Carl and I left Portland to head to the coast with no expectations.
We simply wanted time.
We weren’t worry if it rained the entire time, otherwise we
would have driven way south.
As we left the drizzle of Portland, we drove through fog, rain,
snow on the side of the road and blue skies.
Yet as we closed in on Cannon Beach, we looked at each other and thought
perhaps we might be surprised by the skies.
The photo above is from our room, a bit blurry because there still was a bit of fog,
but truth be told, I was hurrying so we could walk on the beach.
It’s January so the beach was not jammed with people.
There wasn’t a kites or castles in sight.
People were strolling and taking pictures.
Okay, there were a few joggers, I forgive them.
The longer we walked, the deafening waves of our life, 85 miles away, changed
to the serenity of low tide.
We found ourselves here:
We pretended we were 25 as we jumped upon slippery rocks in search of tide pools.
I believe our appointed angels were working overtime, keeping us upright and unscathed.
When life comes against you in torrents and riptides, it is easy to become battered and bruised.
Deadlines and hardship begin to become your daily expectation.
Sabbath is found at low tide.
It’s like the Father pushes back the pressure and weight of the week
and brings refreshment and revival in little pools of clear standing waters.
Hear this my friends, He is holding back the weight of your days to give you rest
It’s the respite that only He can provide.
Skip across the nearest rocks to get there!
You may find treasures unexpected.
When the storms of life ensue, there is no safer place then pressing
the full expanse of your body upon the Rock.
At one point, a man left his family, approached us and said,
“You gotta see this!”
He told us the best view to see dozens of starfish.
His eyes widened as he told Carl that there was a starfish almost as purple as
his Linfield sweatshirt.
We took his advice despite the treacherous terrain.
When wonder is captured in our midst, it begs to be shared.
Most weeks, won’t find you taking a jaunt down a sandy beach, let me
share what has helped me on days that don’t include an ocean.
I am not perfect in Sabbath keeping.
I am pursuing it harder than ever though.
- CHOOSE THE DAY
There is no rule that a Sabbath must occur
on a Sunday or from sundown to sundown.
Observe the rhythm of your family and find
the time which works best.
You can always change your mind.
If our life lined up, I would pick the traditional
Jewish practice, Friday evening to Saturday evening.
But we have chosen Sunday and it works most of the time.
- START SMALL
The goal is not perfection.
The goal is to begin.
Start with a morning or an afternoon.
Get your feet wet by keeping the time frame manageable
to allow for the greater likelihood of “success”.
For a few years, I devoted the first few hours of Saturday
morning as my own personal Sabbath. I have the fondest
thoughts of those sacred hours of being renewed.
Whatever tasks you can do ahead of time,
Do an extra load of laundry.
Menu plan and grocery shop.
Dust off that crock pot.
Pay bills and return emails.
Get the word out that you won’t be online during your
I plan easy meals for the weekend and usually something for the
crock pot for Sunday.
I don’t like shopping on the weekend as it is so busy and makes me
cranky. I try to shop early Friday for meals through Monday.
There is just something that makes me really happy to know what
is planned for Monday even if I still grocery shop on Monday.
One of my biggest “give up’s” has been making Sunday brunch after
church. Heavy sigh, we like breakfast in this family.
Over time I have found that I spent the whole day in the kitchen after church.
Now we do very simple lunch and either leftovers or something in the crock pot for dinner.
Huge dividends by this small change.
If baking and cooking refuels and gives you joy , by all means
- PRAY and EXPECT OPPOSITION
Ask God for help as you reach the homestretch towards your Sabbath time.
Remember that you have one who will oppose any movement
to developing a new discipline and especially anything designed
to draw you towards your Maker. He’d rather keep you busy.
Embrace every small step you make each week especially when your time
of rest doesn’t go as you hope.
- DO WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART GLAD
We are all different.
Two hours of reading makes me happy, to someone
else it might be excruciating.
Rest for you might be having friends over for dinner.
For someone else, it might be sharing a pizza on the floor around a puzzle.
Play board games.
Unplug electronic devices.
Take a nap.
Read the Psalms.
Go for a walk.
Visit a museum.
Throw a Frisbee.
I know you are out there!
Those of you who have moved from knee-high level life
to it nipping at your chin.
Sabbath is not one more thing to juggle.
It also is not designed to make you feel guilty.
My gentle suggestion is to take a deep breath.
Find even a half hour to light a candle and
just sit and be.
Cease for 30 minutes with no agenda, no to-do lists and
no need for productivity.
Replace expectations with time.
Remember God knows your life.
He will meet you in the midst of busting at the seams days
even if He has to dispense it in snippets.
I am praying for you as you pursue the Sabbath.
The week may contain all sorts of weather but I promise if
you keep walking, you will find the low tide.
You might capture the wonder of peace that beckons you to share
You gotta see this!