Sabbath Rest & Delight

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Sabbath Rest & Delight

If your week has involved laundry or leaking sinks or lost packages or sick kids home from school, you’re in good company here. Let us not talk about spiritual practices disembodied from our real, beautiful, hard, good lives.

We care for our selves, our souls, our bodies, our families as an extension of God’s care for us.

We are enlivened by, animated by, grounded in God’s care for us as we care for ourselves and others. The practices and rhythms we cultivate either help or hinder our ability to extend that care. So, as I’ve said before, let's leave some room for gracious, spacious, hospitable creativity as we set out toward embracing sabbath, shall we?

Our 2020 Liturgical Year daily planners launch Tuesday, so I've been sharing my favorite aspects of the planner and reflecting on daily practices and weekly rhythms so far this week.

The Sacred Ordinary Days Planner is the culmination of years of learning, listening, teaching, and walking alongside people who were hungry for peace, presence, and purpose.

I did that first through formal ministry and teaching roles, then as a Spiritual Director, and for the last four years through our tools and community here at Sacred Ordinary Days.

Our planner is focused on helping people prayerfully discern and faithfully do the work they are uniquely called and created to do. Our heart is to help you do your own work effectively, joyfully, and sustainably - no matter what your "work" is.

what happens when we stop working?

But right now, I want to talk about what happens when we stop working.

Today I’m focused on Sabbath, which is about resting, delighting in the world God created, and trusting God to be God beyond our work and prayer. Intentional spaces of rest help quiet the mind, heart, spirit, and body. They restore and rejuvenate us. Most of all, they remind us that our humanity is a gift given to us by God.

A regular practice of Sabbath honors our limits and allows space for a deepening experience of trust in God.

When we willingly release control, our inclination toward self-sufficiency is gently removed. With unclenched fists, our own striving and tending fades. As we open our hands, we entrust our lives and our world to God again each week.

Both Marva Dawn and my own friend Lacy Clark Ellman have said Sabbath is about ceasing and feasting. We cease from our work and feast on God’s goodness.

Lent teaches us that each Sunday is a “Little Easter” on which we break our fasts to feast. Advent crowns us with the Christ candle burning.

I’ve been incorporating both into my own Sabbaths by lighting the Christ candle each week. This simple practice serves to remind me that each Sunday is a “little Easter” and gives me a reason to pause for celebration, rest, delight, and full presence.

It’s YOUR turn...

How do you cease and feast on the Sabbath? Do you observe Sabbath on Sunday or another day of the week? What are the ways that God is inviting you to rest and delight right now? Head over to Instagram or Facebook and tell me about your Sabbath practices. Share a picture of your Sabbath page or practices using #sacredordinarydays and tag us @sacredordinarydays, please!

P.S. Join me on Facebook Live on Tuesday, October 1st at 1pm Central for Launch Day?

Sabbath pages for cultivating rest and delight

Sabbath pages for cultivating rest and delight

    We’ve included a Sabbath page each week to help you notice and cultivate this practice in your life.

    Each Sabbath page features a quote that is meant to engage your emotions, thoughts, and actions. The quotes are drawn from primarily Judeo-Christian voices in a variety of texts, hymns, songs, and chants. You may connect with some quotes more than others. Consider the invitation each might extend to you.

    Use this space to journal, jot down your reflections on the lectionary passages or sermon, draw, doodle, or simply be reminded of the importance of incorporating lots of “white space” into your life through a practice of Sabbath-keeping.

    This prayer is taken from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, written by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro, a favorite and oft-recommended resource for sharing prayer time with family members, housemates, neighbors, churches, or small groups.

    The Daily Office Lectionary is a two-year cycle of texts for personal devotional reading from the Book of Common Prayer. Year One begins at Advent preceding odd number years. Year Two begins at Advent preceding even-numbered years. So, we begin with Year Two readings this Advent. Most days include five readings, morning and evening Psalms, an Old Testament, an Epistle, and a Gospel reading. The latter three can be read together or broken up and read with the morning and evening Psalms. Occasionally, special Holy Days will supersede the regular readings. The name of these Holy Days will be listed in the date line. The Daily Office readings are to be a helpful tool, not a strict rule. Feel free to read more or less, and in whatever order or time works best for your situation.

    Choose three priorities for the day. Check the boxes when you’re done.

    This lined section of the Sabbath page can be used for journaling, a to-do list, or writing out a Scripture passage. It was designed for flexibility.

    Find additional resources at

see more sabbath resources

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Sacred Ordinary Days exists to create tools, curate resources, and help the church connect for the purpose of holistic and rich Christian spiritual formation. Our tools are rooted in ancient practices and rhythms, but translated with a clean aesthetic and accessible language. Ultimately, we believe that helping people grow in Christ-likeness will build the Church and, in turn, the Kingdom. The building blocks are sacred, ordinary days.

Jenn Giles Kemper is the founder and the heart behind Sacred Ordinary Days. A Contemplative Entrepreneur, her passion for business and entrepreneurship, mixed with her heart for ministry and spiritual direction culminated to create Sacred Ordinary Days. Jenn is a lover of color, hospitality, sunshine, shared meals and shared life. She loves connecting about cultivating deep faith, a family, a business, and a home.

Sacred Ordinary Days exists to create tools, curate resources, and help the church connect for the purpose of holistic and rich Christian spiritual formation.           Jenn Giles Kemper is the founder and the heart behind Sacred Ordinary Days.