Yesterday was pretty blissful. I woke when my body wanted to—no alarms or loud birds outside the window—just calmly opening my eyes because they wanted to be open. Travis still slept so I opened Simplicity Parenting and started to read. That book is a godsend. We don’t have children yet, but I am learning how to shape my current life to be ready for them.
As I was reading, I was struck by how quiet I felt, how calm, and I wanted that feeling to continue. I read the section on Sabbath moments, which are moments of calm inserted into the week. I thought about our Sabbath and how, even though we claim to honor it, we still tend to treat it like any other day. We watch shows and play video games; we play on our phones; I get into computer comas; by the end of it, we are as wound up and unrested as the day before.
I found myself wanting our Sabbath to slow down, to be filled with quiet reflection. Though, the idea of Sabbath moments is not strictly religious. These moments don’t have to be on Sunday; it can be any other day that works for you, or they can be scattered throughout the week. All of us, religious or not, need pockets of calm to reconnect and ground ourselves to what really matters.
I knew we could not do that while we were so “plugged in,” so I decided to pull the plug, just for one day. When Travis woke up, I asked him if we could have a day with no electricity. More than a screen-free day, I wanted to move at a slower pace than electricity; I wanted candlelight and games, reading and talking, napping and snuggling, all removed from cords and wires.
It’s a tall order, and even we made a few exceptions, but we did our best to do it. We covered up electric clocks, put our phones away, and kept the laptop closed. We didn’t automatically turn the light on when we entered a room, and used our show-watching time to talk to each other. I spent most of the day reading; I was able to finish Simplicity Parenting, and to read another entire book.
Mostly, though, I reveled in the quiet. My thoughts (and my heart rate) slowed down because I wasn’t constantly bombarding myself with new stimuli. We were actually early for church, which is a big deal for us. I took a nap while Travis read on the couch. We went to family night early, and stayed talking later than we normally do. We had a calm night of reading and talking.
It was exactly the sort of day we both needed, and I see it becoming a Sunday tradition.
What are some of your ideas for Sabbath moments?