Our First Shabbat

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I have been challenged to a new level of obedience in my walk. Radical obedience. I will give you a glimpse of what this looks like...

The kids and I celebrated our first Shabbat (Sabbath). This is something that has been on my heart and mind for quite some time. I have a tried to implement a few "things" to put my heart at ease...but it wasn't working. I began researching and praying and talking to a few wise friends. Then...the answer came. I was flipping ahead in Nicole's school book and saw that next week we are supposed to observe a traditional Sabbath. The very thing I had been praying about and researching was placed in front of me as a school assignment. Coincidence? No. Confirmation? Maybe.

OK, so you have written me off as crazy. That's ok. But if you are curious about my craziness you are welcome to continue reading.

On Tuesday of last week I pretty much decided that we would be celebrating the Sabbath starting Friday evening. As soon as the decision was made - the attacks started in. I immediately began to doubt...that I could even be ready to "rest" by Friday....that I was qualified to participate in such a tradition...that I was legitimately crazy (that one is still out to jury). I emailed my friend in a panic Thursday and said I just simply didn't know what to do for our Sabbath. She responded with sweet encouragement. She told me..."On Friday, clean and prepare your home as if you were having company for dinner. Your company will be Jesus. Prepare a nice meal for dinner early in the day and set the table nicely. When the sun sets...your work is done. Enjoy your meal with your family and follow it up with time enjoying your family. Saturday, rest and remember what the Lord has done for you. Try to avoid "work."

Friday morning I was in a frenzy cleaning. My house was in desperate need of cleaning. It was sad. But the thought of a day off....a day of real rest...motivated me to work hard. And I did. And the results were beautiful. My home felt cozy and inviting and I like it that way. I then prepared a nice casserole for dinner. When I was done preparing I washed and put away all the dishes except the casserole dish it was baking in. The kids set the table "fancy" and we made cupcakes for a special dessert. (Next week I will undertake making challah...a traditional sweet egg bread but I wasn't ready for that this week...) As the time drew closer to sundown I got more and more anxious....would I ever get everything done? But when the sun did set I was filled with an overwhelming peace. My husband came home from work and initiated a game of football with the kids. I actually got to SIT and watch them play. Next, we ate dinner...all together at the table. It was lovely. I rinsed the dishes after dinner and put them into the dishwasher. The casserole dish, I put in the sink and filled with soapy water. That's it. The kitchen was still clean from earlier in the day and I got to walk away from it and play a few games with the kids....something I never get to do in the evening. We read our New Testament Scriptures for the evening and then went to bed.

Saturday morning we slept in and then had left over muffins for breakfast - on paper towels that got thrown away when we were done. The kids and I settled in for some "Bible Study" together. They each followed along in their Bibles as I read the "Torah Portion" for the week. I found this here. It was great - the timing was perfect. We actually read about when Moses received the 10 Commandments and talked about WHY we were observing the Sabbath. Next, the kids colored some pictures of Moses receiving the commandments and Nicole did some copy work that I found on the Torah School site. Next, we wrote notes and drew pictures of encouragement to put in a care package for Uncle Dan (who is in Afghanistan) and Grandma (who is still in a coma). By that time we were ready for lunch...which was cold leftovers from the fridge w/ cut-up fruit. Plates in the dishwasher. Done. Then it was nap time :) I had some nice quiet Bible and prayer time then manages to squeeze in a nap as well! After nap we worked on our Catechism together, played a board game of the "Books of the Bible" and watched a Veggie Tales movie.

Dad came home from work and the sun went down. Shabbat was over. I have never been so bummed for the day to end! I went to the bedroom to pray awesome thanks to Yahweh as this was truly one of the best days I have had in years. I was so refreshed and blessed by our day of rest. It truly was a GIFT from Him...not a burden. Even now, on Monday...I am extra motivated to get our "work done" each day so that we can rest again next Sabbath. It is extremely motivating to know that there is an end - or at least a break - in sight.

I know this post is lengthy and I know that some of what I have expressed may be "controversial" in the church. Even our Catechism says that believers are not longer under the law of the Sabbath. Ok great, so that makes me FREE to celebrate the Sabbath with my family. I will be working on another post that details some of the things I have been learning as I studied the Sabbath. Leave me questions too - I would love to answer them in the next post!
Thanks for hanging in there and reading my LONG story!




Your encouragement for today...

"...acknowledge the God of your father,
and serve Him with wholehearted devotion
and with a willing mind,
for the Lord searches every heart
and understands every motive behind the thoughts.
If you seek Him, He will be found by you;
but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever."

