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

Ideas for How to Spend Your Sabbath | No. 4

I am excited about this week’s blog: Ideas for How to Spend Your Sabbath – Permission to Play! This is week 2 in our 4 weeks of the BG Sabbath Challenge!! Making this blog number 4 in our 6-part blog series!! All in pursuit of breaking down the Sabbath into baby steps to make it doable!

If you need to do some catching up, here are the first 3 blogs: 

  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

And if you haven’t yet, be sure to join The BG Sabbath Challenge!! 

I believe the Sabbath is not something you learn – it’s something you experience. It’s more like a mama bird pushing her baby bird out of the nest – you’ll find your wings on the way down!

That’s why the BG Community is taking the whole month of June to practice taking a Sabbath together over the next 4 weeks. As I slowly drip out my best practices for making the Sabbath incredibly life-giving. You can learn more here or sign up below: 

And this week we are talking all about ideas for how to spend Your Sabbath & how to create a Sabbath Day that your family looks forward to!

Ceasing & Feasting 

In last week’s blog, we talked all about ceasing. The Sabbath is a day for stopping or ceasing your work. And so last week we talked all about why it’s okay not to finish our to-do list and the trust exercise each week to simply stop. And we went over best practices for preparing for your Sabbath – striving to stop. 

But the Sabbath is more than just the things you don’t do, it is about everything you get to do. 

Jordan Raynor calls it ‘Ceasing & Feasting.’ In his book Redeeming Your Time, he says, “Sabbath is a day for ceasing and feasting. We aren’t meant to just cease from our work – we are invited to pull up a chair next to King Jesus and feast on his goodness and his gifts.” 

When I think of feasting, I think of a holiday, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, with lots of yummy food, indulgence, good company, good gifts, laughter, traditions, sweet decorations, family movies, and desserts. It’s truly restful and joyful, filling my love bank on every level.

That is how we are supposed to be looking at the Sabbath… that same level of joy and peace… without the stress of a big holiday.  Maybe, it’s not Christmas Day, but maybe the Sabbath is the cozy days leading up to Christmas. The days where you just get to enjoy, and rest, and be together as a family. 

It’s not necessarily that you work hard to prepare for those cozy December nights in advance, but rather because of the way you are living in the midst of the Christmas season, those cozy days and peaceful nights come as a by-product of it. 

It’s the same with the Sabbath, it’s not that you have to do tons of extra work to prepare for the Sabbath. But because of the slower-paced life, you are living & the ways you are being more intentional in preparing for the Sabbath throughout the week (which is what we talked about last week), a joy-filled peaceful Sabbath is the result or the by-prodcut. 

And that’s exactly what we are looking at in today’s blog… In what ways can we feast on the Sabbath? How can we bring those same levels of joy, peace, laughter, and playfulness into our Sabbaths every week? 

Let Yourself Imagine Your Perfect Day

Now, before I give you ideas for how to spend your Sabbath. Let’s simply just start by letting yourself dream for a bit about how you would like to spend your Sabbath. Sit down with a hot cup of coffee and journal on these questions for a bit…

Journal Questions to Design Your Own Life-Giving Sabbath:

  • What tires you? What gives you anxiety and stress? How can you eliminate or minimize those things? How can you cease from those things for a day?
  • What is it that brings you closer to Jesus? 
  • In what ways do you like to worship Jesus? 
  • What gives you rest? What slows down your heart rate and allows you to breathe deeply? 
  • What gives you life? 
  • What makes you feel connected with your husband? 
  • What makes you feel connected with your kids? 
  • What do you delight in? 
  • What do you enjoy doing but never have time for?
  • What do you wish you could do with your family?
  • What makes you and your family belly laugh? 

… everyone answers these questions differently. 

Jefferson Bethke in THIS podcast with John Mark Comer, gave the analogy that the Sabbath is like music playing at a wedding. God plays the music. He chooses the melody and the beat. Everyone on the dance floor must submit to that melody. But how you choose to dance and move around is up to you. Everyone is dancing to the same music and yet everyone has the freedom and creativity to move and dance however they like. 

The Sabbath is the music – we all submit to that melody. However, we have the creativity and freedom to choose how we spend our Sabbath days. 

And that’s where this blog starts to get fun. I’m simply laying out ideas for how to spend your Sabbath. But ultimately you choose the best way for your family to enjoy the Sabbath. 

Meditate on the questions above and your own Sabbath will slowly begin to come into focus. 

 Ideas for How to Spend Your Sabbath

As you read through these ideas for how to spend your Sabbath, you will just know – “yes that’s for us, it sounds so incredible!” or “No, not for us, that sounds exhausting.” This is just a spread of ideas, like everything: take the best, leave the rest. And make this your own. Find your own creative dance moves and then and have fun. There is no right or wrong way to dance. There is no right or wrong way to Sabbath.

What tires you? What gives you anxiety and stress? How can you eliminate or minimize those things? How can you cease from those things for a day?

Maybe you find it tiring to be out in the world socializing – so you take your Sabbath to pull back and rest from interacting with people. Maybe it’s the other way around for you?

