True Transformation - 31 Days of Sabbath : 18

Sabbath is easier to write about than it is to live.

I don’t know why this surprises me. You’d think years of Bible study in which fun, uplifting, encouraging lessons gets kneaded into my life in a gritty, painful, blisters-on-the-soul kind of way would have taught me something.

But it always comes as a bit of a shock.

You mean, it’s takes work?

Yesterday, we attempted a family-wide Sabbath for the first time ever. The two main rules were: No screens, and no work that felt obligatory. Corey and the kids did great. Kieran took a long nap, Corey took Natalie and Connor and built a small workbench, Teyla and I colored and painted and did puzzles. Everyone else seemed to have a great day of being together, resting from work and delighting in God’s many gifts.

But I was restless. Like a dog with a bone, my mind gnawed on the coming week, trying to fit together the tasks that need to get done. I didn’t have food prepared ahead of time, so dinner ended up being leftovers. I kept gravitating toward my phone to check the weather, check the hours of the local library, look up that recipe. I felt (dare I say it?) bored.

Part of my issues – I can’t type that word without putting mental finger quotes around it – can be addressed by preparing more for my day of rest. It would benefit me to have some of my week laid out before I try to set everything aside; otherwise, the details that I normally control turn around and control me. It would be wise to have an easy meal planned. It would also be helpful for me to have some plans for the littles and me. Maybe a craft? Maybe a letter writing extravaganza to our sponsored kids? Maybe we plan an act of kindness to do anonymously that week? I think I would do better with structure. I rest best within a framework of order.

But even though yesterday was more stressful than restful for me, I will not let this go. Because now I have an appetite for God’s rest. This is the fruit of 10 months of Sabbath study. My mind is being transformed. And that is half the battle.
Under God's economy, nothing really changes until our minds do. Transformation is the fruit of a changed outlook. First our minds are renewed, and then we are transformed, and then everything is different, even if it stays the same.
- The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath, Mark Buchanan


  1. Thanks for being honest about your struggles with this lesson. Sometimes we read blogs and think that others have it all figured out or are holier or whatever. I know that is never the case, but it is always nice to see someone admit it! We had a Sabbath morning yesterday, although not entirely intentionally. Still, a good morning.

  2. I am so bad at resting. I canNOT turn off the to-do list. I feel guilty! Like I'll never make up for the lost time. Thanks for being honest. It's hard to believe it can take work to be intentional about rest, but it's so true!

  3. About four years ago our family began having a weekly sabbath (we still miss some weeks ad we always justify it with "good reasons", but we try--very imperfectly). I promise, you WILL get better at it as you do. As odd a it sounds, resting is a discipline. Dont be afraid to write those scattered thoughts down so that you can let them go. Putting the words on paper--do this, look at that, look up this recipe tomorrow--means I won't forget it and I have an easier time letting it go and getting back to resting. Good luck to you on your journey!