Made For Rest

O Giver of Love,
and all that is good
You have provided Sabbath
for me,
calendar marked since the dawn of time
for me.

Oh how I needed rest in my mommy years,
we practiced Sabbath,
knew You made this holy day
for me
my personal gift it seemed.
Saying no to everyday on Sunday
protected
gave rest and life.

Oh, how I need rest, today, in these sandwich years
Children gone, parents aging
easier to ignore Sabbath now
No little eyes watching
So much work to be done in this season,
so little time.

Often, we Your children,
think Your Old Testament admonitions
archaic, outdated.
You shall keep the Sabbath holy.
What’s wrong with a Sunday run to the grocery store
a quick trip to the mall
Sunday practices for our kids’ teams?

Nothing inherently,
But doing the ordinary tarnishes the holy.
Ignoring His intentions
declares I know better.

Sabbath is rhythm
the stability of constancy
the weekly celebration of the resurrection
a day to rejoice in redemption
and rest
never for legalism.

In music there are rests,
for balance in harmony, crescendo, conclusion.
In painting planned spaces for calming neutrals,
pauses for the eye,
balance for color intensity.

Rising bread must rest
night was made for rest
winter another ordained pause for rest.
Our fallen from perfection bodies need rest,
this need reminds me of my limits, finitude,
my every breath a reliance on Thee.

Rest is sacred,
it’s practice declared holy,
but we doers can’t imagine change,
work, accomplishment,
in rest … in sleep … yet,
He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.*

Lord, my life is full of good things
but I often try too much;
we moderns
foolishly fill calendars to the brink,
evenings, before dawn risings,
weekends jammed.
Little margins, few boundaries,
frantic pace, few pauses, pure days of rest.

Your words are life,
wisdom, guidance, health.
You gave me Sabbath for my good
my rest
for our collective good, your children.

By keeping it I bow before your eternal wisdom
and declare
I am ever Yours my God.
Honoring Your rhythms
choosing to keep Sabbath
honors You.
Thank You for this gift of rest,
which I need more than I know.
Amen.

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6 thoughts on “Made For Rest”

  1. Tawnya Tompkins

    I have been hearing about taking the Sabbath rest from multiple resources over the last couple weeks and this was quite the confirmation. I have not been observing the Sabbath Other than attending church and then off on my busy list of to do’s to get ready for the week continually feeling like there’s not enough time and not able to get things done as a mom with young kids. I can’t seem to find an answer to the busyness and I’m going to give it a try as God often works so opposite from what we think when it’s His power not ours. I’m trusting Himto get things done the rest the week and will try to leave alone my list and chores on Sunday and I will try to just have fun with kids and familyAnd Find quiet time with God. I’m writing this out as a step for me to really try and make this change and see how God will work. Thank you for sharing this much-needed message. The poetry of how you Referred to rhythm really resonated with me. I have so enjoyed Slowly incorporating items from your shop into my home and the messages you are including. Thank you

  2. Dear Barbara & Staff,
    Our 22 year old daughter is home for health reasons and recovering–Praise God! We recently started celebrating the Sabbath as the Bible instructs—IT HAS BEEN A HUGE BLESSING TO REST IN HIM!!! Tonight I will read your poem as part of our Shabbat Dinner.
    I love your website and the simplicity of making statements in our homes Proclaiming Jesus! Blessings to you and your staff!

  3. Midwest Middle aged Mom

    Barbara,
    Thank you so much for speaking to those of us who are helping to plan our children’s wedding now and are home alone every evening. We too are still parents but our needs and struggles not any less than the days when there were the pitter-patter of feet and grass-filled cars laced with soccer balls and Book bags! This poem soothes my tired body and encourages my soul. Thank you!

  4. I have been challenged to Honor the Sabbath and to Keep it Holy” and now seek those who worship on this day as the Lord commanded. We foolishly think that Sunday will suffice, but the Sabbath is truly a day that the Lord specifically designated in the Ten Commandments. This day was changed to Sunday by a Pope centuries ago. I do make sure to rest on the Sabbath and find His peace and grace sustains me and gives me spiritual direction. Your poem is exceptional and I can say Amen to the content.

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