Good morning ladies! I hope this finds you having had a great week and ready for Sabbath.
This whole week, again, I have had the Sabbath and what it means and how approach it on my mind a lot. It is such a glorious gift our Creator has given us, isn’t it? It was so important to Him that He established it during the creation week. He called it VERY GOOD. There are so many verses we can study and great examples to read when we open up our Bibles.
Rest. Our bodies and minds need it. Our family needs it, in more ways than I could say here. Worship. Fellowship. It is meant to be good, enjoy it and just be and be together that day.
How do we approach it? Do we realize that our attitudes and actions in our day to day is sending a very loud message to our family? Especially our children. Do we talk about and act like it is a blessing or do we exhibit actions that it is an incredible burden and make people want to hide from us? Oh, please no! Too many families do this and do not even realize they are sending a terrible message and not matching it with the words they say.
For some reason it is part of the Sabbath keeping culture to go crazy on Fridays, cleaning the house from top to bottom and cooking lots of food. I remember seeing and hearing about some things for the last 25 years and experiencing them when I was a new believer observing it myself just about 20 years ago. It seemed everyone I knew that prepped for Sabbath had similar stories. It was not always stressful for others and myself but it far too often be a truly crazy day.
What about the women who work? It breaks my heart how they can be talked at and to, about and treated. How they get ready will probably look very different than those of us who are blessed to be home. That is ok it has to be different. We should be encouraging and supporting each other. We all love our families and generally are stiving for lives that walk as the Creator would have us too. I cannot stand seeing how both groups of women talk about and to each other.
It is ok if someone can make a large meal prepped that is special to the family and it is ok to have sandwiches thrown together, a casserole, something like cheese, crackers and a meat, some veggies and fruit that is easy to grab. What we eat does not matter Friday nights and Saturdays. The point is trying and taking care of our families. Circumstances can make things a little or a lot different, easier or harder. And no, I am not saying that our husbands and men do not have to or should not be contributing to any of this.
I do believe in prepping our home and food but the degree we do this depends on so many things, including our personalities, family needs and if people are coming over. We do not have to all do it the same and we certainly should not be making ourselves and everyone around us miserable in the process. Why do we put that pressure on ourselves and others? Why do we tend to think we have to have elaborate food and immaculate houses?
All those years ago, I just did not know what I should be doing since I had to figure it out and the other women I knew did these things generally, so that is what I learned too. I see this pattern is still prevalent today, I am not surprised.
I got out of that habit YEARS ago. For some years my husband often said things trying to get me to relax and see what he recognized even as a child. Slow learner much? Enter a facepalm here. He never wanted that for me and never believed that is how it should be. I had this feeling like I had to and I think some of it was the mentality that if I did not, then somehow I was not being a Godly woman. After all, I am supposed to be super busy and handling everything perfectly, right? Not being able to or even not wanting to meant I was failing, right? Don’t I have to be the perfect Proverbs 31 woman? Unrealistic expectations much? I no longer think these things and do get bugged a bit by the preaching and messages that suggest as much. I remember hearing these things and it did not make me feel like I would ever reach this imaginary line in the sand for being a Godly woman. That is not how it is supposed to be and is incredibly unrealistic.
Why do we feel like we have all this stuff to do while making ourselves miserable in the process? Story after story, year after year, I saw and heard hundreds and hundreds of women struggle with these same things. Pretty much all of my friends struggled too. I currently know many women who still do.
Not to mention the fact that when I have had those days I am exhausted by the time Sabbath comes in. I know I am not the only one who by the time it was time to have dinner, I often did not even feel like it and just wanted to chill. It does not need to be that way. It really does not have to. Every week does not have to be exactly the same either. One week we can totally be rockin’ it and the next it is like a train wreck. We all have those moments and seasons. Just keep trying, that is what is important. Sabbath is a gift and meant to be for our good. Not to make us feel like a crazy woman before it comes in.
The times it was the hardest was when our children were little. Homeschooling in the mix changed it too. Changing my approach made a huge difference. It was life changing. I do prefer to have at least a cleanish house and enjoy having some yummy food and snacks prepped by the time Sabbath comes in. I find it far more peaceful, welcoming to my family and I am able to relax more on Sabbath. I had to learn to be ok with the weeks I did not get all that I wanted to throughout the week done and just be for the Sabbath. I could continue with my work the next day. How some of this looked also depended on the season we were in. Some times will be different than others, like when I had littles, was pregnant, had a newborn and a toddler, homeschooling littles or when they were older, whether I have more errands a particular week, stress levels, the list goes on and on.
I personally do think that not prepping at all is not the best approach. Even if having something super simple, we still need to plan ahead for our shopping and making sure those things are available that day. It does not matter if that is done on Sunday or even on Friday. It just needs to be done. That does not mean must save it all for Friday or that every little nook and cranny has to be cleaned. Not at all. That can be done throughout the week for whatever tasks want done. Depending on the ages of children, their needs and how many there are will dictate differently what each of our homes will look like and function by then. We all know that we can clean a room or thing and five minutes later, there is no sign that it was done once the kids come through, lol and oh dear sometimes!
So I will leave you with this, prep to the degree you can and for your families needs. Do not compare yourself to others. We are all in different situations, families, and have different personalities and likes. Do what works for you. Don’t worry about others and make yourself feel inadequate. You will figure out your own groove. Of course it is fine and good to get ideas and tweak what another does to fit for you. AND it is ok to absolutely love prepping on Friday and completing perhaps even a lot of tasks while making lots of yummy food in a way that works for us. I know for me I also use it to prep my heart too so that when it comes in, my mind and heart are ready to go into it with the right attitude.
The Father looks on the heart. He cares far more about how we approach it in our hearts than if our homes are perfect with a three to five course meal on our tables. Your families will appreciate a woman who has a better attitude and approach much more than one who is barking orders, being mean, miserable and ruining the Sabbath before it even starts.
Until next time…