The Submissive Wife Speaks on Sabbath

Jeff has been talking about wanting to post on Sabbath for several weeks.  (That would be BEFORE he started blogging. LOL) We had ideas of linking our blogs together – ain’t gonna happen.  We have tried. But, here is my part of the discussion on Sabbath.

Sabbath is a wonderful thing in our house….when it works well.  When it doesn’t work well, it is still wonderful, it just requires a bit more clean up on Mondays. Now, lest you think I do okay with that, I confess here and now that when we’re about to hit Monday mornings with the house in disaster-mode, my temptation is to break into tears as I’m heading to bed.  I can never figure out how the house ends up looking like a war zone, nor can I figure out who to blame. (So, naturally, I just blame everyone, I AM an Equal Opportunity Mom, after all)

We have discovered that when we put Sabbath in its proper place, the Queen of the week, then the rest of the week flows better.  In a typical Jewish home, the wife is honored greatly by her husband on the Sabbath night. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) She looks forward to that time all week long.

Here are a few of the things that we have done that help a great deal: I plan my week – and my menus – around our Sabbath meal.  We even do our grocery shopping Saturday morning, to allow for the very best meal of the week to be served Saturday night.  We used to have our Sabbath meal on Sundays (and I DO love walking in from church to the smell of dinner cooking) but it didn’t allow me a true Sabbath if I was cooking 7 days a wk.  Now, we eat a large meal on Saturday and Sunday is a day of grazing.  If I make anything, it will be a dip or spread of some kind to go on crackers or bread.  (And I’ll make it up on Saturday)

All week long we are working toward Sabbath – checking to make sure we have all the “parts” we need for dinner, making certain we have bread and “wine” for The Kiddush and making certain that the house is as prepared for the Sabbath as we can make it. Until the point that we made the Sabbath the center of our week, we fought to honor it rightly.  I was always racing around trying to “catch up” in preparation for it.  I would find myself working like a lunatic on Saturday night, finding I was exhausted to the point of just wanting to go to bed.  That isn’t nearly the right mindset for celebrating the Sabbath.

Now, our week looks different and we’re more likely to thoroughly enjoy our Sabbath time.  We spend Friday working on the last pieces of the house and making cookies for the weekend.  Friday night is spent watching a Family Movie, to help us start the slide into a nice time of rest.  Saturday we run errands and I work on Sabbath dinner.  Dinner is always a big deal and it has dessert. Ooooh….  I also try to make something special, generally a coffee cake of some kind, for breakfast Sunday morning.  (We frequently sit out on the porch swing, coffee and coffee cake in hand, swinging – well gliding, at any rate – and talking quietly as the neighborhood wakes up early Sunday morning.  Talk about restful….)

What do you do to prepare for Sabbath?  I’d love to hear how other families are doing this, so perhaps we can improve on our time!  It’s so much easier to face a new week with a day of rest under our belts.

(Go see where the conversation got started:

4 Responses to “The Submissive Wife Speaks on Sabbath”
  1. beth says:

    O Dawn, what a wonderful post!

    I have found the same to be true, the weeks that I/we’ve planned *around* Shabbat have been the smoothest, and most completed.

    I remember one Friday in particular, when I was so very depleted, Chris and I had argued (in front of the kids…;( ) and I was so sad and out of sorts that I just literally cried out to the Lord, and He told me “Prepare the meal, enter into to my Shabbat…” very clearly…and I thought “Lord, I didn’t even make any challah bread today, we don’t even have any french bread loaves in the freezer, or juice, it’s 5:00 p.m. and I’m not ready!” But He just waited silently for me to do it, so I did… and OH! Dawn, *tearfully* what a blessed evening we had.

    As I robotically went through the motions of making dinner (not *feeling* it at all) and asked my sweet 7yo daughter to set the table for our Sabbath dinner, I did begin to start feeling a little better. I ended up finding some rolls in the freezer that I quickly de-thawed in the freezer, and walked into the dining room to find that my precious daughter had gotten out our nice tablecloth, and our nicest plates were out, with matching silver ware, and our Sabbath candles adorning the center.

    That night ended up being what we all needed, the JOY and peace of Shabbat was ours. As Chris blessed me, I felt such a release towards him, and vice versa as I blessed him. Our children were blessed as well I think, to see our vivid reconciliation, to bask in our family’s felt unity that night, esp. after that trying day…week.

  2. beth says:

    …and I was reminded that it need not be extravagant, it’s the Spirit of Shabbat that we had that evening, that my meager efforts, coupled with the cooperation of my family enabled.
    I was reminded of how much He has for us, just waiting, if we will but take the time to meet Him there. How much have I/we missed for not slowing down… and I learned that if we could manage it on that night, with our world seemingly falling down around us, then we could manage it any week.

  3. Deborah says:

    Dawn! I love this post! Thanks for the great ideas. The first time we seriously gave thought to celebrating some sort of the Sabbath was while reading an article called Family Worship by a couple of Presbyterian pastors. (here’s a link to it — scroll down to page 6

    We still haven’t really put any of it into practice, still trying to figure out what we think about the whole idea! Thanks for another push in that direction!

    Oh, and I like your new blog!

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