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

Our Experience Taking a Sabbath | Year 3

Oh friends, I am so excited to be sharing all about our experience taking a Sabbath! 

The other day I was spending time with a friend over coffee and the Sabbath came up and so we started chatting about it. She had been pondering the idea a little bit, on the fence, listened to different podcasts, had some good books teed up and was trying different smaller ways to start Sabbathing. But it all just felt a little foggy. It was such a good conversation. These were the questions that came up: 

  • How do you start taking a Sabbath? 
  • What’s the difference between the Sabbath and a day off? 
  • Is it restful or is it boring? 
  • It seems like a lot to fit into the schedule… Does it make the rest of the week more stressful? 
  • Should we be fine-dining & fun-stacking, like a holiday every week? My toddler would not be up for that 🤪 

I’ve been honoring the Sabbath every Sunday for almost 3 years now… and it has been one of the biggest gifts from God! Our Sabbaths are something we look forward to each week because it is so life-giving!  

And since starting to take a Sabbath, I’ve learned SO MUCH! So in today’s blog, I’m excited to be sharing all about our experience taking a Sabbath! How we initially learned about Sabbath, what led us to take the initial leap and commit to observing it weekly, and what our Sabbaths look like these days. 

Our Experience Taking a Sabbath | Bethie Grondin Photography

I have been trying to process for the last few days, how do I share all about the Sabbath – what is the most important thing for me to share. And it’s hard to pick – I can’t narrow it down into one organized, skimmable blog post … so I’ve decided to make this a series. (More on this later in the post!) 

And after further processing it with the Lord, it has been on my heart that 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!

Implementing the Sabbath every week can feel foreign and hard to take the plunge…

But it’s not so bad, when you have a friend holding your hand and walking you through it – baby steps. That’s why I’m excited to announce: 

The BG Sabbath Challenge

The BG Sabbath Challenge: 4 weeks of practicing the Sabbath with a community. Join other local moms from Gilbert in an online Facebook group as I walk you through it week by week, slowly dripping out my best practices for making the rhythm of the Sabbath beyond life-giving. Think: Sprinkler, not a firehose of information. Because your life is already full enough, you don’t need TONS of extra work or hard to implement action items — we need this to be simple. We’re talking subtraction, not addition.

You can join the waitlist below to join the challenge when it goes live! The challenge officially starts on June 1st! I’ll also be sharing more about the coming blog series and challenge later in this post. 

But first, let me share our experience taking a Sabbath: 

How it started VS. How it’s going 

How it Started | Our Experience Taking a Sabbath 

If you’ve been following along around here for a while, you may remember 3 years back, I started sharing all about how I was reading John Mark Comer’s book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

It was a crazy God moment – My mom had come home from meeting with a friend, “She was telling me all about this book and it sounds so good,” my mom said as she pulled open her notes app. Only to find out it was the same book I had listened to Nancy Ray share about on her podcast THAT morning — I had already added it to the Amazon cart! My older brother came home from meeting with his boss, and we asked him how it went. He said it went great he even suggested he read this book ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’ (!!) 

We all looked at each other stunned… God had made it so clear that we needed to read this book. We ordered everyone a copy and started our first ‘Grondin Family Book Club’ and read it right away. We had no idea how life changing this would be. 

Grondin Family 2021 - Our Experience Taking a Sabbath | Bethie Grondin Photography

It opened my eyes to see just how great the damage of hurry was doing in my life. I had been feeling it – tired, worn out, constantly running – couldn’t put a finger on it. I don’t think I even realized that I was living in a hurried state. But now, I was painfully aware of it: just how fast-paced our culture is, how we live in a constant state of rushed and frantic, and the havoc it was wreaking on my health, my mind, my soul, and my relationships … every area of my life was being negatively affected by hurry.  

At the time too, I would have argued that our family was not even as bad as it could have been … we are not addicted to our phones, we went to bed at a decent time, social media was some what under control. We homeschooled and I was doing online college at the time and that was not nearly as stressful as the school situation I was in before. Having dealt with sickness a few years before, I really did have to learn how to simplify so much of my life & it was so life giving… 

But even with all of that, we still felt so convicted to do just that: ‘Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry’ … in particular, start observing the Sabbath. 

