Finding Sabbath Rest When It’s Just Plain Hard

|by | Spiritual Growth

Sometimes finding time to have a personal, weekly Sabbath is so difficult, we throw up our hands and give up. However, God is challenging me to get creative and find a way, despite the busyness of life.

finding sabbath rest when it's just plain hard

A few weeks ago I sat in church and listened to a compelling teaching on the problem of hurry.

The pastor spoke of our need for rhythm in our lives. He talked about how God, in His wisdom, established this into the very fibers of our world.

Day and night. Winter and summer. Work and rest.

He talked about the importance of Sabbath as part of this rhythm –that God didn’t need to rest after creating the world, but rather, His very act of rest created rest on our behalf.

It’s in these times of rest that we not only rejuvenate, but also slow down long enough to acutally be with God.

I began to understand that through this process of rhythmic resting, we are filled with God’s presence and goodness. As we draw near to Him, our faith is strengthened and our resolved, deepened. When we stop long enough, we begin to truly see.


The sermon struck a chord with me.

In fact, by its end, tears were streaming down my face. The friend I’d sat with gave me a compassionate smile and a pat as we walked out of the sanctuary. No words were exchanged. I think she understood.

The excuses we make for ourselves

Sabbath rest, in the sense of following a religious law, is no longer required (see Romans 14:5-6), but the truth of Sabbath runs deeply to the core of who we are as human beings.

And it had not been an intentional part of my life for several years.

Unfavorable circumstances had lead me to pretty much give up on this weekly, dedicated, disciplined rest.

…You know, like that little thing called having kids, who also happen to come with ceaseless needs…

Or that other thing where my husband’s job requires him to work weekends and only gives him one day off each week, that being Friday. Since I’m a full-time, stay-at-home mom, my only semblance of a break is when he’s home. Ergo, my “weekend” is pretty short too.

Our logic had lead us to assume Fridays must be spent mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, doing home projects and running all errands I wasn’t willing to do by myself with three little kids. Plus all appointments. Plus a chance for me to work on my blogging projects. Plus a time for him to take odd-jobs to help pay the bills.

You get the idea.

I hadn’t realized how weary I’d become. And now that I finally had, I felt trapped in the hamster wheel by our current life circumstances.

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Laying our excuses aside

As I wallowed in frustration and tears over my plight the next few days, I felt God convicting me. He humbled my letting me see that in my rush of emotion and self-pity, I wasn’t realistically assessing the possibilities. Like, not at all.

While we only have one day off a week, we have one day off a week. That’s enough for Sabbath rest. I began considering what it would mean to use our one day as such.

We’d have to move all our other work to the evenings of other days, but we could do that for the most part. We’d still care for our children of course, but if we allow them to watch their favorite TV shows in pajamas in the morning, if we sleep in, if we have pre-made meals and ban our to-do lists, that could still be a very significant break.

And Friday night is pretty great night for a date, which is a life-giving and edifying rest and re-connection opportunity for my husband and me. Yes, please!

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So, that’s where we are.

We’re devoting Fridays, not to work, but to play and rest and spend time with God and our children. We’re devoting them to slowing way down. To Sabbath.

And not doing so legalistically, but to honor and glorify God and move within the rhythms for which He created us.

While we can push and persevere through seasons of life without proper Sabbath rest, we won’t be living in the fulness God intended for us.

When we feel we’re too busy for sabbath, that’s a good sign we need it the most. >> tweet that

Join me today in taking a hard look at your current life circumstances and choosing a day or even a portion of a day to set aside for weekly rest.

Make a plan. See it through. Tweak it as needed. Let’s make this a priority and start living in God’s fullness.

How do you incorporate Sabbath into your life despite the challenges?


7 Comments on Finding Sabbath Rest When It’s Just Plain Hard

  1. Eliza
    November 11, 2015 at 8:14 PM (2 years ago)

    Thankyou for this post, I love it! Our family also has a very busy life, and no regular weekends, It was refreshing to read how you fit ‘rest’ into your life! Timely too, as I am currently doing Rachel Wojo’s Bible study, and one of the verses that sprang off the page for me this week was Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God. What a great reminder! And then today I find myself drawn to this post, after reading a comment you made on a post at Young Wife’s Guide!

  2. Leslie Johnson
    July 24, 2015 at 10:06 AM (2 years ago)

    It’s been hard for us to do this. Hubby is off on Wednesdays, but I work part time during the week. Therefore, Hubby takes his Sabbath on Wednesdays and I take mine on Saturdays (even though we have swim lesson Saturday morning). It’s a balancing act, but it’s what’s working for us at the moment.
    I think it’s important wed all take time to rest and reset ourselves.

  3. Diane Hollster
    July 22, 2015 at 2:21 PM (2 years ago)

    This is so good! We all find times in our lives that we get caught in the busyness of life, be it young children, a job, overwhelming circumstances, or whatever keeps us hopping. Mine is my job. I feel like I work all the time. Annually we take a vacation (never called a Sabbatical) to our church family camp. Time to rest, relax with family and friends, but most of all time to focus on hearing God. This comes in 14 days for us. So looking forward to it However. the blog made me contemplate ways to a Sabbatical monthly or weekly. This is something that I will really need to pray about. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    • Katie Bennett
      August 1, 2015 at 8:46 AM (2 years ago)

      You are so welcome! This is something I’m continuing to process myself. It’s striking to see how much emphasis God puts on Sabbath in the Old Testament. Of course, we’re not bound by the law now, but what God values is still significant and shouldn’t be missed. I love how His love for us shines through Sabbath.

  4. Rachel
    July 20, 2015 at 6:58 AM (2 years ago)

    I know exactly how you feel! Since my husband goes to school and works full time during the semester, and I essentially had to live life as a single Mom during that time; we only got to be together as a family for a few hours on Saturday and everything else was filled. I had a super pity-party for a while. Once I got over it, it was freeing to quit thinking of “rest” day in the terms of everyone else’s day. We had to dig, but we did it and it felt so good! I’m glad you guys were able to do that for yourselves. It’s so important!
    Rachel recently posted…Classic Chocolate CupcakesMy Profile

    • Katie Bennett
      July 20, 2015 at 2:03 PM (2 years ago)

      Yes! We are so alike with how we process some things Rachel! I am so glad I got over my pity-party and starting actually solving the problem. 🙂 Freeing is a good word!

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