Nurturing Sabbath Rhythms Part One
(Links are at the end of your reading. The Sabbath Rhythms Planner is now available to guide you in the 4-facets.)
Sabbath Rhythms - 4-Facets of Soul Care, Self-Care
I'm delighted you're here to understand more about a deeply rested life with well-being and rest rhythms in view — Sabbath Rhythms. As a firstborn and mom of eight children on this earth, I like to get things done. What I've learned (and still learning) is that there is a sustainable approach to get things done.
It requires a lifestyle of discovering and attuning to your unique rhythms, which change in different stages of your life.
The scenic route of Sabbath Rhythms is a back road (it's less traveled, so there's plenty of space for movement). This means there's lots of room for you to experiment and to determine what your yeses are, which inevitably define and honor your no's.
If you're wondering what I mean by Sabbath Rhythms, I'm talking about the routine of rest integrated within your calendar. The rhythms are...
Daily Diversions Weekly Withdrawals Monthly Moments Annual Abandonments
I go into more details and suggestions in part two about each rhythm. For now, know that these four facets of rest aren't merely about the absence of activity, or locking yourself away from everyone (there is that), but there's so much more.
Work and Rest - One Entity
It's about the presence of intentional rest and worship (the Hebrew word "avad" is translated as either work or worship). Interestingly, worship and work are interchangeable. I found that to be extremely sobering when I first discovered it. In soul care, there is a healthy alternation between work and rest — they are one entity.
They do not impede each other; instead, they support each other. We are perpetually called and urged by the Beloved, Jesus, to renew both the rest and the work. There's holy interplay between work and rest in the making for healthy, wholehearted living (mistakes and all).
You/we are whole in the Beloved because you/we rest in fruition.
You/we are whole in self because you/we love in activity.
This wholeness perspective requires a shift in a one entity paradigm, a paradigm that guides us into our SOULbriety.
After all, this whole Sabbath Rhythms journey is about the road to SOULbriety. This sobering reality affects every square inch of our rest and our work (worship). Many are beginning to sober up to the reality that the true self, the new self has inherited deep soul rest as a royal and priestly birthright.
Rest is one of those expressions revealing what's happening internally (our being) and externally (our becoming or doing). Our being and our becoming are distinct; yet, they are earnestly attached. We shouldn't distance them. This is where soul care and self-care come in.
Pastoral Counsel: Self-care is related to soul care in that they both invite you to embrace and embody the work of your secured freedom in your current body.
Self-care is the priority and mindset to give TO yourself as much as you give OF yourself. Soul Care is the all-encompassing nurture of the soul (nephesh, in Hebrew) — you are a soul — the soul is the whole of the person, the unity of the body, organs, and breath. It is not some immaterial spiritual entity, it is you, all of you, your whole being or self.
Did you know that asking for help is a form of self-care? The mindset to put your oxygen mask on first is a form of soul care. It all begins and is informed by an abundance mindset.
Otherwise, you'll operate from scarcity. This is a deficit mindset. When you choose to operate out of deficit, you will surely experience negative results and negative payoffs.
To be clear, your destination for soul care and self-care is not a place; instead, your destination is a Person, Love. I believe Jesus is Love. He shows us a more reliable way to sojourn in His love and teachings with a more accurate road map where deeply rested people discover how to live in a sacred deconstruction of false narratives while choosing to rebuild courageously in grace and truth with faith, hope, and love.
Faith, hope, and love are threaded into your freedom in the Beloved. Your freedom assures you that your rest is hardwired. You don't earn what is already yours.
It is a moment by moment audacity about grace over grind. To trust the resources that rest brings us is to trust that the Sustainer has placed our sustainability and sustenance in it. Besides, God gets no glory from you grinding your humanity down or you allowing others to grind it down.
Rest is Blessed
The blessings of rest are connected to the rhythms of rest. Rhythms include the personal and the communal patterns. All patterns include resting points, whether we’re referring to music, dance, poetry, art, or otherwise, rhythms must integrate rest.
