I made pancakes this morning.
I know, hardly worthy of a blog post. Especially on a Saturday morning. In eight years of blogging I have never written on a Saturday. But, this year already has a different tone about it. As I stirred eggs, milk, and Mexican vanilla into a rich batter, aided by the soft light of flickering Christmas candles that are still on my counter, I had a Sabbath Moment.
Sabbath is my One Word for 2013. Although so far I haven’t felt very sabbathy.
The word Sabbath is derived from the Hebrew word Shabbat which means ‘cessation’ or ‘time of rest’.
Most of us know Sabbath as one of the Ten Commandments.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”
The Sabbath is a day intended for rest and worship. A day set apart from the others, to literally stop all activity and busyness, and to acknowledge the One who is Sovereign and in control of all of our days. I’ve tried for three years to keep a full sundown-to-sundown Sabbath. I’ll share many of these, often hilarious, attempts with you, over the course of my Sabbath-seeking year.
Today, I was reminded of the gift of God’s grace. In a simple, everyday moment of making pancakes. It’s almost laughable that the year I take up the banner of Sabbath would be off to such a rocky start. Ah, but isn’t it in our weakness that the Lord’s strength is made perfect?
We left two days after Christmas for ten days in Orlando. Our daughter participated in an amazing acting conference called Shine hosted by the AMTC ministry. While I cherish the time and the way the experience filled our cups and fueled my daughter’s dreams, our holiday was rushed and, if I’m honest, felt interrupted. There were no contemplative mornings by the fire, or long days spent in pajamas drinking hot cocoa, or puzzles, or board games. I still haven’t even looked through the gift of Christmas cards sent by friends from near and far.
We arrived home from Orlando last week, well into January, to a house still dressed for Christmas. Sigh. And within 24 hours of being home, my traveling companion daughter and I were diagnosed with the flu. On the bright side, we got those looooong days spent in pajamas (minus the cocoa)!
One of the lessons I’ve learned in three years of sabbath-keeping is grace.
My heart’s desire for our family is to have true Sabbath days dedicated solely to rest, to seeking Him, to stopping from the distractions from the world. A day once a week set apart for reconnecting to one another, a day to unplug from the screens and devices that separate us from each other and Him. A day to linger at the table and feast on His literal and spiritual provision. A day to reboot, refocus, and remember ALL that God is, was, and will be.
Yet what happens when those days I crave don’t come? When life is real and busy and full, despite all my good intentions of sabbath-keeping, what then?
God still meets me. And, I am reminded that Sabbath is as much a heart condition as it is a time frame. The Lord reminded me of that this morning, softening my heart, giving me eyes to see Him in a simple, everyday moment of making pancakes. The house is still decked for Christmas, my daughter and I are still flu-ish, and I feel like 2013 has jump started leaving me trailing in the dust.
But for a brief moment, in the still of the morning, lit only by candles in the warmth of my kitchen, I felt the presence of the Lord.
That, my friends, is a Sabbath Moment.
I’m thrilled my friend Shelly Miller is embarking on a year long journey of sabbath-keeping, too. She is hosting a Surrendering to Sabbath Society and I look forward to sharing this pilgrimage with other Sabbath-Sisters, as I call them. Stop by Shelly’s blog and join us, if you are so led.
Also, tomorrow is Week One of 52 Sunday Suppers! Susie took the lead on this one and brought our family an amazing meal. Trust me, it’s a delicious supper to take a friend or neighbor who is down with a cold or the flu. We’ll share the recipes tomorrow.