Shalom Bayit

Shalom Bayit, “Peace in the Home”. 

It’s another beautiful Sabbath morning.  I’m enjoying the quiet, the cool breeze, and the calming sound of the fan in the background as I reflect again on the blessing of Shabbat.  I’ve written a little before on the rich experience of actually resting. On purpose.  But I am noticing a new element of blessing that comes from this crazy-counter-cultural-practice of setting a day aside in our life and home to rest.  It brings a peace that is palpable to our Sundays, this much we’ve discovered and loved, but it is also transforming our Saturdays!

As Michael and I become more committed each week to learning how to prepare for Sabbath, we are finding that our Saturdays are filled with purpose and good work.  Saturdays have been,  in the past,  the sort of days that get lost in the jumble. Suddenly blazing by, they would leave Sundays as a race to finish all the last minute things that didn’t get done.

Now our Saturdays still allow us the luxury of a little extra sleep, a walk (together instead of our usual taking-turns) with our dog Rigsby, and then a focused determination to get errands run, chores done, house cleaned, and meals cooked so I don’t have to cook on Sunday.  It seems like a lot of work and a lot of intention…and it is!  But we notice how fulfilled we feel at the end of the day.  As evening pulls in and the house is ready and peaceful, we feel a sense of accomplishment as well as the

 readiness to rest with nothing weighing on our shoulders.

Last night was the second Saturday that I cooked 3 meals.  Saturday night’s meal, and Sunday’s lunch and dinner.  Of course there is some over lap as I cook a double portion on one so that the left-overs can be utilized, but all in all, the kitchen is in full working capacity for about an hour and a half.

With the windows and back door open, the smell of my fresh basil in the breeze, and getting to create something out of God’s creations, I felt a profound sense of connectedness and purpose.  I was present to the moment and during the work I felt close to God as my mind was filled with thoughts of Him, how He designed us, and the significance of his commandment.
“Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy.”  I’m struck by how God’s commandments are really tremendous GIFTS  if we understand what He is giving us. It’s not just a day He took for Himself, but a day for us!  A day to lay aside all our heavy burdens and efforts. A day to slow down and reflect on all that is Good.  A day to remember that He is the Creator and we are not.  That He is in control and we are not.   He is our Keeper and Provider, and for 24 hours we focus on letting Him do that and not trying to do it ourselves. What a relief!
Mike and I sat out on our little porch with Rigsby last night and just talked and relaxed in the cool evening breeze.  It was a time of reflecting and reorienting. After letting go of the cares of the week, we came inside to a house full of peace.  We turned off all the lights downstairs and closed up the house for the evening.

Waking up to the clean, restful house this morning was such a gift. I let Mike sleep in a little later cause he had been up earlier with the dog. And so with the morning to myself, I poured my coffee and read a little before getting ready for church. I am not only thankful for today, but I am thankful for yesterday’s preparation that made today possible.

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