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

The Sabbath Study Week | No. 2

Hey friends! This is week 2 of our 6 part Sabbath Series!! This week I’m calling: The Sabbath Study Week! Sharpen your pencils, get your books ordered, because Sabbath School is in session! I am excited to finally be diving into more of the nitty-gritty of what the Bible has to say about the Sabbath & more resources to get you to start processing how the Sabbath could look in your life. 

I remember that first summer my family had actually started considering taking a Sabbath it took us a few weeks to really study up on what the Sabbath is, what does the Bible have to say about it, and then can someone please explain it to me in *practical* baby steps – How do we get started? 

And that’s exactly what we are covering in today’s blog along with the BG Sabbath Challenge! 

If you haven’t heard yet, The BG Community is taking the whole month of June to practice taking a Sabbath for the next 4 weeks! 

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 & a community holding your hand and walking you through it – baby steps. 

I would love for you to join us 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 & restful. We’re talking subtraction, not addition. 

You can learn more HERE and sign up for the BG Sabbath Challenge below! The challenge officially starts on June 1st!

Okay! Let’s dive right into it with …

What Does the Bible Say about Taking a Sabbath?

Growing up, my parents instilled in us that when it comes to making decisions & setting family rules, we ask two questions: 

  1. What does the Bible say? 
  2. What do we say? 

When you know those 2 things, you can have peace moving forward with your decision. I think it’s a great rule & apply it to just about any decision… 

A little side note: There are times when the Bible doesn’t specifically address issues… for example: dating or what does God say about putting dogs down? However, the Bible always has principles — For example, dating: It does talk about how to love your neighbor & it talks about marriage. And, with regards to putting your dogs down: it does talk about how we, made in God’s image, have been given authority over all creatures … So now knowing that, you can take those principles and apply it to the second question: What do we say?

So that is where we started with taking the Sabbath into consideration. 

Last week, I shared all about our experience taking a Sabbath – 3 years in! And in that blog, I shared about how my view of the Sabbath used to be “Thank goodness that was Old Testament — Jesus set us free from the bondage of the rules & now it is more optional.  And we choose *not* to take it!

And we chose to observe it more as a way to go to church & not work in the sense I wasn’t doing anything to directly impact my income. Again you can read more about this in last week’s blog HERE

And it wasn’t until I really dove into this question for myself that I started to see my thinking was skewed. 

Will Ray explained it by saying, if you were to break the Bible into sections, you can see the Sabbath and how it is mentioned all throughout: before the Law, during the Mosaic Law (Old Testament), After Jesus (New Testament) …

Let me explain: 

Before the Law

In Genesis, the first thing we see God do right after creation is rest. Right after Adam & Eve were created, their first day in the Garden of Eden was resting, dwelling, and enjoying a Sabbath with God. 

“And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation” (Genesis 2:2 – 3, ESV). 

A couple things here: 

  1. First, we have a picture of what a perfect Sabbath looked like: A day to rest & dwell with God. – Let this inspire you for how your Sabbath should look.
  2. This is what changed my thinking from ‘the Sabbath is an Old Testament Law’ or principle that we don’t have to follow. Because we see that this is what God choose to do on his own. Before it was a law, it was something God did and later invited His creation to partake in it with Him. John Mark Comer says  “It doesn’t have to be a law, but it’s a good idea to not eat cement.’ So whether it is a law or not doesn’t matter — we see this is what God did, so as Christian we follow in His footsteps. 
  3. Like rubbing your hand against the grain of a wood board — if you go against God’s creation you’re going to get splinters. The same idea applies here. God created us to work hard for 6 days and rest on the 7th day. You can go against it, sure. But you’re going to get splinters… and for me that looked like burn out, sickness, anxiety, and depression. 

During the Mosaic Law (Old Testament)

Later after the Isrealites were freed from slavery in Egypt, God led them into the wilderness to teach them His laws and commandments – this is when Moses was given the 10 commandments & the Mosaic Law came into play … 

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20: 8-11, NIV).

A couple things to note here: 

  1. The Israelites are coming from slavery. All they know is Egyptian culture – but even more so the only know the life of a slave. So when God brought them to the wilderness, He was teaching them that in order to be His people, set apart and holy for His purposes, they needed to know how to live. And God brought back the Sabbath… For God, it was a crucial part of how we are to live. 
  2. In slavery you work 24/7, you don’t get a day off, you are overworked and abused. However, a free man does get a day to rest and be leisurely. We were once slaves to sin, but Jesus’ death on the cross has set us free. And this is how children of the most High God, freed from sin and death live.  This parallel is so beautiful. 

“Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6: 19-23, NIV).

After Jesus (New Testament)

And then finally, once Jesus came… what did He have to say about the Sabbath? 

At the time, the Israelites were following the Mosaic Law which had slowly compounded into a day of rules and burdens – punishable by death. And the Pharisees, the religious leaders, in pursuit to defend God, stacked these rules/burdens/laws on God’s people so high that it became unbearable, and they were not allowed to do many things. 

We see Jesus come into this and correct their way of thinking. We watch Jesus live and operate and teach on how the Sabbath should look, and why it was created in the first place. 

“Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath’” (Mark 2:27, NIV).

Again Will Ray made an excellent point, that when you don’t know all this backstory of the Sabbath and just how often it is mentioned throughout the Bible, then it is easy to read the gospels and hear Jesus rebuking the Pharisees (the bad guys in the story – as he said.) and it’s easy to think that Jesus lifted the law of the Sabbath. 

Which again, is the camp I fell into. It’s not until you study what the Bible – as a whole story beginning to the end — says on the Sabbath and let that affect how you live. 

A side note: I am not even scratching the surface on any of this … the Sabbath is mentioned  SO MANY times throughout the Bible– a quick Google search told me that it is mentioned 172 times in the Old Testament. 

As John Mark Comer explained, the gospels are biographies, and when you read biographies – “You don’t just look at what [that person] said or did; you look at how he or she lived the details of their day-to-day life. If you are smart, you copy those details, make the individual’s habits, your habits; his or her routine, your routine; his or her values, your values in the hope that it will foster a similar kind of result in your own ordinary life.” 

Okay, then so how did Jesus live on the Sabbath? And what does that look like for us?

Here’s a list of my favorites I found from the Soul Shepherding blog:

  • “When the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach… ‘Be quiet!’”  People were amazed at his teachings, demons fled, and the good news spread (Mark 1:21-28).
  • On the Sabbath Jesus “went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them” (Mark 1:29-31).
  • “Very early in the morning [on Sunday, the day after the Jewish Sabbath], while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
  • “On the Sabbath day [Jesus] went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read [from Isaiah]… ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me…’  ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:16, 18, 21).
  • “Jesus [walked] through the grain fields on the Sabbath [with] his disciples” (Matthew 12:1).
  • In the synagogue on a Sabbath Jesus said, “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he healed the man with the shriveled hand (Matthew 12:9-13).
  • On the Sabbath Jesus healed a blind man, putting mud in his eyes and said: “I have come into this world, so that the blind will see” (John 9:39).
  • “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues… ‘Be set free on the Sabbath day’… He put his hands on [a crippled woman], and immediately she straightened up and praised God… The people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing” (Luke 13:10-17).
  • “One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee…”  (Luke 14:1-14).

We see Jesus teaching, worshiping, healing, sneaking out for some quiet prayer time in the early morning, eating, walking, and enjoying all on the Sabbath.  

After learning what the Bible has to say about the Sabbath. That leads us to question 2: What do we say about the Sabbath? 

Now this one, every family has to answer for themselves. But I will share what we decided: 

Our bottom line was this: The Sabbath is a clear command from God; So, we will honor it weekly.

It is good & it is meant to be life-giving to bring us closer to Him. It’s a day for us to rest and dwell in His presence. And Jesus shows us it is not a day to be burdened by rules but to set us free from them. The Sabbath was a gift meant for us. And it will not be crowded out by legalism. 

And with that being decided, it leads us directly into the ‘How’ … so let’s get into the  practical steps of how to start taking a Sabbath: 

Choose Your Sabbath Day & Stick With It 

The bible doesn’t directly state what day to take a Sabbath… it says “on the 7th day” … is that Saturday or Sunday? It’s not clear so I don’t think it directly matters. 

Jewish tradition takes a Sabbath from Friday at sundown until Saturday at sundown. 

We personally, have chosen to take out Sabbath from Saturday at sunset to Sunday at sunset. Because for us it aligned better with our schedules. When we started taking a Sabbath every week – my older brother and I were in college … assignments were all due on Saturday. I was shooting weddings almost every Saturday in the Fall & Spring. And my younger sister and brother were in highschool… again homework and sports every Saturday. However, we could squeeze and free up our Sundays for a Sabbath. There were far fewer interruptions from the outside world on Sundays for us.

