The school year has ended for the kids, switching from dependable schedules to a mix of camps, Karate class, appointments and open hours for exploration. I was as prepared as possible for this, but the backbone of my summer disappeared with being laid-off from my quarter-time ministry position. Without a “paid job” and the necessity of accomplishing anything, I stopped looking at my smart phone’s calendar every few hours, checking my e-mail daily, and blogging.
Instead, I spent my new free time (is time ever free with young kids at home?) cleaning, organizing, and delving into the stories of others (Band of Brothers on the iPad is an interesting backdrop). The house is far from how I would like it, but the progress is noticeable. With the rains temporarily subsided and the swamp in our backyard dried up, I was also able to get some things cleaned-up outside.
The first week wasn’t easy. In truth, I turned to these actions to keep myself busy and to alleviate the guilt of having my husband come home from work to a messy house (something I could blame on managing 3 busy schedules).
I also knew our summer would go by fast, and with God’s Blessing, at some point I would be in professional ministry again, so I knew – and know – that this brief opportunity needs to be taken advantage of. It is amazing how much time I wasted before having kids as I held the unacknowledged impression that time was relatively endless, yet now I never have enough.
Over the last month I have found myself moving from room to room, going through our stuff. And over the last week, as I have settled into a new rhythm of managing only two schedules, I have unintentionally been meditating on God’s influence in our family.
I’m a person who can not just sit…I have to do something. By engaging my body and muscles in something otherwise mindless, my mind and heart is able to wander and wonder. Yet, it took time for my mind to slow down and my heart to stop grieving what I had lost.
This has become a time of unintentional Sabbath, a stepping away from my desires to accomplish and accumulate, and into a life of holding onto God’s right hand (Psalm 73:23-25). It is not that I haven’t dedicated my life to following God, but a time of Sabbath aids in moving the conviction deeper into our bones. During this particular time of Sabbath, the full acceptance of the blessings my family has and the life we are living has settled deep into my cells.
Have you recently spent any time in God’s Presence? Have you left behind the rush of the world to embrace a different pace of wandering and wondering? Find time…make time. Embrace an unintentional Sabbath wherever you are.