When we first started hearing about Sabbath from Bridgetown Church, Annie F. Downs, and the crew at Family Teams, I was SO looking forward to creating a Shabbat schedule for our family. It didn’t take long for those dreams to be squashed. The first rule about Sabbath is that you do whatever is rest and worship. Frankly, a schedule tends to go against the idea of rest and worship. For this type-A, planner extraordinaire, that was a tough pill to swallow. Instead of my dream, detailed schedule, we worked out a general, flexible schedule that helps us manage our time in a way that optimizes our rest.
Creating our Shabbat Schedule
To create our Shabbat schedule, we took our lists of Sabbath activities and figured out what we want to be a regular rhythm in our Shabbat, and what would just be NICE to do. This allowed us to pick our ideal time and day, knowing we could fit our rhythms in. After much trial and error, we’ve found that Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon works best for our family at this stage of life. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it’s our ideal setup.
The First Half of Our Sabbath
We found that our biggest struggle when it came to starting Shabbat in our family was actually getting our minds out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life and into rest and worship mode. We found a couple of things to help us switch in to Sabbath mode a little quicker. First, Saturday morning we wake up and are super productive by going through our Pre-Sabbath Checklist. This list takes care of the things that used to nag at us during the weekend. The second thing that helps us get in the right mindset is going to our church’s Saturday afternoon service. The 4pm service is the official kickoff for our Sabbath! We find that this time of worship helps us center our minds on Jesus.
You can get your own, customizable copy of the pre-sabbath checklist here!
We usually get home from our church service around 5:30 or 6, and this is our designated “screen time” for Sabbath. We only do screen time during Sabbath if it is intentional and not just mindless, like it often can be during the week. We usually make homemade pizzas from our favorite recipe and watch a movie together.
One of my personal favorite parts about Sabbath is literal rest – SLEEP. We usually go to bed early and sleep until we naturally wake up the next morning. Sometimes it’s still only 8 hours, but other times it is more like 12. No matter how long we sleep, It’s so nice to give our bodies the rest they need.
The Second Half of Our Sabbath
Sunday morning is the most varied part of Sabbath. By this time, we are almost always mentally in full Sabbath mode. We try to spend some time with God – in the Bible, listening to podcasts, or singing worship songs. Other than that, our Sundays are more go with the flow. Usually we eat some sort of special breakfast, like some food we don’t often eat. If we’re in the mood to cook, we’ll make more involved breakfasts that we don’t have time for during the week. This is a great time to listen to a podcast together or just chat about life. Sunday mornings we also tend to play card games or do a puzzle. We take Sunday mornings slowly and tend to just relax.
The rest of Sunday usually involves reading, taking a walk, or napping! We do whatever feels truly full of rest and worship to us on that day. Once 3:00 pm rolls around, we finish our Sabbath with our weekly Family Meeting and go back to “normal life” as we prepare for the week ahead.