Will & Nancy Ray were saying on THIS Podcast Episode, how they have chosen to take their Sabbath on Saturday’s because it clearly defines the end of the week and let’s them use their Sundays as a day to slowly ease into the week: Church, serving, and then preparing for their upcoming week. That works well for them and their young family. 

But as you pick the day you will choose to Sabbath, think through the long-term aspect of it… is this a day that can remain uninterrupted or will that only become more and more challenging? I know for us sports and work were a big thing on Saturdays and for little kiddos it’s birthday parties every Saturday. 

But the bottom line is to find the day that works best for you & stick with it. Keep it consistent week by week and year by year. 

Your Action Steps | BG Sabbath Challenge

And that’s your action step for this week – choose the day of the week you will choose to Sabbath and start to keep those days clear. 

Set a recurring weekly calendar event called ‘Sabbath & Family Dinner’ and mark it as busy! 

We’ll meet back here next Thursday to cover how to prepare for the Sabbath. Until then part 2 of your homework is to keep studying up on the Sabbath. Do your own research and start answering the questions for your family: 

  • What does the Bible say about the Sabbath? 
  • And what does our family say about the Sabbath? 

Get really clear on that. Write it down. And stand firm on it because there will be a Sabbath that you need to know that this is non-negotiable. The Lord has commanded you to do this and you need to obey. 

It’s called the BG Sabbath Challenge – because it’s challenging. It is truly an act of faith and trust with God to clear a complete 24-hours and rest. So, when it gets hard to remember “why are we doing this again” in the thick of the to-dos piling up, you will need the reminder. 

That’s why I’m excited to be walking though this as a community. Be sure to sign up for The BG Sabbath Challenge here: 

I (and The BG Community of moms throughout the East Valley) will be your accountability buddy!

Other Resources for Studying the Sabbath

As you continue your Sabbath Study Week, here are some other resources I’ve loved when I was getting started and some that I have been looking at as I’ve been prepping for the BG Sabbath Challenge.

Most of which are podcasts, or on audible. So, pop your airpods in and study up while  getting caught up on laundry and dishes – or really study up in a warm bubble bath with a glass of wine as you test which bath bomb will be best for your first official Sabbath! 

Book: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer– 

This was my number one book for studying up on the Sabbath and slowing down our lives. It’s also the number one resource I’ll be quoting in this Sabbath Series. 

Book: Sabbath by Wayne Muller— 

I started this book and read it within my first few Sabbaths. I heard of it originally from John Mark Comer, it’s pretty thinky and he covers all the different religions and their take on the Sabbath. Some things I did enjoy learning and implemented into our own Sabbath, like the idea of lighting a candle the evening before to clearly showcase that the Holy Spirit is here and our Sabbath has started – take the best, leave the rest.    

Podcast: Fight Hustle, End Hurry with John Mark Comer’s & Jefferson Bethke’s … Check out THIS episode specially on the Sabbath

Podcast: Work & Play with Nancy Ray 

I love her outlook on life and her sweet relationship with the Lord. Plus, I think it’s helpful to see how another young family implements the rhythm of the Sabbath.  Here’s a few episodes I enjoyed listening to:

A Year of Sabbath’s with Will Ray Part 1

A Year of Sabbath’s with Will Ray Part 2

Podcast: The Family Teams Sabbath Series  — Episode 1 HERE

I will be honest I just heard of them after listening to Will & Nancy’s podcast & I had a friend mention them to me. They have also had a 6 part podcast series on the Sabbath – they have been observing the Sabbath for 8 years now! It’s neat because they can speak more to what it is like to Sabbath as a young family and also how the Sabbath will ebb and flow throughout different seasons. 

Hope this helps kick off your Sabbath Study Week! I will say this: sit and study the Sabbath – but don’t get stuck here. I am someone who can study something forever but eventually you need to take the plunge and start taking action! 

If that’s you, then we are here to help pull you through! Join the BG Sabbath Challenge HERE and get this rhythm started in your life! If you are hopping on board with us, your first Sabbath is on June 9th! 

See you next week friend to talk all about the beginners guide to taking a Sabbath! 

Hop in The BG Community & share your thoughts, exciments, concerns, what the Lord is teaching you, or email me at Bethiegrondinphotography@gmail.com – I’d love to chat!! 

Class dismissed!

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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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