I’m extra fun with caffeine.

Sundays with family are my happiest days. 

My perfect morning consists of an early morning sunrise, coffee, and quiet time with Jesus. 

I could binge on chocolate, cookies, and “The Office” all night long. 

Grease and Mamma Mia are my jam.

My ideal night is sitting around the fire pit and pool with my girlfriends.

My favorite trip has been to the Big Island, Hawaii, but my dream trip is Copenhagen, Denmark.

I want to say I love living out in the country, but I really enjoy picking up a latte at the Starbucks on every corner.

Get to know Bethie

A Day to Dwell with the Lord

Well, friends … This is the last blog in the Sabbath Series. I have so enjoyed taking the month of June to take a deep dive into every aspect of the Sabbath.  AND Sabbathing along with you for the past few weeks! I hope this rhythm has helped bring you and your family together more and has been incredibly life-giving for you. But we’re not done yet … today we are ending with a grande finale: A Day to Dwell with the Lord. 

So get cozy, pour yourself a fresh cup of tea, and let’s get into it. 

If you need to do a bit of catching up, here’s what we’ve covered so far: 

  1. Our Experience Taking a Sabbath – 3 Years In!
  2. The Sabbath Study Week | No. 2
  3. How to Prepare for Your Sabbath | No. 3
  4. Ideas for How to Spend Your Sabbath | No. 4
  5. Trusting God with the Sabbath | No. 5 

And if you are just tuning in — welcome! I’m glad you’re here— let me explain what’s going on: 

The Sabbath is not something you learn, it’s something you experience. That’s why the BG Community has taken the entire month of June to practice taking a Sabbath together – being each other’s accountability buddies for 4 Sabbaths. 

While the challenge will officially end for the community this Sunday, you can absolutely go back through and run it at your own pace whenever you’re ready! (Check out the bottom of the first blog HERE to see how the challenge is laid out!) OR be sure to join the waitlist below to know when I host this challenge live again. You can learn more HERE

Okay, tea in hand, blanket on, everyone’s caught up … let’s get into it! 

This blog is all about the epitome of the Sabbath – intentionally using the Sabbath as a day to dwell with the Lord. Resting in His nearness. Peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Shalom. A peace that you will carry with you well into the next week. 

And for most, that starts with … 

Quiet time with Jesus 

The key to a truly restful Sabbath is carving out time to spend with Jesus. Whether that means a long walk, waking up early to have some time before the house wakes up, or maybe for you, it’s taking time before bed to just be with Jesus … it is worth fighting for this time. 

Here’s the thing, fight for this to be as long as it can. Of course, start where you are, if 20 minutes is all you can do … great. 

But might I make a cause for giving yourself a long prayer time? 

A Day to Dwell with the Lord | The BG Sabbath Challenge

I find when I only have 10, 15, 20 minutes for prayer time … it usually is quick and dirty. Just hitting the basics. And it tends to be more focused on the things I need from God. 

The thing is God desires to have a relationship with us. To be a friend, companion, your most trusted confidant. 

And if you think about any relationship in your life – your husband, your kids, your mom – it’s really hard to have a relationship that deep in only 10 minutes a day. 

There are days when you only talk to your husband for 10 minutes – quick check-in, “How are you? This just happened. Off to go pick up the kids. Good? Good. Talk to you later.” 

Strong relationships naturally have those days, but if it was only ever 10-15 minute chats … it would start to feel more and more like an acquaintance over time. There is no time or room for depth and meaning. 

And it would especially take a strain on the relationship if it was only ever one-sided. Imagine if your husband only ever called to ask for things to make his life easier and never asked about you. It would be sad. 

And yet? We do that to God all the time. We sometimes view Him more like Santa Claus than a God who desires to dwell with us, just to be near us. 

Contemplative Prayer 

Call it what you will: Contemplative prayer, quiet time, being with Jesus. 

It simply means just being with Jesus; sitting with Him in quiet stillness. Nothing to say, nothing to ask for, just enjoying His presence. 