1 Chronicles 28:9

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are committed to Him."
2 Chronicles 16:9


For the Nay-Sayers

I know you are out there....
I have encountered some of you, had conversations with some of you, and yet felt the strong sense of disapproval from others...
This post is for you.

The single-most important thing in my life is my relationship with my God and Father. He has extended grace to me in ways that I cannot even understand. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 I deserve death ~ and yet He has given me life. "...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10. My life is full. I am blessed. I am content. And yet I strive to live in a way that pleases my Heavenly Father more and more each day. Not because my obedience will save me - only belief in Jesus Christ can do that - but because I love Him and I desire to live the way He has shown me. Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." John 14:23 I am no longer satisfied to live a comfortable faith that the world tells me is right. The WORD tells me what is right and I am choosing to follow what it says. Not according to our culture or what is "popular Christianity" but radical obedience based on love. I have been challenged and I have accepted the challenge. I will mess up. I will fail. But I will try...because I love Him who has first loved me.

I am a wife and a mother and I count myself blessed for it. I am the keeper of my home and responsible (to my own humanly limitations) for guarding the hearts and minds of my children. I am responsible for educating them in God's way ~ not the ways of the world (or the government for that matter). These commands that I give you today are to be upon your heart. "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:6-7.

There is no other job or thing in the whole world that is more important OR more rewarding than what I am doing now. I am not perfect and I do not do my job perfectly. I mess up. I fail. But I trust that my Heavenly Father will make up the difference.

I assure you, this is foreign territory for me. I was raised to be career oriented. I am well-educated and licensed as a Registered Nurse. I had a successful career as a military nurse and helped many women and families and families while I was there. I made my own money and spent it when and where I wanted to. And yet...I consider these things to be rubbish compared to the life I have been given. "But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ..." Philippians 3:7-8.

There is not a beloved person out there who needs my nursing skills or my compassion or my time more than my husband and children need me at home. There is not an understanding of self-worth or excellent career to be gained ("What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" Matthew 17:26) that can compare to knowing that my husband has full confidence in me (Proverbs 31:11) and my children are walking in the truth. "I have no greater joy than to know that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4

My words are not meant to be harsh, I speak them out of love. That you would understand who I am and what is important to me. That you would not worry for me or be disappointed that who I am is not who I used to be. I am a work in progress. "...that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

And for my sisters' in Christ who may understand where I am coming from...press on towards the goal. Your reward is waiting for you in Heaven ~ where we will rest and fellowship and be lavished in the Love of our Savior. It will be a glorious day!

"But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats
; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. " 1 Peter 3:14-16

Shalom, Leah


GFDF Cinnamon Rolls

What I am up to these days...lots of gluten free baking! Check out Joshua's blog for more yummy recipes!

This is my version of a wonderful gluten-free cinnamon roll. The original recipe (which I have modified quite a bit) was posted here: I Am Gluten Free. I highly recommend doubling this recipe as it only makes one pan of cinnamon rolls. This BARELY fed my family of 5 as everyone wanted more! Even my hubby (who is not gluten-free) loved them! Please let me know if you try the recipe and have any suggestions...

2/3 cup warm milk (we use almond milk)
1 packet active dry yeast

2 Tbsp dairy free margarine (we use Earth's Balance)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg (at room temperature)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups All-Purpose GF Flour (we use GF Mama's Almond Blend)
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp xanthan gum

For filling:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
chopped nuts - optional

For glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
milk to desires thickness

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine warm milk and yeast (be sure all the yeast dissolves) and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until it is foamy.

In the bowl of stand mixer, combine margarine and sugar until smooth. Add proofed milk/ yeast to bowl. Add egg, oil, and vanilla. Mix until combined.

In a separate bowl combine gluten-free flour and remaining dry ingredients. Stir to combine then add to mixing bowl. Beat on high for 2 minutes.

Lay a piece of wax paper on the counter and sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp sugar over it. Scoop dough (which will be quite soft) on to wax paper. Cover this with another piece of wax paper and roll out into approximately 9x11 size rectangle. Remove top piece of wax paper and cover rectangle with filling. Use the bottom piece of wax paper to lift edge and start rolling dough into a long cylinder. Cut into 8 or 9 even size slices (about 1" wide). (Original poster suggested trimming off irregular ends but I just leave them on there). Place rolls into a greased pie plate or cake pan.

Bake approximately 20 minutes (or until the tops are golden brown). Top with glaze if desired.

And ENJOY....I know we did!