Why Moms Should Celebrate a Sabbath

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"I'm not important enough to take care of myself..." Isn't that what we're saying when we *don't* celebrate a Sabbath?

I recently heard someone speaking on the subject of the Sabbath.  If you're not familiar with the term, it's a period of time, usually a day and often considered Sunday, when you rest (for you Type-A's out there, that is translated as "do - nothing - productive").

"I'm not important enough to take care of myself..." Isn't that what we're saying when we *don't* celebrate a Sabbath?


I know that's a hard concept for moms, at least it is for me. How do I do nothing?  Just the question elevates my heartbeat and makes my chest feel squeezed...

My Sabbaths have usually come in spits and spurts.  You know: it's a Thursday afternoon and I find myself with a free hour or 2, or (contented sigh) I squeeze in a sweet Sunday afternoon nap (or it's forced upon me by my exhausted bod...).

Truth-be-told, I have a hard time resting.  And even when my body manages to sit still, my brain is constantly going; mostly creating to-do lists...

Here are some more reasons I have a hard time excuses I use for not celebrating a Sabbath:

  • who else is gonna__________? (insert "cook," "clean," "take care of" or simply "do it" here)
  • who has the time?
  • next week... or "as soon as__________ is over" (insert here any number of things: my daughter's dance recital, the kids' play, our family vacation - Ha!)

But the biggest one, the one that is never spoken aloud, or perhaps given a conscious thought, is

  • I'm not valuable enough to take care of myself...

24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life

Because, really, when you get down to it, isn't that what we're saying when we don't enjoy a Sabbath rest?  

And even though it may feel almost un-American, or at least uber-lazy, we DO benefit from this time set apart.  In his book "24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life", Matthew Sleeth describes a specific group of people in California who live, on average, about 12 years longer than the US average...and analyzing their lives indicate that this can be attributed to intentionally and regularly celebrating a Sabbath.  (Read the details yourself on pages 100-101.) Isn't that amazing?!  (Seriously, this is a great book - easy read, very encouraging and enlightening, and got ME motivated to take some much-needed R&R...)

Read  8 Practical Ways to Encourage Young Mothers

What Does a Sabbath look like?

It's a day to focus on 2 things:

  1. rest, and
  2. relationships (this includes both family/friends and your relationship with the Lord!)

I know that sounds like a lot 😉  and especially if you have little ones, it may be!  If that's the case, you may have to get creative!  If you have school-aged children, you could choose a school day, when they're not around offering you an "excuse" to keep busy!  Here are some ideas to use the time wisely:

  • meet a friend for coffee
  • enjoy extended quiet time with Bible reading/study
  • journal
  • pray
  • meet your spouse for lunch
  • see a movie you've been wanting to see
  • take a walk
  • lie on a blanket and daydream
  • swing on a hammock or on a swing outside
  • take a nap (oh, delish!!)
  • do a craft you enjoy
  • spend some non-productive time with your kids/family (NO chores or errands or tech nearby)
  • call a friend or family member that you especially miss <3

Here's my challenge to you (and it's not what you think!)

I know you've heard in sermons and workshops to set a day aside, but ladies (mostly) we're talking REAL WORLD here! Over the course of the next 3 months, pick ONE (1) DAY a month, mark it on your calendars (or day planners), tell your family & friends, heck, even post it on Facebook, and ENJOY a Sabbath! Don't plan too much of your day in advance because then you'll be tempted to feel productive as you check off your activities...  JUST use it to focus on, c'mon, say it with me: "Rest and Relationships"!

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And Why Should You Not Celebrate a Sabbath?

Ummm... (insert birds chirping here...)  Sorry, I got nuthin'...  BUT, just to round out "the other side of the coin," Kathy over at Cornerstone Confessions, HAS provided us with 10 reasons not to celebrate a Sabbath... (Tongue-in-cheek, of course, but nevertheless a good read which may touch some of us a bit too close to home...)

Read  Moms: Take Time to Color and Be All the Better For It!

OK, it's sharing time here: what's keeping YOU from enjoying a Sabbath?  Or, better yet, what are YOUR dates over the next 3 months?! 🙂

It's oh-so-important for us to take care of ourselves, ladies. Find even more ideas here: homeschool blogging mamas share their ideas to help you make YOURSELF a priority <3 <3

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14 thoughts on “Why Moms Should Celebrate a Sabbath”

    1. Hi Deborah! I WISH I could celebrate them weekly! While I do try to minimize work on Sundays, the only day we are all together as a family, I don’t always succeed… So I keep looking for ways to focus on “rest and relationships”…

      Someday we’ll get it right! ;-)!


  1. Can’t wait to hear how this goes for you! Love the idea of taking one day per month – and finding ways to incorporate Sabbath into our ‘real world’. I cleared one day a week of chores that were taking time away from the family – so no laundry and no work (from my day job) on Sundays. Small changes that made a big difference to give me rest and better relationships with my kids.


    1. Hi Kathryn! I’ll be updating on FB on the 12th, so check back then!! (And keep your fingers crossed for me!!) LOL

      I’m shooting for a day a week, but right now I’ll be THRILLED with a *true* day per month!!

      Thanks for stopping by :-)!


  2. Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays Pat. On Saturdays I will often make a large batch of soup and that way no cooking necessary on Sunday. It is a blessing to have a real day of rest! 🙂


    1. I love that idea! What kinds of soups do your family enjoy? Mine are so picky sometimes 🙁 Always looking for new recipes…


  3. Thank you for sharing…although I’m confused. Isn’t the commandment for Sabbath rest the 4th one and wasn’t it the 7th day that God hallowed? I was just reading that in my Bible and it doesn’t say anything about honoring Sabbath on a day of our choosing…any other day than the 7th, as was also the custom of Jesus. I’m asking because I am genuinely confused about why Bible believers follow along with the Catholic-hallowed Sabbath day or choose a day that’s convenient for themselves.


    1. Excellent points, Sandra, and if you give me a few days, I’ll talk to my husband and pastor about that! My opinion is that God created the Sabbath for us, and not us for the Sabbath. The point is *that* we rest, and not so much *when*; but I do admit I have no (known to me, at least) Biblical basis for that opinion. I do appreciate you bringing this up and will look into it and comment here…


  4. I think that you bring up an excellent point, Pat, about us not valuing ourselves enough to take the time to rest and care for us. The problem, though, is that when we are burnt out and exhausted because we aren’t caring for self, we become so much less to those we are trying to care for. In other words, we are caring for our families when we take time to care for ourselves. Thanks so much for the thoughtful post. Loved how Kathy built on yours. What a wonderful blogging community we have. Thanks, again, for the encouragement.


    1. Heather,
      You’re exactly right! I have a friend who told me the other day that she casually mentioned to her family she *might* take a class she was interested in and her family responded with a resounding “YES!” Seems they sensed her burn-out as well!
      I thought it SO creative of Kathy to piggy-back on this idea, too! I really enjoy collaborating with fellow bloggers 🙂
      Glad you were encouraged ~ most of the time I write stuff that I need to hear, so I’m glad to hear someone else benefitted from it too! LOL


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