What is true rest (and what isn’t) Sabbath pt. 2

When we started honoring the Sabbath (or celebrating Shabbat), we knew that it would be easy to slip into old habits. Finding time and space for true rest is so difficult!

In our culture of hustle and BUSY, it’s easy for weekends to become about cleaning, projects, and getting stuff done so that your next week can be just as productive. However, we knew that Sabbath was to be about two things, and two things only – rest and worship.

This is part 2 in our series on rest and Sabbath. You can read part 1 here.

True rest? Worship? Neither?

We decided at our first family meeting that anything we would do during our shabbat had to pass one litmus test: “Is this rest or worship?” If the answer was neither, it was a no-go. From there, and from a few weeks of experience, we realized that there were some things that were definite, constant “no’s” on the litmus test of sabbath, somethings that were always a “yes”, and some that vary depending on the context and the week.

Since these things vary in our own our household from week to week, we know they will vary from household to household. However, we wanted to show you our list of typical things that have come up during our Sabbath to help you set guidelines for your own Sabbath.

True Rest or Worship

Always Yes

Cody's phone on the nightstand - not to be used during our Sabbath!
Our phones are on silent and left up in the bedroom, so we don’t grab it out of habit or start doing mindless things!
  • Putting away your phone
  • Staying off social media
  • Taking a nap
  • Reading
  • Going to church
  • Playing piano/guitar
  • Going for a walk

Sometimes Yes

  • Board games and puzzles
  • Watching a movie
  • Writing
  • Spending time with friends
  • Listening to podcasts

Always No

  • Cleaning
  • Binge watching TV
  • Anything that becomes mindless
  • Checking your phone
  • Social media

If you’ve never tried Sabbath for yourself, what’s stopping you? We know, we know… Life is too busy right now, there isn’t time to stop and not do ANYTHING! And that’s entirely the point – if we aren’t intentional to follow God’s instructions, we will always be too busy. Too busy for true rest, too busy for growth, and too busy for God. This continues to be a learning experience for us, but it is already so fruitful for us! We would love for you to join us, and let us know what works (and doesn’t) for you!