And the Sabbath gives us a whole day to dwell with the Lord … a day to practice contemplative prayer.

A Day to Dwell with the Lord | The BG Sabbath Challenge

Brian Hardin described it so beautifully on the Daily Audio Bible while sharing about taking a long walk: 

“We could use a moment to pause and reflect. That is something we see so profoundly modeled in the Bible. So often we will double down, push the pedal to medal, and go for the anxiety. We double down on whatever’s going on, but what we absolutely need to do is stop everything for a second. Stop everything, orient, get our bearings, seek wisdom, seek God, and then proceed. The amount of failure that we could avoid. The amount of stress and anxiety we could avoid. The amount of destruction that we could avoid.” 

He goes on to say: 

“Take a day and go outside. Drink in the beauty. It is profound what nature can do for us if we just allow it. Just be in it with nothing else to do. Just be in it.

If you’re bored, just be bored. Because if we’re bored, then we’re literally just looking at all of our addictions and all of the pulls and entanglements of our lives.

Look at things differently. Listen to the bird song. Listen to what they have to say. Listen to your own heart. Think about all the stuff you are stuffing down that you need to say. Go outside and go for a walk and say it to God. You have nothing to hide. He has nothing that you’re going to say that’s going to scare him. He wants to hear it all. Go outside. Nobody’s going to be listening to you, you’ll be walking, you’ll be sitting by yourself. You’re free to say all of it and regroup. It’s incredible what getting it all out will do. And then it’s a relationship so … listen. Listen. You’ll hear what you need to hear.” 

And the Sabbath gives you that opportunity to have the time and space to just be with Jesus.

An entire day to dwell with the Lord. No commitments or busy schedules pulling you on to the next thing. You have a whole day set aside just to enjoy Jesus’ presence.

A Day to Dwell with the Lord | The BG Sabbath Challenge

I love this excerpt from John Mark Comer’s book, Practicing the Way: “The retreat leader and spiritual director Marjorie Thompson tells the story of a conversation between an eighteenth-century priest and an elderly peasant who would sit along for long hours in the quiet of the church. When the priest asked what he was doing, the old man simply replied, “I look at Him, He looks at me, and we are happy.” 

Just simply enjoying His presence. 

You’ll find that once you are just with Jesus, you are recentered. Everything else just fades away. Being with Jesus is the only important thing. The things you initially asked for from Him are recentered around Him. You no longer desire the things He has promised, rather you just want to be with Him and to never leave. 

Dwelling with God throughout the Day

If you remember in the first blog in this Sabbath Series, where I share my experience taking a Sabbath, I shared about how I was grateful we didn’t take a Sabbath. I thought it meant sitting in complete silence for a full 24-hours doing nothing but praying … ohh boy have I come a long way. 

But rather than spending your entire day on your knees, reciting prayers … What if it looks a little more natural?

What if the Sabbath is a day where you are moving slowly enough that you can feel the Lord’s presence with you all day? 

A Day to Dwell with the Lord | The BG Sabbath Challenge

Again another great excerpt from Pracing the Way: 

“The mind can be retrained. Re-formed. Whether you call this process neuroplasticity or ‘the practice of the presence of God,’ the powerful truth still stands: our minds do not have to live in a negative spiral; They can be retrained to ‘abide’ – to live in the presence of God.

The monk who coined the phrase “the practice of the presence of God” wasn’t a priest; he was a dishwasher in a monastery in seventeenth-century Paris. Brother Lawrence made it his life’s ambition to experience God in the chaos of the kitchen, with all the noise, distraction, and busyness. By the end of his life, he said, ‘The time of busyness does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, where several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God and as great a tranquility as if I were upon my knees before the Blessed Sacrament.’

[…] Brother Lawrence had come to a place where all of his life was holy; there was no longer any difference between the quiet of morning prayer and the cacophony of dinner prep, between the sanctity at the altar and the mundanity of the evening meal. Life was seamless, integrated whole, grounded in God’s presence.” 

The BG Sabbath Challenge

I love the line Comer says a few pages later: 

This will not just happen, but listen, it can happen if you practice.” 

