Friday, November 12, 2010

A Return to Sabbath

To those of you who don't know me very well, I can be a bit, um, high strung.  I like to be efficient.  I like to get things done.  I have a hard time taking a break.

Yesterday, though, I gave myself a day off.  Actually, it was a morning to mid-afternoon off, but still, I'll take what I can give myself.

I started with my normal quiet time.  I got dressed for my run.  Eleven miles later (I'm back in training for the January half-marathon) I was enjoying a hot shower, my belly full of warm bagel smothered in cream cheese and strawberry jam.  I got dressed, nixed the makeup, and ran a brush through my hair.  And then, I did the unthinkable.

I got back in bed.

You see, I don't just lie down in the middle of the day.  I may sometimes look longingly at my bed as I pass by it on the way to the study, but I never stop, unless it's to make it.  But today, back into bed I fell, my muscles tired and weary.  The open windows let a cool breeze waft in.  I pulled up the covers.  I opened my book. I read until it was finished.  When a "to-do" thought popped in, I dismissed it.  When the email dinged on my phone, I didn't rush to check it.  When my Words with Friends dinged, I played (because that's relaxing, right?).

The book ended and I picked up my sketch pad.  Remember that sabbath calling?  Somehow, it seemed to go out the window because I thought having a daily quiet time replaced it.  But no.  I remembered what God had told me my sabbath was about -- doing something that had no real purpose, that was for pure pleasure, pure fun.  So, I picked up my pencils.  I grabbed my sketch book that had been gathering dust for a few weeks and I drew.  For fun. I ignored mistakes.  I didn't sigh in frustration.  I let my mind wander. I let my doodles float across the page. I didn't over-think the significance of my drawing (because, you know, I have a bad habit of doing that).  I think I actually smiled while I sketched.  Joy.  Peace.  Quiet.  Sabbath in my bed. In the middle of the day.  A slice of heaven for the weary.

Here's my drawing -- imperfections and no explanations!




I'm linking up with Home Sanctuary, Studio JRU, and Caffeinated Randomness today.  See you over there!

18 comments :

  1. This sounds great Jen. I love the purpose of your "Sabbath" doing something that had no real purpose, that was for pure pleasure, pure fun. Even on the Sabbath I'm still running around doing things for others. I think this week I will embrace your Sabbath. By the way it's nice to see your art work again.

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  2. First, let me just say that I am so impressed with eleven miles. I know you are a runner and I am a beginner, but I just can't seem to get past my 3.56 mile route. In fact, today, I didn't even make that...I just had to stop and walk a short time...ugh!

    Anyway, good for you for taking a sabbath rest. I think it is so hard to allow myself to do that...but it is really important! Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.

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  3. I have to say first I think it is so cool that you are a runner. I dream about being a runner but never do it!

    Sabbath is a concept that totally escapes me right now with 3 kids age 4 and under, but I know it is important. Thanks for posting!!

    http://lifewiththelittlers.blogspot.com

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  4. This is tough isn't it? A Sabbath day, yet Jesus rested on the 7th and several times with His walk here on earth. And I will guarantee He had a list a mile long. ;) I love that you got back into bed for a bit. And after 11 miles you deserved a big 'ole bagel, shower, and a bed!

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  5. this is something i need to do. just reading this makes me feel a bit of that warmth and satisfaction that comes with taking time for sabbath. oh man. i feel inspired :)

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  6. Jen, I love that you're talking about Sabbath. I just bought a book about it and can't wait to dive it. I'm happy for you that you got to have some Sabbath time and experienced it the way it was designed to be.

    Way to go on the running. I'd love any advice you have about shin splints. I stretch- but they seem to linger, even days after running. I love running but had to stop because of the leg cramps, but my husband says they will pass, just keep going. What do you think?

    Erin
    itsgrace.com

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  7. I have a Jewish friend in Israel and although I mourn the fact that she still doesn't recognize Jesus as her Messiah...I have learned interesting things about practicing the Sabbath. She does SO much ahead...it's amazing. They have very VERY strict rules for the day. She recently pointed out that the "godly men" didn't lift a finger (literally) but their wives didn't have that luxury. Bound by the law. I think you have a much closer idea of the "true sabbath" purpose.

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  8. Jen, your post is wonderful. Your drawing is very spiritual. The way I see it, it's the pruning of branches and that's what's left after it has been pruned. John 15:1-8 Thank you for this wonderful post!

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  9. You might enjoy reading the book "Mudhouse Sabbath" by Lauren Winner. Very interesting.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  10. Oh, Jen, I'm so proud of you! I see so much of myself in you (outside of your great writing and artistic talent). I cannot stand being behind on anything, in fact, like to be ahead on matters. I'm efficient to a fault but I do think that age has "tempered" some of it. :o) I hope you will enjoy another Sabbath very soon.

    Wishing you a beautiful week-end! Hugs!

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  11. This sounds like the perfect way to spend a day and recharge. Reading and sketching... not over thinking. Wonderful day! So glad you joined us for 'sneak peek friday'. Hope you have a great weekend! :)

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  12. Oh my. I long for this. I'm so happy you did this, sweet one.

    I'm with you - I don't do the Sabbath thing well. However, this being said, I see what Bobbi is saying - perhaps if I planned better, I could? I don't know but WOW am I thankful you fell back into bed and after 11 miles? You completely deserved it.

    Bless you this weekend, sweet friend!

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  13. Good for you... renewing your energy and spirit. Sketching is always a rewarding activity...doesn't have to go anywhere, but quiets the mind, I think.

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  14. that darn sabbath! We think we are tricking GOD when in fact we are the ones that are missing out! Thanks for the reminder to not second guess what GOD KNOWS we need...

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  15. Good for you! I definitely need that too.

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  16. Very, very occasionally I fall back into bed for a couple of hours, and it is heavenly luxury. I do it far too rarely.

    I like the idea of your Sabbath -- I'm reading a book right now called "Mudhouse Sabbath" by Lauren Winner. Have you heard of it or read it? She is a former Orthodox Jew who converted to Christianity, and the book is about some of the Jewish practices -- like honoring the Sabbath day -- that she misses, and how she is trying to integrate them into her life in a Christian way. A good read.

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  17. I am glad that you got to unwind and honor the Sabbath.

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  18. That is very cool that you gave yourself a rest--I am so used to thinking that I must be doing the "perfect" thing in each moment, that it erodes the very moment itself.

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