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Remember the Sabbath

October 17, 2012

“Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.”

I grew up hearing that this command meant to go to church on Sunday. Going to church on Sunday is a good idea but not quite enough to keep the Sabbath holy.

Our family honors Sabbath in several ways.

There are rhythms of our year that are about honoring Sabbath. We dedicate some time every summer to family–either through a vacation or a stay-cation. Both are our attempts to honor a rhythm of stopping the productivity to play together. Every year, the first weekday of Christmas vacation is pajama day. We stay in our pajamas all day while we watch movies, bake cookies, and play games together. This is our recognition that the fall pushes our family to the brink of insanity and we need a day to say, “The world will go on without us.”

There are rhythms of our week that are about honoring Sabbath. Sunday afternoons are quiet. My husband and I sleep and the kids play quietly in their rooms, without TV or computers. We rest. Every Friday night that we can is family movie night. We will eat in the living room (a really big deal to our kids) and watch a corny, G-rated movie together. It is a guarantee that the movie will end with a dance party to the credits. We play. We try, at least once a month, to spend Saturday at home. Sometimes that means saying no to birthday parties, baseball games, and playdates. But this is our attempt to say, “The world will go on without us.”

There are rhythms of our day that are about honoring Sabbath. We eat breakfast together, every morning, with no TV or radio on. In some ways, this is about practical planning…who has what, and who is driving whom. In other ways, this is a way that we value family together. We eat dinner together as many nights a week as we can. Sometimes, this means we eat later than normal so that everyone is home. Sometimes this means that we group everybody’s practices and rehearsals on the same night of the week so that we can be home other nights. We eat. Together. We make every effort for everyone to sleep. While our kids are certainly getting older, they still have an early bed time. We honor the rhythms of resting that bodies need, even if the Rangers are playing or a big project is due the next day. This is our attempt to say, “The world will go on without us.”

How are you honoring the rhythm of Sabbath?

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