Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work. - Exodus 20:9-10
Head: I want to take you on a little walk down my memory lane. Take a moment to imagine. I often remember when I was a little girl and there were miles and miles of fields and forest behind our house. In that forest were trees that were begging for me to climb them. The best trees for climbing were always the ones that had long, thick branches that hung low and stretched out over the world below. I would shimmy up the trunk a bit and pull myself up until I reached the branch that looked the best for resting, one with a view. I would carefully balance my way out on the branch with each careful step and then lower myself down to sit for a little while. I would rest and take a deep breath. The work to get to the place of rest was...work. The rest itself was so rewarding. The view was always worth it.
Remember the sabbath by keeping it holy. - Exodus 20:8
Heart: Remembering to honor God with a day of rest is one of the most challenging feats there is as a mom, our work never stops. There is always someone needing something from us, always. Trying to keep God's commandment seems impossible and can feel a lot like climbing to the best branch and getting there only to find that someone needed us below before we even had a chance to sit. We often try to work through our days and weeks without losing our balance, but when we carry so much on us, it is very hard to keep balanced. Still, resting is one fo the Ten Commandments. Among the other Ten are "Do not murder" and "Do not steal", right? Resting and having a day of rest was so important that it was put right up there within the top 5, coming it at number 4. Obviously, we don't consider it okay to murder or steal, so why do we make excuses for not resting. Why do we insist on skipping this Command? Do we feel guilty? Do we feel lazy and unproductive? Maybe there is more to it that we should consider.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30
Hands: When God commanded His people to rest and honor the sabbath by keeping it holy, it wasn't just to take a breather. It has a greater purpose. That greater purpose is to show the world that we are set apart. It is a distinguishing mark that sets us apart from others. This was true for God's people then and it is true for us now. we are meant to live at a different pace from the world. The world in all its restlessness will see that we belong to God. He knows that we are human and we try to skip rest. He knows that we are mothers and we can barely imagine rest. Without rest though, we can fall into a trap of living for ourselves or our families. All the while knowing that we would not have a single thing if it weren't for HIm. We have to find a way to rest and rebalance. We need a day that is at a slower pace and one that looks different than the rest of the world. It's not only for our sake but for the world's sake; so that the world sees that we are living for the One who cares enough to command us to rest.
For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all the tis in them, but HE rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:11
Prayer: Lord Father, I get so very busy with my every day responsibilities and I get focused on so many other things that I tend to skip dedicating time to spend with You. Please help me to put all my priorities in order they way the should be. Bring me help when needed and help me give myself permission to rest. You promised rest for the weary and I am trusting that You will provide. A mothers work is truly never done, but Lord I need you to help me find a way. Help me to seek the kind of rest that you need me to take and help my rest be an honor to You. Give me a new perspective and a clear vision of what my day of rest should be. In Jesus holy name I pray, Amen.
Here! Hold My Crown! Is a forthcoming devotional for mothers. Written by Aimee Larsen, a mother of 5 children. She walked through having a premie, infertility, miracles, foster care, and adoption.