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

Posts tagged ‘renewal’

Soul Cravings

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Haven’t written much lately because, quite honestly, I was off seeking some Sabbath time whenever I could.  As I thought about the drive behind this very intense time of Sabbath moments, I realized that my soul actually craved the time so fiercely that I had no choice but to listen and respond.

I’m not talking about feeling tired so I took a nap, although I did that too.  I’m nappingnot talking about pausing to read a few good chapters in a book, although I did that too.  No, what I am talking about when I say soul cravings is a visceral, almost indescribable, pull toward quiet or gentleness or solitude.  The pull, the craving, so large, so powerful that it directed my steps before my conscious mind could respond – (read talk me out of it.)

Have you ever felt those soul cravings?    I’m sure I have felt them before and yet this past month they have overruled my task nature so strongly that I have come to see them almost as a supernatural force (read God) compelling me. 

slider #2The results of those quiet times in the midst of busyness, of soft music as I drifted off to nap time, of the feel of a soft breeze on my face as I sought a sanctuary of solitude outside was serenity.  This serenity permeated not only my soul but my mind too.  I was so much more patient.  I laughed more. My stress level decreased a hundred fold.  I found a flow in my day that wasn’t there before these moments. 

What made these moments different from other Sabbath moments I have taken over the years?  I’m not sure.  Perhaps it was the compelling nature of them that went far beyond my usual “I’ll rest on schedule” and caused me to abandon what I was doing to seek the deeper connection with my soul in that moment.   Whatever the reason, I felt the difference and I.do.not.want.to.lose.it. 

I may have just described a unique experience and yet I think not.  We all have soul cravings.  The difference for me this time was my soul was hungry for true Sabbath it took over my body and my mind. 

As the old story of the African tribesmen goes when they were guiding a group of American businessmen on a safari who refused to slow down except for a few hours of sleep each night.  wind up downThe tribesmen refused to budge one morning stating unequivocally that they were sitting still until their souls caught up to their bodies.

My body and soul have been reunited this past month and I pray that I don’t let them get separated ever again.

spiritual energy

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

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

 

 

From Sabbath Moments to Sabbath Days

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

This week I have had the very unusual opportunity to have two days with no responsibilities.  And I used them to do only things that bring me rest, joy and space to be creative.  Now, some of you may think what’s the big deal? Believe me this is a HUGE deal for me. I am one of those people who teaches best what she most needs to learn.  Taking a full 24 hours for downtime and not for errands or chores in the midst of a regular week is not my MO.  Taking two 24 hour days to do that is unheard of unless I am on vacation or sick.  

One day was by choice and one was a surprise.  One was a weekend day where I just decided to shut down and be engaged in a full Sabbath.  The other was a weekday that caught me off guard and almost threw me into a panic because it wasn’t planned out.  Then, I realized I didn’t have to plan it out.  All I needed to do was enjoy it and by the end of it I had experienced a second Sabbath in the same week.

Ahh…sigh…bliss…blessing.

There is no doubt that taking Sabbath Moments to be with God keeps me connected in my busy life every day.  And, they are no substitute for a full 24 hour Sabbath in the rest, refreshment and renewal of God’s gift to us. 

So here is my challenge to you Sabbath Seekers:  Take a 24 hour Sabbath rest this week or at least by the end of the month.  Establish a habit of one a month – more if you can.  I know it may take some creative scheduling on your part but it will be well worth it.  Jesus often took a day to go off alone and pray and just be with God.  If Jesus needed it and could do it, it seems that we could follow his example. 

Sabbath is a sacred time that allows for healing of the body, mind and spirit from the trauma and wounds of every day living.  Create this type of space and environment in your life and let it be a non-negotiable. 

“Therefore, God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.”  Exodus 20.11b The Message

Be blessed, be still

Nancy

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