Our Past View of the Sabbath

Honestly, I counted my blessing that it was an Old Testament command — irrelevant. Err — (My thinking has since changed!) My thinking couldn’t have been further from the truth. I remember hearing stories of people attending church in the morning and observing the Sabbath religiously. You could read the Bible or sit and stare. It was a day to pray and focus solely on God. No side conversations – children weren’t to speak unless spoken to and the Sabbath was to be kept beyond holy and reverent. “Thank you Jesus for lifting that!” was my thought in the past. The Sabbath seemed optional … and I was glad we chose not to.  

Instead, we viewed the Sabbath as a day for no work. Anything that fell under your ‘job description’ or directly brought in income, was off limits. Almost as a tithe of your time to God…

Flowers at a flower shop & Bethie Grondin wearing a blue glacier hat and planning her week

However, with that view we would still wake up on Sunday, hustle out the door for church, quick lunch, then finish any homework, plan for my week, laundry, grocery shop. Then we would usually end our Sundays with a big family dinner or even host people: cooking, tidying up the house. By the time dinner came, we were exhausted. We crashed in our beds. It was a fully productive day – and we didn’t do anything to directly work or bring money in. But it was anything but restful.

Truly we were missing the point… we were being leaglistic with it. 

Jesus says ‘The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27) It was meant to be a gift, not a burden. Not a day burdened by ‘rules’ of what you can and cannot do. 

But rather to give you rest – a guilt free, full 24-hours of deep rest for your soul. 

The Change | Our Experience Taking a Sabbath

After reading the book, I started studying like crazy, feeling so motivated and convicted at every turn — What does the Bible say about the Sabbath? How did we end up so off track? What does this look like? How are we supposed to do this? … more on this in next week’s blog. 

You can see my initial blog after reading the book here: The Ruthless Elimantion of Hurry My Takeaways

It felt like a big leap of trust. Could I trust God by fully giving up an entire day every single week? 

It was about a month of really studying, learning, and processing before we finally pulled the plug and tried it for one week. 

I had great hopes for that first Sabbath – it was going to be so beautiful and life giving, resting, and joy filled – and honestly it wasn’t anything sparkly. I felt like I was waiting for the magic to kick in. 

The Grondin Family 2021 - How we used to Sabbath  | Bethie Grondin Photography

It was quiet and simple. I didn’t know what to do with myself… I took a nap and made a cup of coffee … that killed some time. 

We started in August, it was too hot to go outside and we decided to not use any screens … I was bored. 

My first takeaway was just how many hours in a day there are … 24 hours is a good chunk of time. It is slow. I always thought it was fast – but the truth is we have just jam packed our days with so much to-do. And having absolutely nothing to-do showed me just how much time God has given us in each day. As if my first assignment from the Lord was to watch the minutes tick by  … 60 seconds at a time, 60 minutes at a time, hour by hour, for a full day. 

I started up on Monday again, feeling like I could move slower … I have so much time each day and I didn’t even realize it. 

The bottom line was that even though the first Sunday didn’t feel as magical as everyone made it sound – I felt so strongly convicted that the Lord had *commanded* us to stop and take a Sabbath. I was committed to doing it every week. 

Sparkly or not, easy or hard, I was going to trust the Lord with it. 

I also did a follow up blog at the same time sharing a bit more of our experience taking a Sabbath as we were just starting. You can read that blog here: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry – What I’ve Been Working On

How it’s going | Our Experience Taking a Sabbath 

I’m not even sure where to start? All I can say is: Friends, stick it out. Somewhere along the way the Sabbath becomes sparkly. Let me be a living testament: The Sabbath is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. 

Grondin Family | Bethie Grondin Photography

The Sabbath was created for us!! All those years, I can just see the Lord saying “Here I have this gift for you, just accept it” and I passed it by because I believed it was a burden … I counted my blessings that I didn’t have to accept it. Friends, the Lord gives good gifts.

