It’s been almost 2 years since I visited the beautiful county for Isreal with Vibe Israel. (Time sure does fly by!) When I came home, I wrote about how my family and I decided to begin observing Shabbat. Without resharing everything I shared in that post, essentially we decided that for 24 hours, once a week, we would focus on spending time together as a family and with God, with minimal interruptions from technology. We also spend a few hours prior cleaning our home. I thought today would be a good day to bring you an update on how this has been going for us and how Shabbat has changed our family.
It Hasn’t Always Been Easy
We live in a very fast-paced world! There always seems to be something going on and we’re being pulled in so many directions! We aim to observe Shabbat to be Friday night into Saturday afternoon. Sometimes though, life gets in the way and we can’t seem to fit it in. When we were in the process of moving it was really interrupted. In fact, for the 3-4 months we lived at my inlaws we stopped our Shabbat observance completely.
We Notice The Difference When We Don’t Do It
So yes, sometimes we have fallen off and Shabbat hasn’t happened. And let me tell you, when we don’t do it, the whole family feels it. The house is messier, we feel less connected as a family, the kids are clamoring for more attention, my husband and I feel more stressed, the list goes on and on. By the time we finally moved into our new house, my husband and I were both SO eager to get back on our Shabbat schedule, and the kids too. They call it our “family night” and they have grown to love and look forward to it every week. The kids literally count down the days.
Shabbat Helps Me Let Go of Mommy/Wife Guilt
Are there any moms out there who don’t suffer to some extent with mommy/wife guilt. Before observing Shabbat and during times since that when we’ve had to miss weeks of it, I’ve been riddled with feelings of guilt.
My house isn’t clean enough. Things are so disorganized.
I’m not spending enough quality time with my kids.
I’m not spending enough quality time with my husband.
I’m not completing work on the blog that needs done.
Maybe I’m just bad at time management, but without Shabbat, so often I felt like I was failing in just about every aspect of my life. Shabbat has changed that drastically for me. I now have a designated time each week to focus on cleaning my house. Maybe by Wednesday it’s not looking it’s best some weeks, but I know that come Friday, I’ll have it looking spic and span again.
And then there’s time with my family. Maybe I sent my kids to bed 2 times that week without stories before bed because I was exhausted and didn’t have time, but I know that on Friday and Saturday, we will spend quality time together as a family, making memories that last. Or, maybe I have hardly had a moment to talk with my husband all week. I know that Friday we will spend time as a family, then tuck the kids into bed and have quality time, just the two of us. Essentially, I know that I have Shabbat to focus on the people in my life who are most important to me, without all of life’s interruptions. And if I have other obligation calling my name, I don’t allow myself to feel guilty about taking this 24 hours of rest.
I hate to admit that sometimes I also fail to make God my #1 priority. Observing Shabbat is a reminder every week to take time to pray, read God’s word, and rest as He commanded.
At the end of the day, God and my family are the #1 and #2 most important things to me. Shabbat helps me to keep my priorities in order. I know it might seem hard to take 24 hours of your week and shut out technology and focus on family and faith, but it has been so beneficial to us, I hope you’ll give it a try! You don’t have to be Jewish or even religious to reap the benefits of this day of rest. Give it a try for a month and see how it affects your family!