Surrendering to Sabbath

by | Jan 12, 2013 | Saturday, Weekend


I know what you might be thinking. Why is she posting a picture of a banana peel lying on the ground? Because this is what Sabbath does for me. It helps me see.

You might see trash laying there. I see a palette of color and texture lying in slanted light.

I took this photo a few Sunday’s ago, when my family and I walked the streets of Charleston for hours. We turned down a side street, a seam in the middle of a colorful quilt of homes, when I got lost in ethereal light casting shadows. And I became a lone woman wandering with a camera strapped around my neck far behind my family to capture unexpected beauty.

We’ve entered the first season of ordinary time in the church year, the days between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. This is where most of life is lived, in the mundane of the everyday absent of shiny bells to turn our gaze upward.

I want to be like Simeon and Anna: attentive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit; waiting with patient, joyful expectation that I will indeed see God; and so present to the Holy wonder of God-with-us that I, too, recognize Jesus when he comes, however odd His appearance may be. ~ Kimberlee Conway Ireton, Circle of Seasons

May you find Him in the most unexpected places this weekend as you surrender to Sabbath.


I wrote about the practice of Sabbath this week and asked if you wanted to join me in a sisterhood, the Surrendering to Sabbath Society. I am overjoyed at how many of you responded, “I’m all in.” If you want to join, email me: and I’ll send you the details.



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  1. crosspeace

    For me Sunday does not have to be Sabbath time and actually may be a poorer choice for my purposes. My Sabbath is Friday. It starts of with a men’s group meeting in the morning. Then family time getting lunch, going to the beach, reading, taking chance to breathe a little more deeply. It is a reading, contemplating non-working, non-worrying day. Sabbath on Friday is an intentional time for me not defined by vestigal blue laws, church worship schedules or vague vestiges of guilt about having to not work on Sunday.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, the day doesn’t matter, just that you do it. Right? So glad you left a comment.

  2. Chelle

    Yes, my soul says yes. I don’t make enough time for rest and worship, but I am better moving when I have been still. Restored. Refreshed. Thank you for encouraging us to let a fresh wind blow over us.
    Peace and good,

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Chelle, so glad you are joining us to practice Sabbath. Mine was really amazing, hope you found time to practice too.

  3. Jillie

    Hi Shelly…Guess I haven’t been here for awhile. My comment may not be quite what you are looking for, but it’s something I learned about 37 years ago that has stuck with me through all these years.
    When my husband and I took pre-marital counselling, the Pastor stressed to me the importance of getting my daily chores done up as early as possible in a day, in order to be able to ‘just sit’ with my new groom when he was home in the evenings; to be free to spend ‘quality AND quantity’ time with him. This is the ‘rule’ I’ve done my best to follow. Raising 2 children didn’t always afford me this ‘luxury’, but now that we’re empty-nesters, I’m into it full-time again. Hence, Sundays have ALWAYS been our time as well to just be together, relaxing, and enjoying one another’s company. ‘Sabbath’ has come naturally to us all these many years together. It’s really my husband’s ONLY time to truly rest, and so it has been my time as well to ‘be’ with him, even as my mind is focused on the Lord.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      You are a great example Jillie, of someone who started doing it as part of normal routine in life. I love that! And yes, I’ve wondered where you’d been. I’ve missed you, glad you are back in the comments. Was about to check up on you to make sure all is well.

  4. Lynn Morrissey

    I’m all in, Shelly! I had to smile at your “phraseology,” because when I say I’m “all in,” for me it means plum tuckered out! =] I long to surrender to the Lord of the Sabbath in so many areas. And like Ms. Ireton, whom you quoted, I’m praying for eyes to see, to catch His vision (my theme this year) for my life. As I mentioned earlier here, I love this quote by Marcel Proust (and have it on my study wall): “The voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” All this reminds me of when certain disciples of Christ met Him on the Road to Emmaus after this resurrection. They had been with Him, but they had not recognized Him! How often is Jesus in our midst, but we don’t recognize Him, because our eyes are clouded over with complacency of sloth or the contempt of sin? Oh, to have eyes to see Jesus. Observing Sabbath slows us down and slants our vision to look for Him in unexpected places. And we should *expect* to see Him when we look! I love what you are doing here, Shelly!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’ve never heard that definition of “I’m all in”. Glad to know about it. It’s kind of like things you say in foreign countries that have completely different meanings than what you intended. Glad you are “all in” on Sabbath, regarding my definition. 🙂

  5. Lynn Morrissey

    Actually, I wish blue laws were still in affect. To many people, now Sunday is just another day to buy and sell. I can’t help but thinking of this quote by poet William Wordsworth:
    “The world is too much with us; late and soon,/ Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; ,,, We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” (The exclamation point is his).

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I know what you mean, feel the same way about Sunday becoming another work day. And sports being on Sunday now too for kids. I don’t like that either.

  6. Mia

    Dear Shelly
    Nice seeing your beautiful smile at Still Saturday. That picture a a beautiful cacophony of earthly colors and tells its own story. It reminds me of a song I sang as a child about a beautiful, but broken doll who landed on an ash heap and how all the trash crowned her as the trash queen! Yes, we find Him in so many different places and ways for He is a versatile God!
    Much love XX

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Mia, that story sounds interesting. It’s one I haven’t heard before. Thanks for visiting and leaving such a generous comment.

  7. Linda Stoll

    oh yes! the colors, the textures all come streaming together to define one striking composition. thank you for this gift to Him, to us, this evening!

  8. Sandra Heska King

    That shade of blue is lovely. Beauty in the rubble to those who see. Bless your Sabbath rest.

  9. Joanne Norton

    In a way, I’ve always wanted to be Simeon and Anna. To have an understanding of the heart of our Father is SO big in mine. And good sharing, good photo. Thanks.

  10. Sharon O

    Beautiful palette of color, it is all in perspective.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      So true Sharon, perspective is the hurdle to cross to victory over most things in life.

  11. alisonhector

    Such a great reminder of the gift of rest given by our Father. Thanks for reminding us that that time away from everything is crucial to our relationship with Him, and with others.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’m reminding myself Alison, its worth every minute of letting go what I think needs to be done to be still and listen.

  12. Celeste Allyn

    Hey Shelly
    My email might not have posted, but please include me.

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