Click on the image to order your copy today!

The Sabbath - Strength for the Week

My husband and I recently returned from a vacation to the Berkshires - our new favorite place!

I tend to be a nostalgic sort and there are so many memories of vacations when my children were young to our old favorite places like Vermont and New Hampshire that well, can make me sad - sad because I miss those times and inevitably miss my children.

So it was nice to go to a place we had not visited with the children before and to create new memories as almost empty nesters.

My husband received a great deal through Travel Zoo where we got a nice low nightly rate for a deluxe room with a balcony that overlooked a lake.

This was our view...


I loved sitting outside in the mornings looking out at the crystal clear lake.  To me, being on a lake is sooo relaxing.  I love the sound of the lapping water, the birds singing in the trees and the lake breeze carrying all those sounds to ears that savor every bit of it.

The day we arrived in the Berkshires, we went on a little hike near the Church on the Hill, a beautiful old church with a peaceful graveyard where gravestones dotted the hill.

The hike took us through the woods on a steady incline that yielded a wonderful reward!  This beautiful vista complete with majestic stormy clouds and thunder in the distance...



We hurried back down the hill as the thunder claps were getting louder and louder.  We met a couple just ascending the mountain.  We lightheartedly greeted them with "a storm's coming", to which they replied, "We know.", and went on their way.

Back at the hotel, my husband and I sat on our balcony watching the severe thunderstorm roll in...


We were concerned about the couple that we met who were heading up the mountain and whether they were able to seek shelter in time before the dangerous storm blew through.

Soon big, cold raindrops ushered us back into the safety of our room.  My husband stood by the slider window and I sat in a chair nearby to watch the storm.  The rain was coming down horizontally, pushing waves along the lake.  Suddenly, a thunderbolt crashed right across the lake from us, mere feet away!

Needless to say, that made for some excitement on our first day of vacation.

As storms always do, the following morning yielded bright, clear sunny skies and a freshness in the air.  My husband and I were heading to Botanical Gardens in the Town of  Stockbridge which had been hit pretty hard by the storm.  There were big, old beautiful trees toppled over in several areas.  Maybe a microburst had gone through.  Even the Botanical Gardens were not unscathed by the previous night's storm as some of the paths were washed out.

We were still able to walk around and enjoy the beauty of the gardens...


I think the tree of the Berkshires must be the Crimson King because there were so many of these beauties all around the area.

In an effort to save money, my husband and I grilled two of the nights.  On one particular night, we found a gazebo with a picnic table in the middle of town and made some kielbasa.  Afterwards, my husband noticed there was a river right behind the gazebo which was shielded by the trees - the Housatonic River to be exact. Being the fisherman that my husband is, of course, he had his fishing pole in the car and proceeded on down the embankment to throw a few casts.  Well that's all it took as he managed to catch a small mouth.  He was quite pleased!

At this stage of our lives, my husband and I have learned not to have a rigid vacation schedule, but to go with the flow, doing whatever moves us on a given day.  This approach has served us well, yielding more blessings, and making for a more relaxed vacation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people,
 and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 
Mark 2:27 

During our Sunday service introduction, the Pastor made the simplest statement that caused me to reflect...

"God set aside the first day of the week for the Sabbath, to spend time at the feet of Jesus, so that we will be carried through the rest of the week..."

As I thought about this, I realized the profoundness of  his words.  Yes, we are called to spend time at the feet of Jesus every day, but the Sabbath is a special day that God created for us to rest from our labors and solely dedicate to renewing our bodies and minds in Christ Jesus.

 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. 
 Leviticus 23:3

...It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. 

I felt like I read those words for the first time with new insight...  

We are to honor the Sabbath during our Worship services, but most especially in our dwelling places so that we will be "carried through the rest of the week"...  

The Sabbath was made for man...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When my husband and I arrived in the Berkshires that very first day, our surroundings made for immediate decompression and relaxation.  

We all seem to do that, don't we?  Immediately wanting to turn vacation mode on, leaving all the stress behind, clearing our minds to enjoy our vacation to the fullest.

Jesus can provide that vacation mode for us on the Sabbath - we simply need to come to Him to find our true rest...

We don't know what our upcoming week might bring.   

We could experience an ascent to a mountaintop with vistas looking out to an approaching storm...

We could have opportunity to warn someone who is heading toward the eternal storm to seek shelter in the loving arms of Jesus...

We could enjoy beautiful days, after the storm, in the courts of the Lord - God's beautiful creation - praising and thanking Him...

We could be fishers of men, for God's Kingdom, catching someone at a God-ordained random time, in a God-ordained random place...

Enjoying the leading of the Holy Spirit, to go with the flow, in obedience to God's Kingdom work and His working in us, as He carries us through our week.

As our minds and hearts are focused on the Lord of the Sabbath on the Sabbath, we allow God to work in us, to prepare us for all that He has planned that we might accomplish in His name during the upcoming week by a refilling of Peace through rest as we set out in His strength, His Wisdom, and His Love.


Father, Thank you for creating the Sabbath for me!  That you would set aside a day to find my rest in You speaks of Your great care and love for me.  

Oh what rest we find in you!

Please help me to enjoy the Sabbath as You intended, with a Sabbath keeping heart motivated to be Your Kingdom servant throughout the week with the knowledge that I am Your dearly loved child who is kept in Your constant care.

In Jesus Precious Name, Amen



You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home Intentional Tuesday ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday

Comments

  1. What beautiful words, sweet friend! Oh, it was so good to visit with you today...I miss coming by when I don't get to. You are always such a dear blessing to me. SO thankful for you and for this and every post you write. Sending you much love and many blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Cheryl!

      Awe. Well I appreciate your visits when you are able. :-)

      Thank you for always lifting me up with encouraging words.

      Blessings to you sweet friend.

      Delete
  2. what a lovely vacation, sabbath-spot for you both! next to you at soul survivor - we all need the sabbath for our surviving - have you read Soulkeeping by Ortberg? love that book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue, It really was! :-)

      No, I have not heard about that book. Thank you for sharing about it with me.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. This was a beautiful post, Karen. Your vacation sounds like it was so wonderful and restful! I loved how you related it to the Lord and the rest that is through Him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Bekki!

      It was!

      Thank you. :-)

      Miss you!

      Delete
  4. What an enjoyable post to read! I really enjoyed reading about your vacation and looking at your pictures, and then you tied together everything about your vacation with the Scripture. What a brilliant piece of writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brenda, Thank you so much! For all your kind words!

      They brought a smile to my face and much encouragement. :-)

      Blessings.

      Delete
  5. What a beautiful vacation spot. It looked so serene and relaxing. Thank you for sharing your experience and for your beautiful and inspiring words, Karen. We're so glad you were able to join us on #shinebloghop this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maria, It really was! :-)

      You are very welcome!

      I enjoy the fellowship at the SHINE blog hop. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful vacation you must have had! I know you are thankful for it. Thank you for reminding us that the Sabbath was given for a purpose - that we may rest and spend time with God to prepare us for the week ahead. Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor this week at #LetUsGrow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gayl, We sure did! :-)

      You are very welcome.

      Blessings to you too!

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  7. I really enjoyed this post, from start to finish. I've only recently heard of the Berkshires. I hope to make another East Coast trip one of these years.

    Thanks for the inspiration found here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dayle, I'm so glad you did!

      You will love it! :-)

      You are welcome!

      Delete
  8. Yes, the Sabbath is a gift from God. Your vacation spot looks beautiful! Thank you for linking with Grace and Truth last week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dawn, It really was!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

      Blessings.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Popular Posts