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.

Motherhood Being Intentional to Conquer

Since becoming a mom I have been desperate to figure out how to conquer motherhood. I don’t want to be a sub par mediocre mom I want to be the mom who has it all together, the pretty, well-kept house, delectable homemade dinners, consistency, obedient children who I read to often and days filled with exploration, crafts and playtime. I want it all. I have read countless blogs, listened to podcasts and spent hours on Pinterest planning out how I am going to make this dream a reality. Yet my house is often in shambles, laundry is never fully finished and dinner dishes are often left for longer than I would like to admit. In more than one blog I have read for young mom’s on how to set your day up for success they say to get dressed in the morning down to your shoes. It sounds silly but when you are doing nothing but staying home with a house full of little people the thought of putting on clothes and adding to your laundry pile seems ridiculous. Lately I have decided I need to try harder to live my days with intentionality, I even put on shoes a few days and you know what they have a point. I am way less likely to plop down on my bed or the couch and just sit when I have shoes on they keep me moving. It is amazing how staying productive and active builds momentum and you want to keep going.

When I was actively trying out intentionality the week turned out to be slightly crazy, I mean what week isn’t with 4 kids 5 and under but this week we added sickness on top of everything. I had back to back days one of which I got to the end of and I wanted to scream and cry and then the other I felt accomplished and proud the funny thing is the day I felt great was the day that my circumstances were even more bleak. I wrote in my journal that day:

“Oh today has been interesting but I feel like a decorated warrior, sure my badges of honor may be breast milk and vomit but I defeated today and that’s what counts. Yesterday was not even close to the level of chaos and hiccups, as today was yet I felt defeated nearly the whole day through. Some how in the midst of sick kids, frustrating phone calls and loads of laundry I felt victorious, it might be because I handled each thing valiantly and was well, productive.”

There is something about productivity that just makes you feel good. I hear people talk about how they slept in and watched Netflix all day and they feel as thought they are exhausted. We were not created to be stagnant but instead to take on each day with purpose. The Proverbs are filled with wisdom about laziness and the wise man.

Verses Like…

Proverbs 20:13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!

Proverbs 20:4 The slacker does not plow during planting season; at harvest time he looks, and there is nothing.

Proverbs 12:24 Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.

Proverbs 13:4 The appetite of the sluggard craves but gets nothing, but the desire of the diligent will be abundantly satisfied.

I desperately long to be counted among the wise and even more so I want to raise my boys into wise young men. Because of this desire I will choose to be intentional and not allow life to just pass me by. I will lead by example and I will choose to strive for a spotless house in hopes to have a decently kept house (lets be real). I will work diligently so I may be abundantly satisfied.

And sometimes intentional motherhood looks like getting dressed up as pirates to go get free donuts from Krispy KremeIntentional Pirates

How are you being intentional in your life?

I Wanna Be Sedated

Do you ever have those mom days where you feel like you are losing your ever loving mind? Noise, touch, movement is causing you an increasing amount of anxiety and you just want to go and sit in a silent space but of course that is not really an option because when you are the mom and you have to make sure everyone is safe (blah blah blah). Well that is where I was at the other day and where I very may well be tomorrow.

Being in the perpetual cycle of little people I sometimes feel like my life has gotten caught in a perpetual loop, that I have been trapped in a revolving door and everyone has decided to pile in the opening I am in. There are days when the cycle is full of laughter and fun as we make a game out of life but there are times when I desperately want to rock back and forth in the fetal position and hum quietly to myself. I have not always been mindful of where I am emotionally but that is something I have been working diligently on. Just before having my fourth son I was finishing up a study with a group of ladies that has begun the process of opening my eyes to emotional self-awareness and after years of apparently numbing I am learning to recognize in the moment where I am emotionally. There are days I will use what I have learned course correct my emotional state instead of stew. The other day when I wanted to scream because a little hand touched me one too many times I decided that putting on music would be a better option than losing my mind. Instead of going to my typical choice of Bethel Music I went to a high school classic for me, The Ramones. “I Wanna Be Sedated” seemed like the perfect thing to belt out in that moment:

Twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours to go

I want to be sedated

Nothing to do, no where to go, oh

I want to be sedated

 

Just get me to the airport, put me on a plane

Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane

I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain

Oh no oh oh oh oh

 

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me on a plane

Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane

I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain

Oh no oh oh oh oh

 

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show

Hurry hurry hurry, before I go loco

I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my toes

Oh no oh oh oh oh

 

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show

Hurry hurry hurry, before I go loco

I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my toes

Oh no oh oh oh oh

 

Ba-ba-baba, baba-ba-baba, I want to be sedated

Ba-ba-baba, baba-ba-baba, I want to be sedated

Ba-ba-baba, baba-ba-baba, I want to be sedated

Ba-ba-baba, baba-ba-baba, I want to be sedated

 

The song was a transporting device for me, to a different place and time in my life. Ironically The Ramones were a band I rocked out to when life was rough for me 10-12 years ago and I was happy to find out they still had the same euphoric effect. Within moments of turning on the song it was as if a weight had lifted off my shoulders and I was dancing around like a goof, soon my boys were jumping in. The power of music astounds me sometimes, turning on a song can completely change the atmosphere of where you are.

When you start to “go loco” what do you do to change your state of mind? Or do you even attempt to change it and instead do you ruminate there in your emotions?

Rocking out with the boys to the Ramones once Abba got home