I have been feeling a little spread thin lately, kind of like when Billboy Baggypants from Lord of the Beans says, “I’m feeling stretched like chocolate pudding spread across too much ham.” I’ve been longing for lazy days at the beach or anywhere for that matter, exhausted from the see-saw of being desperately needed one minute, “Mom the FASFA deadline is like today!” and stubbornly rejected the next, “I don’t need or want your help with this!” It’s a whirlwind that quite frankly reminds me of the terrible twos.
A few of my blogging buddies have mentioned a change of attitude about the Sabbath as of late…and it’s gotten me thinking. I admit that in my ministry-minded family, Sundays are far from a day of rest. My son works full time on staff at the church, my daughter is on the worship team, my husband serves with the children and I help count the offerings. We have to leave by 7:45 on Sunday mornings. Church starts at 9:30, we all scramble to our service stations. After the morning service, my daughter practices with one of her worship teams, so she stays at church all afternoon, while my husband and I go home for a few hours before the whole cycle begins again for evening service.
And I wouldn’t change a thing. We have been a part of our church family for over twenty years, and it is our pleasure to serve God’s people. However, as you see, rest is hard to come by on the Sabbath.
But…there are things I can control. I could begin by not doing laundry or excessive amounts of cooking on Sundays. I could refrain from cleaning and vacuuming.
Because the stirring in me about the Sabbath isn’t about a commandment, but a commitment.
Our family is committed to give a tithe, or a tenth of our income. But how much more precious is time than money? And I never want to be Martha, who is so busy serving Jesus that I never sit at His feet.
The stirring in me about the Sabbath isn’t about law, but about trust.
In a world that has a five day and sometimes even a four day work week, I’m not sure we understand what a exercise in trust that for the Isrealites that the Sabbath was. They had to trust Him that they could prosper in a world that was working seven days a week. God was commanding them to sit still for one day, to sit still and remember Him.
And I must sit still and remember.
The celebration of Sabbath is really all about remembering and expectation. The Jewish people remember what God has done for their people and they look forward to the coming of the Messiah, some even prepare a place at the table for Him!
Have I prepared a place at my table for Him?
The table of life represents preparation, and time set apart to be nourished. Have I prepared? Do I set apart a time for me to be nourished in every way?
Then a friend, wrote a post about Saturday being Preparation Day.
What if Saturday is my preparation day? What if I prepare all of my food ahead of time? Clean the house? Lay out my clothes? What if, and here’s the big one, what if I prepare my heart?
Once a year our church has a major conference that people come from all over the world to attend. Our family has always looked forward to this week of services. Do you know why? We prepare for it. In a flurry of excitement, I cook for a week beforehand so that we would have delicious meals ready for us when we come home. The children look over my shoulder at the tasty things I’m making, and their mouth waters for the future. We plan what we’ll wear so that everything is dry cleaned, laundered and/or ironed. I clean the house spotless so that very little housework is necessary, and the family looks forward to a week with minimal chores. It is like a vacation at home! I also purchase a fresh notebook so that I can write down what I hear from God through the speakers for the week. One year, we even anticipated a missions offering and had a garage sale so that we could sow a special seed.
But do you know what the most amazing thing is about all of this preparation? We become EXPECTant! The more we prepare, the more we EXPECT. What if I did that in a small way each week? What if I prepared for the Sabbath, to rest in Him, both corporately with my church family and intimately? What if I allow my preparations to cause a holy EXPECTation?
Mark 1:3 states, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him!‘”
…and a voice has shouted into my wilderness, a wilderness of pouring out to my world without rest. And the voice has instructed me to prepare myself for the King each week, to clear the road for Him, expecting to meet with Him, not just on Sundays, but everyday. Sundays are just practice. A voice has cried out telling me to allow Him to pour Himself into me.
one. day. a. week.
This Sunday when I come home for the precious few hours between services, I will be eating food that I’ve already prepared on a paper plate. I will be taking a bath or a walk or whatever sounds the most rejuvenating. I will meditate on what He has said to me throughout the week. I will rest in His arms, because with Preparation comes Expectation.
What ways can you prepare so that your expectation is heightened?
182. Clear beautiful water.
183. Living through the wine press.
184. Robins flitting and fluttering on my deck railing.
185. The neighbor’s wind chimes clanging in March wind.
186. Unprojected sunshine.
187. The spring call of a cardinal.
188. My snoring dog.
189. Bird song waking me.
190. Getting the kid’s FASFA’s done!!!
191. Trusting God to provide for their college education.
192. Epiphany! about Sabbath and Expectation.
193. Only a few weeks until I am done with school…forever.
194. The privilege of getting to encourage and mentor young mothers today.
195. A day just to catch up.
196. A dog who wants to be close to me.
197. A pink frosted morning.
198. A good book.
199. A night with no tv.
200. That I’m finished reading the Odyssey! Yay!
201. That I’m almost finished teaching the Odyssey.