I have a hard time relaxing until everything on my to-do list is done. If I do try to relax, I just end up thinking about everything I should be doing (which is not very relaxing, its actually very stressful). Sometimes I feel this is a good thing, because it helps me get stuff done. But add that to the fact that I can't say no to people when they ask things of me (which probably stems from my desire to please people) and I usually just end up working myself weary.
The Lord began convicting me of that a lot towards the end of last year. May was a whirlwind, as I was leaving two and a half weeks early, but was still trying to get everything done that would usually be done after the kids were done with school while teaching all my classes. I kept saying, "I'll rest this summer." There was just no time for it here.
And then I went home for the summer. And it was great. Wouldn't change a second of it. But do I feel like I "rested well"? No. There were too many people to see and things to do in those two and a half months that seem to fly by.
Coming back here, I knew I would be teaching four grades, in addition to some extra school responsibilities, and I knew something needed to change. I needed to set some boundaries for myself.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
The fourth of the ten commandments the Lord gave Moses. But what does this actually look like? I know the Jews of the New Testament had all sorts of rules and regulations to ensure the people were "honoring the Sabbath," but Jesus said in Mark 2:27 that "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath."
So I figured the Sabbath may look different for different people, and that was okay. There is no one "right way to Sabbath" (at least in my opinion).
For me, it means I take literally the command, "Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work." (Exodus 20:9-10) Those verses say to do ALL your work. The Sabbath isn't an excuse to not fulfill your responsibilities. It just means that the other six days of the week, I am completing my work so that I can look forward to my day of rest without lesson plans, grading, cooking, or cleaning.
For me, it means I can spend a little more time in private worship and prayer, and listen to a sermon online. I love my church here and our Pastor, but there is nothing like singing, praying, and being fed in your own language. It's my own personal church time, here at home, before actual church out at Destino.
For me, it means time to catch up with family and friends. Technology is amazing y'all, and FaceTime is my best friend. I can see and talk to my parents, boyfriend, or actual best friend (who is not an iPad app, that was a joke!).
And sometimes, it means a break in the "Sabbath routine," like today. Today in Honduras we are celebrating "The Day of the Bible." And in Honduras, celebrating anything means parades! This year, our school's middle/high school marching band got to march in the parade. So of course I went to see and support them.
As I said, the Sabbath has no "rules." You do what you feel like you need to do. Its only been a month and a half, but this already feels like a lifesaver. Yes, God knew what He was doing when He created the Sabbath for us. He knew some of us would have to be commanded to rest, we wouldn't just do it on our own.
And if you've never actively practiced the Sabbath before, can I encourage you to start? Your Sabbath may look totally different from mine, and that's fine! You do you. One resource I've enjoyed is called "The Sabbath Society" (www.redemptionsbeauty.com). She sends an email each Friday with some Sabbath thoughts/encouragements.
Try it out. Let me know how it goes. Lord knows, it's for our own good.