1/30/11

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!

Shalom,

Leah

4 comments:

Angela said...

So funny that you just commented on my blog - LOL. I saw yours during naptime but I didn't have time to comment! Actually I have been meaning to comment on your last post too!

First I wanted to say Awesome to your last post!

And I also wanted to say that I think the whole shabbat idea is interesting. I would love to see a post about what led you here!!! For sometime we have been doing something similar though less well defined. We go to church on Saturday night and then do as little as possible on Sunday. I prepare food as much as possible in advance for Sunday and no cleaning.

It has been great to really feel rested! Also I tend to be slightly more productive on Saturdays b/c I know i won't work on Sundays.

We also do very little outside the home on Sundays. We make it a point to avoid retail. Pretty much we try not to get in the car unless we are going somewhere like the lake or on a hike or something.

We just started having small group every other Sunday night, which is sort of a stretch for us and what we feel is "legal" (such a horrible word, but you get the idea) but we so desperately need the fellowship...

Anyhow I just shared cause I wanted you to know I think the idea is a good one!

Would you like to meet in GF for a park date sometime in a couple of months when the weather is bit more dependable? (and I could stand sitting on an outdoor park bench?) Of course, this sorta depends on when we travel =)

Christy said...

Isn't it awesome how good our God is! His coincidences are incredible! He is so faithful to "gently lead those who have young" Isa 40. I'm happy that you had one of those ah hah moments! Those are the best!

Leah said...

so glad you posted this. about two years ago i had started thinking how i would love to have shabbat in our home....but never did anything with the thought. your post really makes me want to put forth the effort!! thanks---going to sound this out with josh at some point this week and maybe have our own 'shabbat' next week...

Stephanie said...

Hi Leah - I have been thinking about you since I got your FB e-mail, but haven't heard back from you since I responded.

The Sabbath is a beautiful thing - but it is not Jewish! God created it from the beginning - before there ever was a single Jew. Isn't that beautiful? I think our Christian friends really worry when they hear "Sabbath" and then start hearing Jewish customs mixed in and wonder what in the world is going on. They're likely thinking, "Are you becoming Jewish?" That's because they have been taught over and over that the Sabbath was done away or only for the Jews. Not so!

Can I recommend a series of sermons for you and anyone else who would like some info - both historical and Biblical about the Sabbath - from a Christian prospective? It's called "The Forgotten Commandment - Parts 1-5" and you can find it under the heading of "Sabbath" on this website: www.RVCC.co. Under the Resources tab, select Sermons and this sermon series is under the heading of Sabbath.

By the way, Leah, we live stream our worship service every Sabbath at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time. If you have a good enough connection, you could participate in the whole service on the Sabbath. There's a link on the home page of our website, bottom right corner. I look forward to "chatting" anytime you'd like.