Monday, March 3, 2008

Tell me your Sabbath story!

Do you practice Sabbath? I am working on a book on Sabbath—we are in the editing stage. This book, Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity, will be out later this year. One thing this book needs is the perspective of a few more real people.
So, if you have opinions or experience on Sabbath, I’d love to hear from you, as soon as possible. Just comment below. Here’s what I’d like to know:
When you were growing up, were there certain activities that were prohibited or encouraged on Sundays? Which denomination or tradition were you a part of?
Maybe you grew up in a tradition where Sunday meant going to church twice (morning and evening) and a day of prohibitions in between (no playing, no work, no movies, no shopping). What was required, what was prohibited?
Do you take a Sabbath? What do you do or not do on that day? How is your Sabbath similar or different from the Sundays of your childhood?
Are your weekends busy, or relaxed? Perhaps you rest on either Saturday or Sunday and just have never applied the label “Sabbath” to those days.
Does your church support your desire to have a day of rest? How about your family?

I really would like to hear your stories, and I’m hoping I can include a few in the book. But if you want to share, do it right away. I need to hear from you in the next couple of days, if possible.


Dianne said...

Growing up, Sundays were pretty much just another day although we did go to church. At college though - they were a nightmare. After spending all Saturday in the inner city recruiting kids for church, we were on buses on Sunday by 5am to go pick those kids up and didn't get a break until we got home from evening church around 9:30 pm. (We were pretty wasted on Mondays! So much for "college") When I left there to go teach, it was basically the same thing at that church, except I think there was time for a nap in the afternoon. I just kind of burnt out and Sundays went back to being just another day. Eventually I found my way into a more balanced church, a place to serve and be served. The church where I attend now does teach the importance of Sabbath,whether or not it happens on Sunday. For me, i try to make it from Saturday evening to Sunday evening, as much as possible. I am still on the learning curve though, so looking forward to your book. I'm reading Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner right now and she has an interesting perspective.

Sorry this is long . . . you asked!

Keri Wyatt Kent said...

thanks for the comment. which denomination/tradition were you a part of--both as a kid and in college? I'm trying to get a feel for how different traditions approached sabbath differently..

Dianne said...

As a kid we were raised Catholic until my mom got saved, and converted to Baptist. The college I attended was IFB (Independent Fundamental Baptist). You've probably seen their green buses rolling around Chicago actually! btw, the updated pictures good! :)

(you don't have to post this comment if you don't want to, re: denominations)

Jenny said...

Hi, I wasn't raised in a Christian home. I accepted Christ at the age of 20 when my husband and I got married, he was raised Baptist with parents who don't do any "work" on Sunday. When we first got married his mom came to visit on a Sunday and I was folding multi-piles of clothes. I found all the folding relaxing at the time. She got very upset with me. We had several fusses over my working. What always struck me as funny is she piddles in the flower beds on Sunday, because its relaxing, but for me that same task would be work!

I don't know if that helps or not, but...

Have a great night!

Keri Wyatt Kent said...

Hi Jen
thanks for leaving a comment, I hope you'll return again to my blog!
yeah, it's interesting to think about what "work" actually means. I avoid any laundry related tasks on sunday, but love to garden. but again, it's because it's relaxing. if folding is relaxing to you, then... great, I think. I see it as a day of freedom. To me, laundry is the opposite of freedom. Although when my children were small, I would pray for the child whose clothes i was folding at the time. now, my kids wash and fold their own laundry, which is wonderful!

Gardener Greg said...

I followed you here from Boomer Babes and was reluctant to post a comment there due to the title. I did post one for Connie but then wondered if it would be banned for not being a "babe" I guess I am a boomer dude.

Anyway, I wanted to comment on the subject. When I was young, our Sundays involved early morning Church, followed by segregated Bible study fro what seemed like an eternity. After that, we would go to my grandmothers house for a huge dinner or have a family dinner at home. After dinner, we would sit around and talk for most of the day. No one worked except the person preparing dinner. But then that was work so I guess Grandma went south when she died.

I don't think so. My grandmother was a saint in my eyes, believed in God and if anyone was ever going to Heaven she was. So the question is what is ok to do on your Sabbath?

Some would say "nothing" at all but I disagree. I believe that your Sabbath should be devoted to our Lord. I spend it with my family and we do something positive. We go to Church. Sometimes we take an afternoon boat ride and just enjoy each others company. Other times we work in our gardens even though we don't consider that work.

For those that think "No" work is the only answer, think about this. Did you get up and make the bed and are you planning a Sunday dinner? Both of those things are work. If you need gas in your car to get to Church, will you stop and get some or walk to Church because if you stop,you will be forcing someone else to work on Sunday. Someone has to operate that Gas station.

Do you like having electricity and heat in your Church? I know you do so sometimes I do have to work on Sundays. I work at a power plant. God knows I would rather be sitting in Church praising Him but sometimes I do have to work and He understands. So whatever I do on Sunday is devoted to Him. Praise God

Keri Wyatt Kent said...

thanks for commenting. And you are certainly welcome to comment at the Boomer Babes site--other men have offered their opinions and insight and we welcome that.
I tend to agree with you on most of what you say. To me, it's a day to love God and love others. We're supposed to do that everyday, but we set aside our normal busy-ness to focus on that.
I appreciate your comments so thanks.

Anonymous said...

Because I didn't grow up in a Christian home -- and the concept of "Sabbath" was something I only heard of from Fiddler on the Roof -- I did not have a model for how to make it a reality in my life. After becoming Christians and learning of God's plan for Sabbath by reading and studying His Word, we felt compelled (as God often causes us to be!) to create our own Sabbath ritual. For us, that meant getting up early for a walk, reading the paper, attending Sunday school, worshipping in church, having a light meal and a nap, followed by more reading or leisurely pursuits; oftentimes spent with family. Until recently, we were very faithful to this ritual and found that the R&R of Sunday helped make our work-a-day world run much more smoothly. We've since let some activities and chores creep into our Sundays and because we haven't felt good about this, we made a decision to "take back" our Sabbath. It's going to require a bit of discipline at first; however, we're so nutured by it because it brings us closer to our Savior and closer to each other that we're truly excited to start marshalling our time during the rest of the week to free up our Sundays.

carey said...

HI Keri—Greetings to y'all all from NC!
Growing up in the church (evangelical free church) our Sundays were for Sunday school and church, family dinner, required naps, playing outside or reading books, Sunday evening service, and to top it all off; milkshakes, grilled cheese and Candid Camera! I never really thought about it before but it seems to cover all the bases of things that re-fuel: worship, relationship, food, rest, recreation and laughter (although there could have been more of that at church!) I don't recall anything really being prohibited, however, we typically just stayed at home and that was probably on purpose. Today I would say most of our Sunday's are restful (including naps and reading after church.) We also take the day off from the computer. Some Sunday's include the kids' sporting activities, which I struggled with for a while, but to the kids, that is recreation — they love it — and it fills them up. And if we are purposeful in our conversations and attitudes on the sidelines we can also experience a sense of rest and enjoyment while there together. Looking back, I would say that because Sunday's were viewed as a Sabbath day, my parents created a rythym of simple traditions that brought peace and rest to our family. We hope to do the same for our family.

Keri Wyatt Kent said...

hey Care!
thanks for stopping by the blog! so fun to see your thoughts. I am with you on the sports thing--our attitude on the sidelines is a huge factor in what makes sports "restful" or not!