Sabbath in Motherhood

For the past five plus years I have heard people speak about taking a Sabbath and laugh, I mean I am a mom of four, count them:

1. 2, 3, 4, little people. How in the world am I supposed to not work one day a week? My work involves wiping butts, cleaning up messes and making sure the growing little people are sustained with some form of caloric intake each day. Rest is non-existent in my world. I have had the word Sabbath written in a journal for weeks, maybe months, in hopes to study up on it, to get a better understanding so I could find ways to honor God in a weekly Sabbath. I decided I needed to get a better understanding of Shabbat first and foremost.

I decided to do a quick Google search and see what I could come up with, first were a lot of dictionary answers and a wiki page but then I ran across www.jewfaq.org and there I found some fascinating insights I hadn’t previously understood. The first thing the site says is, “Shabbat is a joyful day of rest.” [Emphasis mine] That sentiment alone is paradigm shifting for me. In our current culture taking a day off is nearly unheard of and as a mom stopping for a day sounds overwhelming because what about all of the things I need to get done. In Jewish culture Shabbat is something they look forward to with great anticipation, it is referred to as a bride or queen. A bride is never denied on her wedding day, nor should we deny Shabbat.

There are two commandments that go with Shabbat: to remember (zakhor) and to observe (shamor). In the origination of Shabbat it was too commemorate two things, the creation and the exodus from Egypt. So in the command to zakhor God was calling the Israelites to remember how He created the heavens and the earth as well as their freedom from slavery to the Egyptians. Practically for me in this time I feel as though it is to remember God as creator and how He has set me free from my bondage. I am not sure I give pause weekly to all God has saved and redeemed me from and to do that is to take part in Shabbat. Shamor has more to do with the practicality of how God desires us to honor Him and the Sabbath. In Jewish law the word that has been translated as “work” is the word “melachah.” Melachah has nothing to do with your occupation, which makes sense, seeing that priest can still lead services, instead it has to do with a work that is creative or something you can control within your environment, taking dominion of something.

When Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath” he meant it. The Sabbath isn’t about restricting you from things it is about freeing you up for the important things in life, God and family. The Sabbath about making room, being intentional with time to truly celebrate and embrace the life the Lord has set before you. Typing this out makes me giddy with anticipation and teary-eyed thinking of how lovingly God was to carve out time to invest in family. He truly is for us. He wants us to have a pleasurable life, full of joy.Sabbath

As of right now I don’t know what this is going to look like in our household but mark my word I am going to allow my shifted mindset to create new parameters for our week. I will raise my boys to mindfully celebrate the freedom Christ brought and the beauty of God’s creation each and every week. Leisurely meals are also a large part of Shabbat, so are scripture readings and playing games as a family. I love the idea of  implementing each of these aspects to our weekly Sabbath. A bride doesn’t neglect the preparations of her wedding and so I too will choose to diligently prepare for this beautiful opportunity to honor God, in honoring the Sabbath.

I hope in a few weeks or maybe months I will be able to write again about how we are observing the Sabbath in our home. Wish me luck.

Cleansing Rain

I know I have said this a number of times in blogs lately but the last 2+years have been hard on a level that one day I am sure I will share in hopes to help other people through their hard. Yesterday was a day of intentional healing for me; I have never been great at showing people, even especially Ian, where I am at emotionally. I think I have begun to uncover why but the point is I often felt as though if I was truly honest I would hurt him or worse he would choose to leave to escape the pain of me. This belief lead me to stuff my feelings through just about every intense life event both painful and joyous. I wouldn’t allow my emotions to spill over on him until I was losing my ever-loving mind and then I would as quickly as possible gather myself and push on like nothing was wrong. This weekend I shared with Ian areas where I had hidden and not expressed my need of his strength. He was gracious to me as he wrapped his arms around me and told me all of the things my heart had been so desperately longing for. I cried. He took the boys so I could have time.

As I sat there on the floor in my bedroom I began to write out a linear timeline of the last two years. Things I had not wanted to officially put on paper because if I did there was a record of it, the memories I have so hoped would one day leave that I knew wouldn’t would be forever in my leather-bound journal for generations to come to read. You know what, there was a release in that action. There was a connection in my heart in a new way that those things happened; I am still here, living, breathing and learning to thrive.

Shortly after I had finished writing clouds that had been building and billowing all day finally released all they had been holding on to. There was no lightning or thunder just an abrupt, sustaining downpour. As it continued I knew what I had to do. I was home alone to have time to relax and the next thing I knew I was running outside to play. It was as if the rain came to wash away the emotions I had been carrying, cleansing my soul of the pain.

I sent this to Ian and asked him to come home and play:

Cleansing Rain

So he did!

Worth It // Cleansing Rain

When the rain comes, choose to play. Life will always be messy, pain is inevitable but when you are in the thick of it don’t let it take your spark, always, always play.

 

What Was The Point?

This August will mark eight years since coming home from YWAM and my time around the world. Lately I have been mulling over my time overseas wondering if I really did anything. I keep seeing news reports of terrorist attacks on so many places I love and where friends have been and I start to ask myself, “What was the point?” I personally didn’t see any professions of faith or miracles although I know of teams in my school who saw great things. Then I remember the parables Jesus spoke of about seeking out the lost sheep and going after the one.

 So He told them this parable: “What man among you, who has 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it?  When he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, and coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance.

Luke 15:3-7 HCSB

That was the point, the one, I may not see how their lives unfold but I will never forget their faces and I will forever pray for them.

These two young ladies are just a small portion of the ones who captured my heart in Jaipur at a VBS we put on. Being in the slums with the Bhat people was something I will never forget. The joy that these kids had in the midst of so little was awe-inspiring. When my kids start to complain that they can’t continue playing on the iPad I remember how the simplest of things brought them such glee.Kampala Jaipur Beauty

This girl and her mother were on one of my bus rides in Turkey. Her mother was so incredibly generous to me, she saw that I was a fair-skinned blonde which is often targeted by men and so she stood up and insisted I sit with her daughter so I didn’t have to sit by a man on the bus. To see her heart to protect me was beautiful and this girl, she stole my heart. Although I only knew a few words in Turkish our time was full of smiles and giggles as we played with my camera.

Turkish Bus

The other woman in Turkey who captured my affection was a shop owner from Selçuk. She was the only lady shop owner and she told Jemma and I stories of abuse she had faced in the community just for being independent thinking. She also asked Jemma and I to pray for her which was an honor. Some of my favorite souvenirs were from her shop.ShopOwner in Selçuk In Cairo the church filled with kids where we put on skits and the room was filled with laughter is something I will never forget. Egypt was a hard place for me, I physically was ill a lot of my time there and there were multiple times where I felt demonic attack nevertheless I fell in love with the land and the people. Only to come home to meet my husband who had spent a prolonged time there shortly before I arrived. When we first married we thought we would move there, who knows maybe one day.IMG_1998

Why do I share all of this? To remind myself that they are the point, the one, the random person I met on the bus, in a shop, at a VBS they were the point of it all. For nothing else than to show them love in that moment. I may not know what impact if any was made this side of eternity but I am grateful I was given the opportunity to go in search of the one.

Maybe the one is the kid at the park who is being obnoxious but really just wants someone to play with, or perhaps the cashier who is huffing and puffing as they scan each grocery item or maybe its your very own kid who in that moment needs you in a different way and you take the time to be who it is they need.

May we always be in search of the one.