Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Sabbath

In years past I have had a summer tradition, the day after school ends I sit down and write my "10 week top 10" list - the 10 things I want to do over the 10 week school break. This list usually includes a home project, some books to read, maybe a travel location and so on. Some years I get all 10 done, recent summers, not as many. As this past school year was coming to a close I began to think about what items I wanted on my top 10, what books had I heard about that I wanted to read, would the pink bathroom finally be transformed, so many options! Then I read the brief article "Keeping Sabbath" by Ryan Chambers Johnson in the June Covenant Companion. In the article Johnson talks about the practice of Sabbath keeping and how it is an important act of faith that has gone by the wayside. He says how this practice is even more important now as our lives get busier and daily tasks and routines demand our time. My first reaction was that it sounded great, a few hours every week to just be still in the presence of God, who wouldn't want that!?! The line that seemed to stick with me was, "God wants us to trust him with the demands of our life...give a portion of the day without an agenda or a to-do list and instead, ask God to use the day as he sees fit."
As a teacher, I use the summer break to do all the things I don't get time to do during the school year due to the time demands of my job. However I decided to use this summer as my Sabbath. I did not create a top 10 list this year, instead I have tried to take advantage of new opportunities that God places before me. When family is in RI I have taken the time to go be with them, when I run into my dad at Target I go shopping with him, I have taken the kids to the library and even ice cream in the middle of the day because Alexander thinks it is a good idea. It has been a struggle for me to not have a big list to cross items off this year. However, books are still being read (see sidebar at left) there is some progress on the bathroom project and I am learning more about myself and my beautiful children than I ever thought this time would provide. God is indeed good.
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