Matthew 7:11 – “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”

The Sabbath is a hidden gift, but we look forward to it every single week. For so many reason, to name a few: 

  • Rest: for our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our soul – the deepest form of rest and renewal
  • Time with Jesus 
  • Time to enjoy the things I want to do, but never have time for: reading, quilting, editing a home movie, playing cards, pool days, long walks…  
  • Quality time with the ones I love most
  • Time to play … belly laugh, grow relationships, just enjoy being together
  • Knowing you can rest even with an unfinished to-do list
  • Grounding me in the reminder that even when my striving has ceased, God is still in control – Ultimately, He can be trusted, I don’t need to do everything in my own strength. 
  • Believe it or not: I have more restful & more productive days in my week than I did before

And so many more… 

Our Typical Sabbath Day 

It took some time to almost experiment with how we liked to spend our Sabbath and how we don’t and that’s okay. I love hearing about how different families like to spend their Sabbaths – the things they find beyond life-giving are things I might find tiring. And that’s okay. (Again more on this in another blog to come) 

It changes often, season to season, things we are interested in and where our family is at, but here’s the groove we have been enjoying recently… 

  • Our Sabbath starts sundown on Saturday night — we usually are enjoying some baked good, these days it has been scones, fresh baked biscuits, chocolate chip cookies, even strawberry shortcake … the best way to ease into the Sabbath if you ask me! They usually last for most of the Sabbath too…
  • On Sunday, my mom and I wake up early and sit and have a cup of coffee together… 
Our Experience Taking a Sabbath | Bethie Grondin Photography
  • We go our own ways and enjoy spending time with the Lord in a quiet house, slowly watching the sunrise and listening to the bird chirp
  • Some days we meet back up in the living room and curl up with a blank and read a good book … often leads to sweet conversations of what we are learning, what God is showing us. It gets passionate … sometimes off subject,  usually ends in laughter before getting back to reading.  Other days, my mom and I will go for a nice long, walk. 
  • The rest of the house wakes up and we all get ready for church to go worship Jesus 
  • Come back home, snacks, hang out … everyone parts ways. I usually treat myself to an untimed nap & I look forward to it every week. John Mark Comer calls it a Shabbat shluf! He says “We shulf hard on Sabbath!”
cozy feet in socks and a blanket and a cup of coffee sitting by a stack of books -- how to start taking a Sabbath
  • Make coffee and sit and enjoy it with whoever is around … everyone seems to slowly meet back up where we come up with a game plan for the rest of the afternoon. 
  • Sometimes I will start a fun project that I’ve been wanting to keep working on… that may be working on putting together my Year-In-Review home movie, sometimes us girls will pull out our quilts we are working on. My mom loves the opportunity to get caught up on her scrapbooks. My sister will sit down with her paints and brushes and work on a beautiful watercolor. Sometimes I will go back to reading my book. — Our rule of thumb is: Only things that we really delight in doing, nothing that feels like work!
  • Other days, if everyone is around we’ll opt for a family activity: during the summer months, we love to play board games, Catan has been a fam fave these days. In the Fall and Spring we will go for family walks. In the summer we will all hop in the pool. 
  • We will sit and enjoy a nice meal together … Some days it is just the 5 of us, other days we are hosting … both beautiful and so life-giving.
  • The magic hour: For us, I feel like right after dinner, right as the sun is setting, and we are coming up on 24-hours of Sabbathing the magic of the day kicks in … it’s almost as if we have reached peak level of rest and quality time with everyone, and joy burst out. So much laughter, fun, everyone is happy, nothing to worry about.  And with the beautiful glowy light, It just feels magical. 
The Grondin Family - Our Experience Taking a Sabbath | Bethie Grondin Photography
  • Recently we have been loving going on after-dinner golf cart rides, riding around the neighborhood, heading to the lake, watching the sunset and and all the little ducklings.
  • Come home and get cozy, make a cup of sleepytime tea, and some fresh baked cookies and we all crash on the couch to wind down watching whatever we are in the mood for… I feel like in this day and age with everyone having their own device to watch whatever they want whenever, we aren’t used to watching shows together – we have loved sitting and watching movies and shows as a family, we laugh so hard… again, so life giving. 

Even the next morning on Monday, I wake up still lingering in the Sabbath aftermath… I find my prayer time is so much slower and more peaceful. All feels well in my world, I am just full of praise. 

As you can tell, I’m clearly a big advocate for taking a Sabbath, but like I said, the Sabbath is beautiful and so life-giving now, but it didn’t start off that way … 

That’s why I am so excited to be hosting the BG Sabbath Challenge…

The BG Sabbath Challenge

Like I mentioned early, the hardest part of the Sabbath was just starting… so many questions piled up and I felt like we were the only ones sitting at home bored on Sunday… 

If this is something you feel convicted to start or even just intrigued by the idea of taking a weekly Sabbath, I would urge you to join. Try it out for 4 weeks – see how it goes and then re-evaluate at the end if this is something you want to continue for another month or stop. However, commit to every week for the next 4 weeks – even if you are out of town or have something on your plate … just take it week by week. 

