How a Sabbath Practice Brought More than Physical Rest into My Life
Hearing from my friend Rachel Fahrenbach about her Sabbath Practice. Listen in, it's a good one :)
The first day we set out to observe a 24-hour Sabbath, I honestly didn’t know quite what we were doing, but I knew that I needed it. Almost every aspect of our lives had shifted or changed and my sense of identity, purpose, and belonging seemed to shift and change too as a result. Navigating that period of our lives produced an exhaustion that permeated my everyday. I wasn’t just physically tired, my soul longed for rest.
In the practice of a weekly Sabbath, I found true rest for both my body and my soul that couldn’t be found in sporadic moments of self-care. While my husband had always been supportive when I voiced the need for some time alone (he even made a “mom’s off duty, go ask your dad” sign with our kids for a mother’s day gift one year), those moments just never felt like enough. I would either find myself barely getting into the mode of relaxing when my time was up, or those moments were few and rare. The worst part? I always felt guilty that I was taking time away from my family to focus just on me, even though I knew it was important that I did so.
But Sabbath offered something different. Because my family started resting together, that guilt could no longer find a foothold in my heart. That in and of itself made a huge difference in how I was able to actually rest. And, because we observed a 24-hour Sabbath, I found that I had time to truly engage in rest in a way that was refreshing and renewing. The fact that it was a weekly practice meant that rest became the norm instead of a fleeting and elusive ideal.
What truly became a life-giving aspect of Sabbath, was the rhythm of rest and reflection that naturally emerged during this weekly practice. While my husband put the kids to bed, I sat quietly in a chair in the living room and processed the previous week with Jesus. Conversing with my Creator about my week, specifically how that week had impacted my sense of identity, purpose, and belonging, brought a stabilizing peace and joy into my life that truly allowed my soul to rest.
Over the years, we’ve refined what our weekly Sabbath looks like for our family. In that way, it has become a spiritual practice rather than a list of dos and don’ts. We approach it with intentionality, treating it as a welcomed event in our lives instead of a task to be completed.
This intentional and weekly practice has not only given me the space to physically rest my body, but in the week-after-week rhythm of rest and reflection, I have met with Jesus and allowed Him to tend to my soul in a restful way that only He can. Sabbath truly is a gift wrapped up in a commandment.
RACHEL FAHRENBACH is a storyteller learning to embrace her unique design. She invites you to do the same by using the gift of Sabbath as a guide for discovering your sense of identity, purpose, and belonging. Rachel offers encouragement and resources for implementing a weekly Sabbath practice and growing in your identity in Christ at rachelfahrenbach.com. Her first publication, Rest & Reflect: 12- Week Guided Sabbath Journal, is now available on Amazon.
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