How to Fill your Family’s Tank

One thing we talk about a lot is rest. It can sometimes mean Sabbath, Shabbat rest, or just rest in general, a rhythm of rest and work, how to do that. It’s vital and important, if you’re going to have a healthy family team, that you understand how to fill your family’s tank, you understand how to rest right. One of the primary problems we see in the Western family is chaos, is burnout, is basically being chickens running around with your heads cut off, and then just tapping out.

And so rest is vital. It’s something we all need. But one question we got is, how do you rest on the weekends, which is usually most people’s rest time, when you have all these weekend commitments? Or I’ve heard another variation of that is, how do you rest when you have toddlers? Because it’s still tough when they’re still running around. There’s there’s so many ways of how basically people don’t… We get this question a lot of, how do you actually cultivate that, when it still feels like the times you want to rest, feel busy, feel intense, feel stressful? What would you say, Jeremy?

Yeah. This could be really tough because obviously, a lot of parties happen on the weekend. A lot of people plan things. People have… They’re moving and they want your help. Oh, my gosh. This can be so overwhelming for people who are just starting to try to carve out and protect the 24 hour period. So our family rest is rest from Friday night to Saturday night. And we have a protected rest time. But it’s really important for you guys to know that it takes a while for you and your community and your friends and your family to get used to you saying no to commitments and trying to plan them on a different day. A lot of people rest on Sunday because for that reason. And we did for, about seven years, our Sabbath, our Shabbat was Saturday night to Sunday night because we felt like it was too big of a shock to almost the community we were in, to say no to things on Saturday.

So it was a lot easier to say no to things on Sunday. And then over time, when a lot of our friends and family got used to us having a protected 24 hours, then we moved it to all day Saturday. But it’s just some things to keep in mind. Number one, be prepared to take a hit. Anytime, if you’re going to carve out 24 hours, no matter what day you choose, it’s going to sound strange to people. They’re going to not understand. They’re going to feel… They’re going to take some things personally. And so somebody’s going to have to take these cultural hits when you make really, a new stand for a new thing. Be very generous. Don’t be like a Pharisee and say, “Well, you should be resting, too.” None of that stuff. No judgment zone.

Don’t judge other people for resting or not resting. The Bible says really clearly, New Testament. Don’t do that. But if you’re choosing for your own flourishing and to align with this principle and creation to have a day of rest, then know you’re going to take a hit. The second thing is when commitments pop up, really ask yourself the question, instead of saying, “We say no to everything.” We don’t do that, personally. We do say yes to some things, but we always ask the question, is there a way to do this in a restful way?

So somebody’s got a party on a Saturday. Okay. So it’s a three hour party. That sounds exhausting. A bunch of little kids running around. So I’ll say, “Look, we can make an appearance, but we’re only going to go for an hour. And then we’re going to leave.” And during that hour, can we stay in a restful state? If it feels like, “Oh, a big commitment. And I just blew up our whole Sabbath,” then I’ll probably say no, honestly. But if we feel like, “No, we could probably do that in a way that’s not going to disrupt that rhythm of rest.” Then we have learned to say yes to things, but to really boundary them very, very intentionally. So those are some ideas, but this is tough. Jeff, how have you guys dealt with this one with all the commitments?

Yeah. Same thing. And even about that last point, I think it matters who it is, too. Because first of all, remember, Sabbath is Spirit driven, not law driven. The Spirit is the new law. And so live in freedom, right? What gives you freedom? What makes you free? And for us, it’s the people, it’s different based on who’s asking, and it’s different week-to-week. Some weeks, you have to make the call of rejuvenation and rest, and what does our family need? What does our culture need? So some weeks, we’ll say, “Oh, man. We’re tapped out. We need to stay at home. We need to maybe go garden, go outside, ride the scooters. Just have a great family day by ourselves.” Some weeks, it’s like, “Man, I really miss our community.” And we get invited to a birthday party or something, “I’m all in. Let’s go. I want to talk to people.”

And that’s the best Sabbath sometimes, right? Of a feast meal and seeing 20 of our closest friends and celebrating the kids and whatever it is. And sometimes, that’s not the best. So it’s not just one right answer. It’s just, what does your family need that weekend? And sometimes, it matters with who it is, right? So acquaintances tend to be enormously draining, social gatherings for me, because that’s small talk. That’s not deep. I just leave, feel like it was unnecessary, right? But close friends, that’s super life giving for me because we immediately can start talking about life and marriage and ideas. And how are you doing? And that’s really life giving for me. So it just really depends, man. You got to know your family culture, you got to set up boundaries, you got to have flexibility, and you got to be filtering it through, what gives us life?

What’s rejuvenating for Sabbath in general, but also just this week? And I love what you said though, but you also have to take a hit. There’s some people that just need to hear, you won’t ever be able to have a Sabbath if you’re not actually protecting it. That’s just the truth. And if you’re someone who’s over-protective, then it’s the opposite is true for you. Chill and don’t be a Pharisee. So it’s basically, all of the above is true. You have to be really sensitive to who you are, how your family’s wired, what your commitments are, what your life looks like. And is it pointing towards Shalom? Because that’s what the whole point of it is.

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