Okay, so here’s a confession for you: I talk a good talk when it comes to Sabbath-keeping, but it’s been a LONG time since the McCutcheon family has actually practiced a Sabbath worth observing.

That all changed today.

Before I go on, please understand this about our family: we are NOT legalists, nor are we ultra-fundamentalists. We eat pork, our girls wear pants, and our son’s hair is competing with his sisters’ in length.

But Sabbath is a principle – one of the ten “McCutcheon Family Values” – that we adhere to for (what we believe to be) very good reasons.

Our Sabbath-keeping really has three primary aims:

  • Rest in whatever way that means to you. Slow down. Chill out. Sleep in. Let your body recover.
  • Reflect on God, both formally (Bible study, prayer, etc.) and informally (discussing God, thinking about Scripture, appreciating God’s creation, etc.).
  • Restore relationships with family. Spend time with each other. Talk, play, watch a movie, etc.

Anyhow, back to today’s breakthrough!

A lot went into making this Sabbath rest truly a Sabbath REST. (It sounds strange to think that resting takes so much effort…but in our society, it really does!)

Below is a list of what we did to make it meaningful and memorable:

  1. Say “no” ahead of time. We cleared our schedule. No sleepovers, visits from friends, nothing.
  2. Get work done ahead of time. We worked very hard on Friday to get all the chores finished!
  3. Friday was Family Movie Night. We watched Tarzan 2 (Jenny’s kind of movie in that everyone had a happy ending – even the “bad guys” ended up good). Then our kids slept in the living room together!
  4. Saturday morning: sleep in, watch cartoons, leisurely make breakfast.
  5. Saturday, around 11:00am: devotions. Jenny led Gracie and Nora upstairs with their devotions, while I did a mini “inductive Bible study” with my older two. It’s the first time I’d EVER taught them how to STUDY the Bible, and not just READ the Bible. We studied and discussed James 1:1-13 for an HOUR. (No lie!)
  6. I made them subs for lunch, and then we each discussed what we learned in our devotions. I felt so “full” hearing my children discuss spiritual truths. Wow.
  7. After lunch, we each wrote a note in each others’ journals.
  8. During the afternoon the kids watched a movie while Jenny exercised and I caught up on Packer news. I exercised while Jenny got ready for church.
  9. I got ready for church while Jenny got the kids all ready.
  10. We walked to church, ready for worship. And I felt like it was an overflow from 24 hours of preparation for the grand event.

I feel recharged and ready to take on a new week! So, here’s hoping we can practice Sabbath again next week.

But the ironic truth is this: Sabbath-keeping doesn’t come around by hoping for it.

It comes by working at it.