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

Posts tagged ‘refreshment’

Mini-Sabbaths

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Life has been uber busy these last two weeks.  We have transitioned from our winter stay in Georgia back to our home in Western New York.  ?????Packing up, driving two days in caravan mode, unpacking two cars, settling in, recovering from the stomach bug not to mention all the things on my calendar that had to be done as soon as I got back including a wedding and preaching the same weekend.  All of which I consciously accepted and for which I was excited.  Nonetheless, I found myself petering out long before any of my tasks were completed.

And I did something totally novel for me.  I stopped and rested!!!exhaustedwoman on bed

I listened to my body, which was pretty adamant, and took a breather.  When I first sat or laid down, I wasn’t sure my back would stop aching or my tiredness would disappear without days of rest.  However, within 20 minutes the spasms were gone and I felt like myself again. 

Time business concept.Twenty minutes!  Then, I was up and about my tasks again until the tiredness tapped me on the shoulder and said “excuse me…time for a break”.  I became obedient to that message.  And guess what?  Everything got done. 

Imagine how much better we would all feel if we took the 24 hour Sabbath rest that God commands us to take? 

Over and over I need to relearn this lesson that rest makes me more productive.  It does not make me lazy.  It also makes me a happier, more creative person who enjoys life so much more.spiritual energy 

How are you doing on listening to God, your body, mind and spirit?  Is resting a part of your routine?  God knew it would bless our lives and when I listen I know it too. 

“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” 1 Corinthians 1.20b

Find those mini Sabbaths and work up to the wisdom of a 24 hour Sabbath.

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Basics

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Let’s get back to basics this week. 

Sabbath rest is commanded by God for our benefit.  It is a command and not a suggestion.

Laboring for six days requires resting for one.  Our bodies, minds and spirits need rest to renew and replenish themselves for the next six days of labor.

Sabbath is a time of reflection on the week gone by, a time for refreshment that nourishes body and soul, a time to stop creating and enjoy the creation.  slider #2

Sabbath leads us to appreciate the more of life – as in there is more to life than a six day a week routine of work, obligations and housework. 

Sabbath is the long exhale after a week of inhaling the stressors of life.

Sabbath is possible if we make time for it and allow ourselves to be restored through rest.

relaxing-daySabbath reminds us that we are the creatures and not the Creator. 

Taking time for Sabbath just may save your life. 

Bend your will and obey the command.

Open yourself up to the possibility that Sabbath rest can be life-changing and life-enhancing.

Be still in the presence of God.

WILL

by

Marcia Falk

Three generations back my family had only

to light a candle and the world parted.

Today, Friday afternoon, I disconnect clocks and phones.

When night fills my house with passages,

I begin saving my life.

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“Be sill and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46.10

Blessings,

Nancy

Spiritual Happy Hour

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I came across the term spiritual happy hour the other day and I love it!  Never quite considered having a spiritual happy hour.  We all know the concept behind happy hour – at 5 o’clock or after work you go to a bar, have a few half-priced drinks to unwind and go home feeling relaxed and ‘happy’. 

But a spiritual happy hour?  What is that? A time to read the Bible and have a cocktail?  Me thinks not!  When I think of a spiritual happy hour I think about times that make my spirit soar and that refresh me not just with feeling happy but filling me with joy.Woman praising and enjoying golden sunset

In a secular happy hour we take an artificial stimulant to change our mood and allow us to forget our less than happy circumstances.  In a spiritual happy hour we don’t need anything artificial to change our mood and we come to see that outside circumstances, happy or not, have nothing to do with being filled with joy.  The joy of the spirit comes from the inside and from knowing to whom you belong. 

So what are some of the things that make up a spiritual happy hour?  Well, for many people prayer, meditation, Bible reading and devotional time provide what they need for a spiritual happy hour.  For others though it could be a walk in a beautiful setting, the buck garden in new jersayor a piece of music that transports you in time and space, or a meal shared with dear friends or family, or a conversation of depth and meaning with the one you love. 

In all of these examples something happens to you that takes out of the realm of the every day and connects to something bigger than you and your circumstances.  You know that you are more than just speck of dust in the universe.  You feel loved.  You feel grateful.  You feel a grace and peace flow through you that doesn’t come from work, money or success.  You are changed in this hour and it shows. 

When was the last time you took a spiritual happy hour?  Well, as they say “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.”  Let the happy hour begin.

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”  Isaiah 55.12

Blessings,

Nancy

Snuggle Time Sabbath

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I love it when my 5-year-old granddaughter says she wants to snuggle.  What that signals is time for the fuzzy blanket, a clean thumb and another warm body near by.  And when she is under the blanket with her thumb in her mouth and Mommy or Nana next to her she relaxes completely.  You can feel the tension, the crankiness, or whatever else she is holding in her little body and soul melt away. 

