Lisa states, "We can't always fix our circumstances, But we can fix our mind on God."
She goes on to identify four types of reactors and strategies to navigate in healthy ways. I gained so much insight as she unpacks how gratitude, having a strategy in place, and dealing with our "inside chatter" can position us for victory when life happens.
In addition to these important steps, she unpacks our need to "EXHALE". Take a deep breath so to speak, hit the pause button and guard our rest; basically, learning to Sabbath. In the past couple of years I have done some reading about what it means to Sabbath. It has been so fascinating and convicting. Especially since I am addicted to activity and get a rush from accomplishing tasks.
However, Sabbath is not a nice option God has made available to us. It is actually a command, like one of the big 10!! When I was growing up way back in the 60's there were Blue Laws in place. These laws enforced that stores not be open on Sunday. That's right, you could not shop on Sunday. Oh yeah, and I also remember that sports leagues and school activities were never on Sunday. Sunday was a day for rest and family. It sure helped make Sunday a day different from the rest.
My family would go for drives in the county, explore new neighborhoods, play games outside and just hang out. We often went to visit our grandparents. Sundays were different, and special and slower than the rest of our week. Today that is not the case. If we want our Sunday to be different we have to be very intentional. We have to self impose our own limits. God knows we need rest to be a part of our weekly routine. Otherwise we burn out, get stressed out, and lack the balance we need to relate to each other in a grace filled fashion.
No one is going to force us into this but if we take God's commands seriously we must find a way to Sabbath. This means learning to cease from our work and slow down and rest. Rest our bodies and rest our minds. Now that does not mean legalistically coming up with a list of dos and don'ts. That is not rest, it is rules. Our Sabbath needs to evolve out of our love relationship with the Lord. We figure it out because we know He loves us and knows what it best for us. We figure it out because it is a gift that we have left on the table unwrapped. For example, if we decide to read a book, don't read a book that causes your mind to race with all the things you need to do or get better at or accomplish. Read a book on the Sabbath that refreshes and inspires you. Find what activities restore you? If you are a runner, go for a walk instead, Just slow down.
Ty and I have been in ministry for all of our marriage. As a result, Sunday has never been our Sabbath. Monday is our Sabbath and we really try to make this a restful, different day. We certainly do not bat a thousand but our hearts desire is to honor the Sabbath. And, on the weeks we do our Sabbath well, we can so tell the difference. When we do not honor the Sabbath as we know we should we feel it. It is not like lightening strikes down on us. That is not how it works. But, it's like our grace levels for the week ahead are less. God is gracious and kind and allows us the journey to find our way to Sabbath keeping.
So what about you? Is there a Sabbath in your week? Sabbath can look a multitude of ways in the different seasons of life. If you are a young mom you really cannot take a day off from your duties. But perhaps you can put off the laundry for another day and have sandwiches for dinner. We can all find ways to slow down and B R E A T H E.... E X H A L E.
I would love to hear your comments of how you have found a way to Sabbath. I am certainly still learning. I would love to have you join us this Tuesday as we discuss this book. You do not have to have read it to attend. Just come and EXHALE with us. If you are interested in coming email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you all the details.