Before I had children I never thought I needed a day of rest. As always, He knows better than I.

Then I had children and it seemed that when I needed a day of rest more than ever, it was impossible to have one. There are meals to prepare, dishes to wash, laundry to do, diapers to change, and a never ending list of to-dos. Just when I thought I wouldn’t be getting a day of rest for another 18-20 years, He opened my eyes. We may not be able to lay in bed all day resting, reading and meditating, but with a bit of preparation we can care for littles and have a day of rest.


Preparation is key, but a proper perspective must come first. We must work towards the Sabbath throughout the week, knowing that rest will come. If you want to have a day of rest, the focus of your week should be in making preparations for that day. Since we keep a Saturday Sabbath, Thursday and Friday are my major preparation days.

Take note of what you are doing on the Sabbath. What jobs are easily avoidable by simply doing them on another day? How can you prepare throughout the week in order to avoid certain tasks on the Sabbath?

Find out what creates peace within your home. For me this means the house is clean. At least as clean as it can be in this season of my life. It also means that we have plenty of food on hand without having to cook a big meal or create a lot of dishes.

Get organized & prepare. Make a list of what needs to be done before the Sabbath comes. Organize your weekly schedule around that list.

Realize that some things are unavoidable. Diaper changes, proper sanitation in the kitchen and feeding and cleaning up babies are all necessary and impossible to do ahead of time. Focus on those other things that you can do ahead of time.

Don’t sweat it if things aren’t just right. If your week has been hard, if you have a new baby or a sick child – let a few things go. If the bathroom isn’t perfectly clean it doesn’t change the focus of the day – resting in Him.

This is what works for me in finding a peaceful, restful Sabbath in our home.

How do you do it?

Next week I will share with you the specific preparations I make in cooking, cleaning and laundry in order to avoid those tasks on the Sabbath.


16 Responses to Prepare Your Home For a Day of Rest: Notes & Tips

  1. Linds says:

    Good post and important for me to remember. I read a book called The Rest of God, by Mark Buchanan. It’s an excellent book that speaks to this topic.


  2. Denise says:

    another good book is Sabbath Simplicity. I did a post on it on my blog. Looking forward to what you will share next. thank you!


  3. Lisa Z says:

    what a wonderful idea!


  4. noelle says:

    Great post. Often I think it’s our foolish struggle for perfection that doesn’t allow us to rest. I choose to not do laundry or let the floor be dirty for a day because it’s important for me to sit with my family. It’s important for me and them to just be for a day.


  5. I have a great book or “guide” called “A Day of Delight” by Pam Forster that I bought from Doorposts. It is packed with ideas to help make the Sabbath the best day of the week. It is written for families…I love the book, it get s the children involved as well.


  6. suzannah says:

    wonderful. the book “receiving the day” helps reorient my mind toward sabbath-keeping. this is how our family remembers the sabbath


  7. Shannon says:

    Wow, thank you all for the book recommendations. I have yet to read a single one of them, but will see if our library carries them.


  8. Nancy says:

    I try to have Sunday as a day of rest but it doesn’t always work out that way. Like you, it means having the house cleaned before hand. The one thing I have mastered is no laundry on Sunday. I usually cook an evening meal but many times it is a family activity; everyone helps.

    Great post. Thanks for reminding me to make this a weekly goal.


  9. Alyss says:

    How wonderful! I think I needed to read this today. Thank you :)


  10. tarena says:

    This was wonderful! I read “Breathe” that had a lot to say about setting aside a Sabbath to the Lord. I found that it was really hard for me at first to do this…just in little things like not picking up stuff to put away (like if I saw laundry on the floor, I would naturally pick it up and toss it in the hamper). Over time I have been able to stop and not do any of the things that are not required. Lately, I haven’t been planning very well, so this was a great reminder. I so love that God told us to do this…we need it!


  11. Wow, this is so appropriate for me to be reading right now! It’s so interesting to me that the Greek word for “Friday” is “paraskevi”, which, literally means “the day of preparation”. I have always thought that was very insightful and a total carryover from the Hebrew culture when the gentile Greeks embraced Christianity. Unfortunatly, this concept of preparation has been truly lost. The “Sabbath” in modern (Christian at least) context is one of the most busy and hectic days of our week. I struggle to know how to truly rest with all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for church and with all that entails. I hope I can grow in this area! Thank you so much for this insight!


  12. This is awesome, Shannon! Thank you so much for this encouragement. I have felt God speaking to me in the past weeks about Sabbath rest. What a timely post to read from you.

    Have you spoken here before about the choice to keep Saturday Sabbath? I would love to read more of your thoughts on that.


  13. Kelli says:

    I hope you get this message because it’s a little late. I fell upon this post but it fits well with our life at the moment. We also follow more biblical roots and should celebrate Shabbat on Saturday, but most importantly should have that special day any-day. My husband and i with a new little one are trying to define the values and beliefs that we wish to establish before Sam grows up more. Our post from the 21st is a letter to our family regarding some issues and establishing AJ as the head of our household.
    in Yeshua


  14. [...] week I shared with you some notes and tips for preparing for a day of rest. This week I would like to share with you the preparations I make [...]

  15. Meg says:

    Ah, what a reminder… as I sit here on Friday afternoon, contemplating just how much more I need to have “done” before I’m “finished” for Sabbath! :)

    Friday is our big preparation day – we clean, cook, and make sure all the clothes are clean and ironed for church the next day. It’s just so much easier to PLAN for a restful day, than to just arbitrarily decide to “take a Sabbath”. :) We did have to learn that one the hard way!

    Meg’s last blog post..Farming Friday


  16. Diana says:

    Just came across this and it encouraged me. Another good book is “Call the Sabbath a Delight” by Walt Chantry. Brings the delight back into the day! Thanks for sharing–its really encouraging!
    from a fellow greatful sabbatarian :-)

    PS: I joined the facebook group: postliturgical nap!


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