She is at peace and she is happy.

So am I.

snuggleWhen was the last time you had a snuggle with another person – child or adult; or a beloved pet?  It is a time of complete of rest and refreshment. 

Part of Sabbath time can be filled with a good snuggle…maybe even a good snuggle with God.  Getting as close to God as you can and really letting yourself relax into God’s arms, peace and joy.  Some people do this with prayer or meditation.  Others with journaling.  Some go into nature and others find themselves in a beautiful sanctuary.  What works for you?

Use that place to be a snuggle time Sabbath moment for you.  

“May the peace that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 4.7

Blessings, 

Nancy

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 Labor Day

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Happy Labor Day Weekend! 

I’ve often thought it curious that a day that was supposed to be about NOT working is called Labor Day.  In the Bible it is called Sabbath and it isn’t just a day off once a year but a weekly one.  And yet, given our busy lifestyles, Sabbath might more correctly be called Labor Day than Labor Day is!

So it seems to me that on Labor Day weekend we actually get two ‘Sabbaths’ if we honor the intent of the two days. How will you spend your two days of rest from your labors?  Unfortunately, I know many people will labor on both days not giving themselves any down time or God time at all.   Don’t be one of them…

This is a weekend to spend time with family and friends.  The original Sabbath held space and time for family and friends to be together and enjoy each other.  While together they also recognized that God was part of their family as well.   Thanksgiving, blessing, rejoicing, sharing and being together in the presence of God filled their Sabbath time with a sense of peace and well-being.  It was a time to shut out the rest of the world and to remember that God was the creator, the provider and the deliverer of freedom.  At the end of Sabbath they ate something sweet that would allow the sweetness of the Sabbath to remain in them as they returned to their labors and awaited another Sabbath Day to rest.

Incorporating thanksgiving, blessing, rejoicing, sharing and being together in the presence of God this weekend could make your Labor Day/Sabbath time extraordinarily memorable and refreshing.  And at the end of it, eat something sweet to remind you that God is good and that rest time is a sweet gift.

“Taste and see the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”  Psalm 34.8

Happy Refreshing,    Nancy                                         IMG_1998

 

Gallery

Sabbath Moments and The Sabbath Habit

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

IMG_1861  Doesn’t this sculpture remind you of summer and being a kid?  I love this sculpture.  How wonderful to have nothing to do but to explore, discover and to ride on the back of a turtle!

Summer may be the best time to get into the Sabbath habit because the weather lulls us into a more leisurely way of living.  If we are smart, we take time to smell the roses, drink the iced tea and walk the beach before the season leaves us for another year. 

Sabbath is also a time, if we are smart, when we take time to refresh ourselves from a week of work and rest from our labors.  And Sabbath Moments are those little breaks in the day that we can call upon God and rest our stress, weariness or worries in God’s arms. 

Last week I wrote about how crazy busy I was and that my Sabbath Moments came on the run or not at all relying only on what spiritual energy I had stored up from other Sabbath Moments.  This week I found that no matter how hard I tried to get back into the routine and less than crazy busyness of my life, I could not. 

I was exhausted and my spirit and my body were not willing to go any further until I rested.  Of course, being the slow learner that I am I ignored what my body and spirit were telling me and tried to catch up on everything I let go last week.  That little voice in my head kept telling me to keep going, push on and get something done.  

And nothing happened.  I was unproductive on a large-scale. 

Now, this made me frustrated so instead of resting I tried harder.  (You know I write this stuff for my own sake and not because I have it mastered, don’t you?)  Finally, on Wednesday I listened to my body and spirit and shut the mind down.     I took many, many Sabbath Moments on Thursday and I found my energy restored and my rhythm came back to me. 

Listening to my body and spirit is something that I must continually remind myself to do.   Our bodies give us wonderful signals that we are in need of rest. We all listen when we get sick but why does it take that to get our attention? I should have known something was up with my body when my chiropractor suggested I return to see him again on Friday after my Wednesday visit!    Our spirits sigh in exasperation as we ignore the nudges and signs that are anything but subtle.  Those dreams of getting massages and having my hair done were not just wishful thinking.  They were my spirit telling me to take some time to reconnect with my deepest self. 

And God, well God, must be so incredibly patient as I too often ignore the call and command to drink deeply from God’s word and keep the Sabbath.

How about you?  Are you Sabbath-challenged like I am from time to time?  I do know I am learning, if slowly, and rest does a body and soul good.     And the most amazing thing is that God is there waiting for me when I stop and seek out the One who breathes life into my weary bones. 

“I’ll breathe my life into you and you’ll live.  Then I’ll lead you straight back to your land and you’ll realize that I am God.” Ezekiel 357.14  (The Message)

Blessings,

Nancy

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