Rhythms affect your balance, but balance isn't the aim. Balance is a by-product of a healthy alignment of your entire being. You can stop the chase of balance, and rest in rhythms.
As mentioned earlier, it is helpful for you to remember and to acknowledge the priority of rehearsing personal and community rhythms.
Solitude and solidarity are in harmony, both must be cultivated. However, we must avoid the subtlety of relying upon Sabbath Rhythms as if they’re our Sustainer (they are not).
It is enough for Jesus to have been in perfect rhythm with Abba, Father, and to have accomplished His "To-Do's" entirely. This is good news because we get to deeply rely on Him in the unpredictability of our day-to-day lives. Furthermore, it's essential to keep in mind the "To-Done's" of grace.
What the Beloved has done for you will inform you of your "To Be" and unburden you of your "Not To Be" and your "Not To Do." Everything is not for you. And some things are for you in incremental stages.
The thing that's most encouraging and empowering about the Sabbath lifestyle is that it's about freedom, not about the self. It deeply affects the self and benefits the self, but freedom is about the Person who is freedom.
He is the Lord of all of our rest — whether up at 4 a.m. feeding a baby, blogging, journaling, homeschooling, sitting or standing, playing Fruit Ninja, taking a nap grocery shopping, prayer, or reading at the library.
Before you think that putting on your soul care oxygen mask is a luxury or a far-fetched idea, think again. There is a more tender, shameless paradigm that offers you a vibrant inner life, a soul rest which allows for meaningful activity and creativity.
It simply takes redefining what our version of "nurture" and "rest" look like. When Love had finished the work He created, He blessed what He had created as an expression of celebration healing (repair) and restoration.
Thankfully, celebration is an expression of attending to your soul, and this is a blessing that repletes you. Essentially, Sabbath Rhythms address where you abide in love and where you have been depleted from all of your giving and nurturing others — it's preventative and therapeutic.
We've been ushered into a Sabbath lifestyle because of the Lord of the Sabbath. A sabbath lifestyle is to be acknowledged and enjoyed—REST.
Honoring the Sabbath lifestyle will look different for many. It's significant to remember that it's within the context of a relationship and not a rule.
If this is new to you, or you're looking to expand into new aspects of a more contemplative life approach, we're not aiming for perfection and we're not talking about expensive or complicated things.
The Perfect One Over Perfection
The Sabbath Rhythms are not about arriving at perfection, they are about noticing how the Perfect One, arrives in our daily lives to draw out His love in the best and in the worst of circumstances (and everything in between).
To go deeper and wider, read part two and download the Sabbath Rhythms Tracking Companion Guide to help you notice your current rhythms.
A word of caution: Sabbath Rhythms aren't meant to be prescriptive or formulaic. They are meant to guide you into deeper trust and celebration. This is so key for many who view hustle and grind as a virtue and can't imagine giving themselves permission to integrate rest in their lives. There's a better way.
As I begin to lay out more details in part two, begin to consider what a baby step for you might look like.
Take care of yourself. You must.
Examine yourself in light of patience.
Don't become overwhelmed by suggestions.
Reach beyond surviving. Thrive.
This is a form of justice.
Reordering the way you holistically view justice and live it out isn't a pass or fail. You have new freedom choices you can make but beware of the opposition and resistance you're likely to meet on this journey from within and from without.
This is a very counter-cultural approach (sadly, even in the Church). So if you've been stewing in a scarcity mindset of too little, and serving others at the expense of your shalom, you'll need to unlearn many things in order to lean into the healing of Sabbath Rhythms and reclaim your life from burdens that are at worst defrauding you and at best limiting you of self-compassion.
Rest. Relinquish. Receive. Repeat.
Links for further discovery
Subscribe & Listen to my Soul Care Podcasts:
Stop chasing balance, rest in rhythms blog post
LEAVE A COMMENT: What is your view of integrating soul care and self-care into your life?