Whether you choose to practice this every day or start small and use the Sabbath as an opportunity and a reminder to practice spending it — as much as possible — as a day to dwell with the Lord. It may be a nice long quiet prayer time, but it may also be in the chaos of being home with a whole bunch of hungry kiddos running around. 

This brings me to my next and final point in the entire Sabbath Series … 

Sabbathing with a Newborn and/or Toddlers 

One of the biggest pushbacks I heard from moms when it came to taking a Sabbath was this: It does seem fair, my job doesn’t end on the Sabbath. Everyone else gets to rest and I can’t. 

Yeah … babies still need early morning nursing on the Sabbath and toddlers don’t just stop having meltdowns because it’s the Sabbath. 

And sure you can meal prep and do things to make your life easier on the Sabbath … the fact is momming-it is a full-time, exhausting job and no …  you never get a day off from it. As a mom, you serve. And it’s self-sacrificing.

taking a Sabbath as mom with young children

But maybe this is where contemplative prayer becomes a useful tool. The idea of dwelling with Jesus throughout the day despite the chaos around you. 

This is just a season, before you know it you’ll be able to sleep in on the Sabbath and the day will come when your toddler doesn’t have a meltdown or tantrum. But it might not be this Sabbath … 

Over the years your Sabbaths will look different. They will change and grow as your family changes and grows. And this is just where you are today. 

Can you have peace within your soul on the Sabbath despite still having a loud house?

Can you enjoy resting in the Lord’s presence throughout the day despite having to wake up for the midnight feeding? Like the man washing dishes, completely at peace, dwelling with the Lord. 

Maybe the gift of the Sabbath is that you have time to be with your children to work through the meltdown or tantrum. Maybe the gift of the Sabbath is that you can sit and deal with whatever needs to be addressed and dealt with. 

Jefferson Bethke said, “Just because we stop for a day doesn’t mean sin does.” 

We are broken sinful people, observing the Sabbath within our broken, sinful world. 

So no, not every Sabbath will be perfect … but how do we handle that on the Sabbath? Where is God in the midst of that?  Can you invite the presence of Jesus into those hard moments? Can you bring the Sabbath peace into those moments of chaos? 

The BG Sabbath Challenge -- taking a Sabbath as mom with young children

And just remember, this is just for now, your children will grow and so will your Sabbaths. But how can you still cultivate a spirit of joy, peace, and love even in the midst of life with littles? 

And then can you take that same posture and bring it into the rest of your week? Can you continue to practice dwelling with the Lord through each day?

Reminder, it’s a practice… you’ll have good moments and you’ll have bad moments. Give yourself grace. You’re practicing it. And you’re going to get better. 

Action Steps 

Here’s your final set of action steps: 

  • Look at your Sabbath routine. Is there a space where you can carve in time just to spend it with Jesus? Slow and restful, just enjoying His presence. Where will you spend it and how? 
  • Practice dwelling with Jesus throughout the day

Final Thoughts

And friends! That concludes the BG Sabbath Series! 🎉  

A huge pat on the back for those of you who jumped in and started taking your first few Sabbaths. I hope you find them restful and life-giving for your family. And I hope you will continue on in the coming weeks! 

I have so enjoyed sharing my thoughts and what I have learned on the Sabbath over the past few years!

The BG Sabbath Challenge

As I mentioned above, if you want to do some catching up on past blogs & run this challenge on your own you are more than welcome to! Be sure to join the waitlist to hear when I host The BG Sabbath Challenge again: 

And as always if you have any thoughts, comments, questions on taking a day to dwell with the Lord, or just want to chat my email is bethiegrondinphotography@gmail.com! I would love to cheer you on! 

I’ll leave you with this, friend: 

“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” – Psalm 116:5-7

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I'm an open book in my blogs. I share everything that has taken me from living in sickness, anxiety, and depression to having life abundantly. I don't share for pity or as a way to vent, but rather to encourage other women to live a peaceful and simplified life. I'll only address things when I can look back and with clear thinking decide what has helped me throughout this journey. 

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