What is the BG Sabbath Challenge?  

The BG Sabbath Challenge is 4 weeks of practice on the Sabbath with a community. Join other local Gilbert moms in a Facebook Group as I walk you through it week by week, slowly dripping out my best practices for making the rhythm of the Sabbath beyond life-giving. Think: Sprinkler, not a firehouse of information. Because your life is already full enough, you don’t need TONS of extra work or hard to implement action items — we need this simple. You need rest. 

I’ll be your accountability buddy, giving you my best tips for getting started, and checking in on you week by week. 

Not to mention, a special moms group full of other moms also jumping into this new rhythm and getting a feel for it. And maybe some seasoned moms who have been honoring the Sabbath for some time now offering encouragement. Ask your questions, share your concerns, your convictions, your heart, what you liked about it, what you did, share a photo of your Sabbath – we want to cheer you on and encourage you in this journey however we can!

The Dates & What We’re Covering: 

Here’s the schedule for the next few weeks and what we’ll be covering in this new Sabbath Series: 

Thursday, May 30th:

  • Blog: The Sabbath Study Week — everything you need to know to get started & resources for where you can learn more. 

Thursday, May 6th

  • Blog: Just Start Stopping – the beginners guide to taking a Sabbath, what our Saturdays or ‘Sabbath Prep Days’ look like 

Sunday, June 9th: Your First Sabbath 

Thursday, June 13th

  • Blog: Permission to Play – Ideas for How to Spend Your Sabbath 

Sunday, June 16th: Your Second Sabbath 

Thursday, June 20th

  • Blog: Trusting God with the Sabbath – The twin gods: Accumulation & Accomplishment

Sunday, June 23th: Your Third Sabbath 

Thursday, June 27th 

  • Blog: Resting & Praising the Lord – a day to dwell with God 

Sunday, June 30th: Your 4th Sabbath – Final Day of the Challenge 

Important Days: 

  • Blogs will go out on Thursdays at 10:30 am – to give you plenty of time to prepare for Sunday’s Sabbath 
  • I’ll email you on Fridays letting you know the next blog in the series is live & give you your action step for that week – think small, teeny-tiny, doable baby steps 
  • Monday, your accountability buddy check in email – I want to hear how it went and will send you an email asking about it! 
  • The group is always open and available for questions, encouragement, and to share insight & takeaways – I’ll be checking in daily (well, expect for Sundays) 

Don’t get too hung up on these dates! 

If you are looking at those dates and you are out of town or already have commitments on those days or have to work, you can still sign up. First, just be aware of taking a weekly Sabbath & pat yourself on the back. It’s not going to be perfect right out of the gates, there is an adjustment period while you find a groove that works for you. 

If you are on a Summer Family Vacation

You can implement some things and enjoy a vacation Sabbath with your family … it’s different but it can be wonderful. Go about your trip as planned – in my book a vacation is just a big extended Sabbath… lots of quality time, lots of play, and lots of rest.  Be aware of the ways your family enjoys playing and resting together – can you bring any of that home and into your weekly Sabbaths?

If you have to work on Sundays

Sundays are just the day we’ve chosen to take a Sabbath because it works best for our family. I know plenty of people who opt to take a more traditional Sabbath in the sense that they start on Friday night at sundown and Sabbath all day Saturday. It doesn’t matter the day you take the Sabbath as long as you keep consistent week by week… find a day that works best for you and stick with it. For a time, while in college, my brother would take his Sabbath starting Sunday night and all day Monday, since it was the only day he had free from classes and big social events. 

How to Join:

Joining is super simple! Use this sign up form below to join the waitlist. As we get closer to the start date (June 1st!) I’ll send you an email with a link to the BG Sabbath Hub Page with next steps and resources on how to get started. You will also be given the link to join the BG Community, introduce yourself and get connected with other local moms going through the same experience. 

I hope by just sharing our experience taking a Sabbath, it encourages you a little bit! If you are feeling tired and like you are running on a never ending treadmill, this is for you! I can’t wait to walk through this with you over the course of this next month!! I know you will find it to be just as life-giving, beautiful, and truly restful for your family as we have! 


The content to come is not pre-written, I’m taking it week by week … so if any Q’s come up, send them to me at BethieGrondinPhotography@gmail.com so I can address them in the upcoming blogs. 

Excited to cheer you on! 

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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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