For the busy person who wants to stay connected to God throughout the week!

Archive for October, 2013

Sabbath Moments and Renewal

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Ok, life is busy.  Statement of the obvious right?  And the last few weeks have been busier than usual for me with the move, my husband’s surgery, running a business and just the day-to-day routine of living.

wind up down

My schedule is really overloaded the next few days (big mistake on my part but it is what it is).  So in the midst of feeling like I wouldn’t make any of my deadlines what did I do?

I stopped.  I took a mental health day and pampered myself.  No work, no unpacking, no chores.  There were several moments when my stomach clenched and my mind asked me “what are you thinking?”  In response, I said, “I know what I’m doing.”

And you know what?  I did!  At the end of the day I felt relaxed, refreshed and renewed.  Today I am ready to hit the ground running and will get more done than I would have had I pushed through my weariness.

Isn’t that what God had in mind when he commanded us to take a 24 hour break from our normal routine?  And I continue to wonder why I/we think I/we know better than God when it comes to using our time.

Take a Sabbath this week.  A full one.  Or at least a half a day.  See what difference it makes in your overall productivity, your attitude toward others and your gratitude to God.

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:2-4 
Be blessed in your Sabbath time,
Nancy
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Sabbath Moments and a Time Between

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

For those of you who have been following our moving saga we have completed the physical move.  At least we are out of the old house and our stuff is in the new one.  However, because it needed a bit of painting we have not been able to live there yet.  In the week between we have been living with my dear brother who was gracious enough to open his house up to us.

Each day we are spending part of the day there and then off to the new condo to see the progress.  It is likely we will be living out of boxes and suitcases for at least another week or so until we get settled. 

I don’t know about you, but when I am ‘unsettled’ I feel a little bit like I am wandering in a strange land.  Nothing is familiar, my stuff is not where I think it should be, and my rhythm of living is out of synch.  I am longing for the routine and flow of my usual way of life. 

I imagine the Hebrews felt much the same way when they were wandering in the wilderness or sent into exile.  In fact, I can really understand why the Pharisees grew to such a powerful group  as they tried to keep worship as normalized as possible  by starting synagogues in the exile.  They needed an anchor in their strange surroundings.

When I am in the ‘wilderness’ or a ‘strange land’ once the novelty has worn off, I find I crave normal.  Many times I have been on a great vacation but after a few days I begin to long for my own bed.  How about you? 

So this past week I have found a normal in my Sabbath moments.  Spending time with God reminds me that there is a normal that is always available to me.   Taking a moment or two to pray, talk or just be with God restores my rhythms and brings me peace. 

And for  me that is the beauty of Sabbath moments.  They can be taken anywhere at any time and the time in between becomes a time of Sabbath rest, renewal and refreshment. 

“Then he turned the wilderness into fresh pools of water, arid earth into springs of water, brought in the hungry and settled them there; they moved in – what a great place to live!”  Psalm 107:35-36 The Message

Blessings,
Nancy

 

 

Sabbath Moments and Hospitals

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I spent most of this last week at the hospital.  My husband had some back surgery and so I was back and forth a number of times during his 3 day stay.  Each time I entered the very busy lobby I was struck by the variety of people there.  Obviously, there were the ‘information’ people and the ‘badge wearers’ whether doctors, nurses, administrators or staff.  There were the security people watching the people and the doors very closely.  There were visitors wearing their bright blue stickers making sure everyone knew they were probably lost or looking for something or someone.  And there were the patients. 

Again, it was quite obvious who the patients were by their designer gowns, IV poles or wheelchairs.  Some were old, some were middle-aged, some in the prime of their life, some were teens and some were very young children.  But without the gowns, IV poles and wheelchairs I sensed I would have known who they were by the look in their eyes. 

I’m not quite sure how to describe the look – it was almost as if their eyes were not reflecting back the world they were seeing.  Their eyes had an inward focus as if they were seeing but only interpreting through their particular situation.  And I’m not sure that does the look justice.  It wasn’t self-centered or arrogant.  Many people only see the world through how it affects them.  It wasn’t a ‘pay attention to me’ look.  And it certainly wasn’t a ‘pity me’ look. 

The look in their eyes said I’m using all my energy to still my mind, steady my body and steer clear of this disease.  Their eyes said to me “at the moment I need to pay attention to my life and its meaning.  I am seeing things from a different perspective.”   And in that seeing is an urgency that only comes when life hangs in the balance. 

Whether they were people of faith, I do not know; but I do know that when people of faith take time to Sabbath, they see things differently. 

Sabbath is about paying attention to your life and its meaning.  Sabbath is about seeing things from a different perspective.  Sabbath is about stopping and withdrawing from the normal routine of things much as a hospital patient has to do.  Sabbath is about seeing the bigger picture of life, of creation, of relationships and how everything fits together because of the work of the creator.  Sabbath is about seeing life as the gift it is, precious and beautiful and gaining the perspective that it is fleeting and we are not in control. 

Sabbath enlivens the eyes of faith, stills our minds, steadies our bodies and steers us clear of the disease of busyness and hurry.  Sabbath saves our lives.

“Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see…” Luke 10.23

Blessings on your Sabbath eyes this week,

Nancy

 

 

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