How We Rest
By Fullerton Free | March 11, 2021
Productivity, busyness, hustle, work, hurry! There’s no denying that our culture thrives from being on the go. But the discipline of Sabbath calls us to cease from endless striving and unending work. Imagine what it would be like if work never ended and we never took a break. The practice of Sabbath pulls us out of the illusion that we are in control. It was modeled by God Himself in the beginning when he rested from his work. Sabbathing lets us pause and realize that it’s not our efforts and busyness that sustain us, but it’s God Himself. We rest from our endeavors in order to rest in the provision and promises of God.
To encourage us to practice discipline of rest or Sabbath, we asked some of our FF family to share with us how they rest. May you be encouraged by the ways they practice this discipline and maybe even be inspired to practice in a similar way. No matter what, our prayer is that you would take time listening to God, diving deeper into your relationship with Him as we practice this discipline together.
My Sunday Sabbath starts with church. I enjoy praising the Lord, thanking Him for all His work in my life, and asking Him for guidance in the upcoming week. The experience makes me feel re-energized! Afterwards, I enjoy spending the day outdoors surrounded by God’s creation. I love hiking mountain trails or the California coastline. While hiking, my husband and I discuss what we learned from the sermon. These are my favorite conversations with him. Before sunset I sit and read a few Psalms and pray. Sunsets with the Lord is the best part of my resting day. That’s when I have my one-on-one time with the Lord. As the sun goes down I thank the Lord for another well-rested sabbath. -Raćhel Stolk
I have to be honest, I am not the best at creating rest for myself. I often use many excuses, and sometimes I even feel guilty for resting. I feel guilty for creating time for myself to be alone with Jesus, as I always think “what could I be doing? What work is there to be done? Who could I be spending time with? Will people be mad at me for saying I need alone time?” A large part of my adult life has been wrestling with these feelings of guilt. It has definitely been a season of forcing myself to slow down and know that I can rest in the finished work of the cross. Jesus invites me to rest with Him. As I slowly learn how to rest, I often find myself enjoying restful mornings. On mornings where I give myself time to recharge and refocus, I find that my days and weeks feel more peaceful. I love to rest by getting up early and creating a sustainable routine for myself. After a morning of working out, reading and journaling, making breakfast and coffee, I feel so much better going into my day than I do on days where I wake up and rush out of the door. This has been a sweet practice for me since the beginning of quarantine! -Amy Delmore
My earliest memories of family lessons about spiritual disciplines centered on Tithing and Sabbath Rest. If I got a dollar for my birthday, my parents quickly converted it into 10 dimes so that I could easily determine what a minimum tithe of 10% meant. As we were a farming family at that time, the realities of a Sabbath rest were even more noticeable. Except for feeding livestock (and the family) we did nothing else that day. It did not matter if a field needed to be plowed, stock moved from one pasture to another or the hay cut, the day was devoted to spending time with God and rest. While I never varied my concept of Tithing, I must admit that, later in life, my response to Sabbath rest would often get put on hold. After all, there just weren’t enough hours in a day or week to get everything done! With extra work, I thought, I could be extra productive. However, I began to notice that work projects crammed into my Sabbath schedule frequently did not turn out quite right. Instead of getting a jump on my work load, Sabbath work actually ended up adding more make-up work to my already busy schedule. Instead of getting ahead, it got me behind. My situation was quite similar to Haggai’s assessment of those who returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity: You have sown much, and harvested little … And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.(Haggai 1:6) As a child, I would have immediately interpreted Haggai’s words within the concept of financial stewardship. As an adult, I’ve come to realize that the concept of a Sabbath rest is also about stewardship. Whether we are giving God our treasure or a day of rest, He multiplies our portion beyond comprehension. -Gene Shepherd
Taking a Sabbath day has become very important to me this year. It is a time where I do NOT get on my computer all day. Everyone on my team at work knows that Saturday is my one day off from phone calls and emails so that I can refresh for the week ahead. It is also a time where I can prepare for Sunday, veg and read a book or even a self care day with a facial and pampering. -Patti Matterson