Jordan Raynor talks about how if you work with your hands you rest with your mind, and if you work with your mind you rest with your hands. 

So if you work with your mind during the week, maybe reading a book is not the most restful but going for a walk is or vice versa. 

Become keenly aware of these things and find ways to put them in their place on the Sabbath. 

What is it that brings you closer to Jesus? In what ways do you like to worship Jesus? 

A long prayer time with him and a cup of coffee in the morning? Singing praise and worship? Journaling? Studying His word? A long walk or a run? Poetry? Keeping a gratitude journal? 

What gives you rest? What slows down your heart rate and allows you to breathe deeply? 

Sleeping in? An untimed nap? A long cup of tea? Reading a good book? Basking in the sun? A slow conversation with a close friend? Snuggling with your pup?

What gives you life? 

Enjoying His Creation and being out in nature? Quality time with a loved one? Silence and solitude? Baking? Sewing? Crafting? Moving your body?  Playing Piano? Painting? Pottery? 

What makes you feel connected with your husband? 

Time just to be together? A slow morning coffee or happy hour? An uninterrupted conversation? A date night? Pickleball? Or …? 

What makes you feel connected with your kids? 

Reading them books? Playdough? Playing Pretend? Painting together? Swimming? Board games? Family dinner? A big breakfast? 

What do you delight in? 

Writing? Gardening? Looking back through old family memories? Talking with your kids? Hearing their minds, thoughts, and dreams? Yummy dessert? New meals? Strong traditions? 

What do you enjoy doing but never have time for?

An afternoon bubble bath? Hiking with the family? Reading that book? Quilting? Time to get together with girlfriends? Trying new recipes? 

What do you wish you could do with your family?

Day trips? Boardgames? Family movie nights? Sit-down dinners? Tubing? Studying God’s word together? 

What makes you and your family belly laugh? 

Telling stories while passing a pint of Ben & Jerry’s around the table? Watching home movies and old videos? A certain family comedian? A TV show? A certain board game? Sometimes just fresh air and quality time will do the trick…

Rule of Thumb: Is this resting, delighting, or worshipping?

John Mark Comer talks about the idea of pleasure stacking. How you would save up your money for your anniversary and then on your anniversary you’re going to go out to see this movie you have been dying to see, and then you’re going to wear this new pretty outfit, and go out to your favorite restaurant, and treat yourself to dessert. 

He says it’s the same thing with the Sabbath – dream about it and pleasure-stack your Sabbath.

After answering the above questions, see what things you want to bring into your Sabbath that you would just love! How can you pleasure stack on the Sabbath? 

The Sabbath is a day of ceasing, resting, delighting, and worshipping. 

The Biblical Framework for Taking a Sabbath:

John Mark Comers (again in THIS podcast) shares about the Biblical Framework for taking a Sabbath: Stopping. Resting. Delighting. And Worshiping.

  • Stopping: You literally stop – you slow down your body and just stop. You stop working. You stop worrying. You stop even the thought of work. You stop wanting – you enjoy what you have as a gift.
  • Resting: Resting your mind. Resting your body. Resting your spirit. A lot of sleep, a lot of quiet. A lot of time in nature. Time with your family and friends.
  • Delighting: A whole day set aside to celebrate the goodness of God and life in His world. You pamper your soul with joy and feed it with beauty. 
  • Worshiping: It’s a day to center God in your heart and really attune to gratitude and adoration and silent or verbal love for God.

He says “By practicing the Sabbath once a week, we cultivate a spirit of Sabbath that we carry with us all week long.” 

So when you are about to do something on the Sabbath ask yourself: Is this stopping, resting, delighting, or worshiping? 

If it’s not, then pass on it — you have 6 other days to do it.

Freeing Yourself from Expectations 

Okay, lastly, don’t let these ideas for how to spend Your Sabbath overwhelm you.

I would like to end this by saying come up with a loose game plan for how you would like to spend your Sabbath, but free yourself from expectations. There are expectations put on us all the other days of the week, the Sabbath is a day to be free from that. 

If you get to do something you were hoping to do,  wonderful. And if you don’t that’s okay too. Set a plan loosely, and then see how it plays out. 

And if you create a rhythm for how you like to spend your Sabbaths and then one Sunday it goes awry — that’s okay. You will learn no two Sabbaths are the same.

The other thing is to give yourself grace and the freedom to start where you are at, not where you “should” be. 

How can you make the Sabbath simple and doable for your family? What can you do now? Start small, and let it grow over time. 

Join the BG Sabbath Challenge

To me, this is the blog, where the Sabbath starts to become the Sabbath. Giving yourself permission to play is the reason why everyone boasts of the Sabbath being the best day of the week. This is why we look forward to it week after week. 

I’m excited to see that take shape in your family’s life as well! If you haven’t already, be sure to join the BG Sabbath Challenge – it’s not too late. You can learn more here or sign up below! 

I’ll meet you back here next week to talk all about Trusting God with the Sabbath – The twin gods: Accumulation & Accomplishment. 

Until then, enjoy creating a Sabbath that is beyond life-giving and joyful for your family! I can’t wait to hear all about it. 

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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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