Priorities, Resources, Time

The Renewal of Sabbath

in distant green pine trees

Hi there! I’m Zena, the editor at Fierce Marriage and Fierce Parenting. I read this excerpt from A Surrendered Yes by Rebekah Lyons and needed to pass it along to you, dear readers!

I particularly loved this nugget of wisdom: “We don’t need to hustle to prove something God says is already true.”

Observing Sabbath has been a big-time game changer for my family; I hope you’ll be encouraged to incorporate the practice into your family rhythm as well!

Taking a rest isn’t a sign of weakness. Yet our culture whispers the opposite: if we try harder, work smarter, get that next degree, connect with influencers, and go for our dreams, we just might live a life of significance. 

But God declares we are already chosen, beloved, appointed, and set apart. He ordered our lives with purpose and intention. 

We don’t need to hustle to prove something God says is already true.

Your value as a human being isn’t found in what you produce; it’s found in who you are in Christ— a person designed in the image of God to glorify him forever. From the beginning, God designed his creation to be more abundant, fulfilled, and joyful when we work from a place of rest and renewal. When we intentionally Sabbath— stop striving so much— we create space for healing, wholeness, and refreshment.

And the practice of Sabbath doesn’t need to be restricted to just a weekly rhythm. You can develop a plan for a quarterly and annual practice as well. These patterns of pause help ensure your life, family, and relationships are receiving the life-giving benefits of uninterrupted time.

Here’s how Gabe and I try to do this:

Weekly rhythms

Each week we take time over breakfast or lunch to stop the work and focus on our relationship. Every once in a while, we have an extended date night. We also make sure to have at least one “family night” planned on the weekend, usually a late afternoon and evening dedicated to just the six of us.

Practicing Sabbath quarterly and annually as a couple

Quarterly, we make time for the two of us to take a full day away. And annually, we try to get away for a few days or a long weekend to take time just for us. His parents helped make this possible when the kids were young, and now we try to schedule our getaway while our kids are at summer camp. 

These days are magic for us. Our conversations go deeper than we seem to ever get in the bustle of life. We get beneath the surface and to the interiors of our hearts.

Practicing Sabbath annually as a family

We also have an annual Sabbath rhythm for our entire family. During December and July, we put aside work travel and intentionally spend time together as a family. We might take an overnight trip somewhere a couple of hours away or a family vacation. 

Most of the time we stay local and schedule consistent nights and weekends of hikes, concerts, bike rides, ball games, mini golf, movies, and, of course, a progressive tour of Nashville’s favorite eats. By building this rhythm into our annual calendar, we stay grounded in a plan that gives life to each member of our family.

God created rest for our good

This practice of Sabbath rest is often neglected in this harried age. Yet if you want to maintain your emotional, physical, and spiritual health, it’s important to reconnect with yourself, God, your family, and your community. Sabbath allows us the space we need to understand our lives are not rooted in work, productivity, or acquisition. Our worth is found in the God who loves us, who created rest for our good. 


What moments and times of Sabbath do you long to include in your life? 

Take some time now to map out those times of rest and renewal, both for yourself and your family. And then, take a time of Sabbath. Start with a few minutes at a time, and work up to a full day if possible. You’ll find yourself experiencing more closeness with God and your loved ones.

Excerpt taken from A Surrendered Yes by Rebekah Lyons. Copyright © 2021 by Rebekah Lyons. Used by permission of Zondervan.
Rebekah Lyons is the author of A Surrendered Yes, Rhythms of Renewal and Freefall to Fly. She is a mother of four, wife of one, and dog walker of two living in Nashville. She invites everyone to embrace the unique calling God has for each of us. Rebekah wears her heart on her sleeve, a benefit to friends and readers alike. Alongside her husband, Gabe, Rebekah serves as cofounder of Q Ideas, an organization that equips Christians on how to winsomely engage culture. Her favorite hours are spent with her nose in a book and a discriminating cup of coffee in hand.

Have you heard of the The 31-Day Pursuit Challenge?

Every marriage begins with passion, purpose, and pursuit, but few stay that way. That’s why we wrote Husband in Pursuit and Wife in Pursuit Together, they make what we’re calling the 31-Day Pursuit Challenge. Couples are encouraged take the challenge together. We’re already starting to hear stories of transformed marriages! Are you up for the challenge?

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