things the enemy deems you unworthy (also known as insecurities).
Rest looks like knowing that you are right where God wants you to be and being mindful of fulfilling God's purpose on your life.
It is thankfulness for the sick days that slow you down. Thankfulness for the plans that did not go how you expected. Thankfulness for the times when all you can do is be still and listen for God to guide you because you do not have the answers.
My husband Josh and I are both very driven and have the tendency to lean toward throwing ourselves into work and plans with everything we have, which makes time of rest difficult for us. Especially since I work in the home with homeschooling, blogging, housework and he not only works at the office but always has work to do in the evenings and weekends. God has blessed us incredibly with guiding us into this life that we had always hoped and dreamed for, but if we are not intentional with our times of "rest" it would be easy for us to be bound to our work and schedules.
When incorporating times of Sabbath into our home, I knew it might look different than what others would consider to be their Sabbath, but it will look different for everyone. If we are home, we are likely to be in "work" mode. It is incredibly hard and rare for us to rest and relax at home. When we have a weekend away or a vacation, we are able to find relief in our every day efforts to just work and actually enjoy time with our family and time to rest and renew our minds.
Our homeschooling Sabbath looks like a bike ride on the trail or a hike at the nature center. Really, anything to get us outside and away from the tasks at home.
My Sabbath as a Mom looks like time in the word to refocus and rejuvenate. Time in prayer to align myself with the Spirit to be guided in truth and wisdom in all the decisions that will be thrown my way on a daily basis.
Our times of Sabbath as a family are always opportunities to get away for a weekend or even a week at a time where we can focus on the priorities God has placed in our lives. When we schedule regular trips away, we stay more connected in thankfulness and praise to God for what he has done in our lives.
"From the ends of the earth I cry to help from you when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!" —Psalm 61:2-4
Wives and mothers, God has created you in a beautiful image that bears the load of care taker and suitable helper, an image you are made to bear and to carry out well. You have the ability to manage all these "things" that get thrown your way, but how you manage them is key. Have you created a "Sabbath" into your day, week or year? What does rest look like for your family?
My prayer is that you feel encouraged and loved through this blog. I hope you have an incredible week, and as we are headed home from a week of "rest" (follow me over on Instagram for pictures from our recent vacation) I can not stress enough how vital it is for you to create these moments in your schedule for you and your family.
Love and hugs—