Beat holiday stress with a Sabbath
We decorated the house, put up the tree, and enjoyed homemade chocolate chip cookies last night. Now that the house is decorated, I find myself making a long list of things that need to be done and adding more events to my already busy calendar. Ah, yes. It’s Christmastime. As the popular song says, “the most wonderful time of the year!” It’s also one of the busiest times of the year. And quite frankly, it can be one of the most stressful times of the year.


Top left: Holly, Bottom: Matt, Right: My daughter Charity & me

Are you ready for Christmas?

Before you answer that, I have a wonderful article to share with you written by my dear friend and gifted writer, Patty Schell. As we dive into the busy holiday season, I think the timing of Patty’s post couldn’t be better.

Sabbath Sweet Sabbath: Sunday Driving
By Patty Schell

Sundays were for going on drives when I was a kid. My parents would load us into the car and we would head out for a day of seeing what we could see. Sometimes the mountains, sometimes the desert, we would take to the back roads just to get out of the house and wander. When hunger hit, dad would stop at a little market along the way and buy a loaf of Wonder Bread and a paper package with bologna wrapped inside. Mom would then fold the meat inside slices of the soft bread and pass them to us kids in the back seat. It was a cheap way to fill a carload of hungry tummies for just a couple bucks. I still feel a little nostalgic when I see bologna in a deli case.
This past weekend, my husband and I took a ride up to the mountains. It’s a place I spent many Sunday afternoons as a kid. We found fall up in those hills, beautiful color mixed in with the evergreens. It’s often thought that Southern California doesn’t really have seasons, but it was very autumny in the San Bernardino National Forest. The best part it’s only a short drive from my house to experience it. We didn’t eat bologna sandwiches, but I did pack a lunch that we enjoyed at one of the many picnic areas along the way.

I know my definition of what a Sabbath is might differ from others.

I do not adhere to the Old Testament prohibitions. I do, however, take a break from my work and do something different. Something that is set apart from the rest of the week. Something that allows the body to relax and the mind to have some room to ponder. Both those things add to spiritual health.
During the time that Jesus was with the twelve men he was mentoring to be leaders in the church, He sent them out on a mission. “He gave them the power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1-2)
I have heard this story many times before but have never noticed the part about being equipped with the power to drive out demons and heal disease. I always jump right to the spreading the good news portion, but I think there is something here we should see. Perhaps the Gospel is easier to embrace if the mind and body are able to receive it.
I have times in my life when all I could think about was whatever was weighing me down. Maybe you’re like me. You have too much busyness, problems with family, an ache or pain that won’t go away, or even bigger things like world events that seem to bring hopelessness. These are the times that demand a change of scenery to allow the mind and body to relax a bit. For me, that calls for a Sunday drive.
The drive, itself, does not alleviate the problems I am facing but it does give me a chance to rest my mind on something else for a time. Truth be told, the first part of the drive is usually spent just talking about whatever seems too big to conquer, and then almost miraculously, something shifts. We relax, and we begin to rest. That’s what Sabbath is about—rest.

Sabbaths are not only good but needed.

God was right when He told us to be sure to take a day off. It is essential to our health, mind, and body, but it has an added bonus. It allows our spirits to be available to connect with God.
I’m not sure how you feel about the whole Sabbath thing, but I hope you consider taking one every now and then. The benefits will speak for themselves. I plan to write more about Sabbath outings and post them here. I hope they will inspire you to take some of your own. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.

Take a drive.

“There are a lot of people who are unable to take a break to clear their minds.
I imagine they are the ones who need it the most.” ~Harper Reed

Hello, it’s Beckie again. I don’t know about you, but taking a Sabbath during the holidays sounds like sage advice to me. Thoughts?


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