Surrendering to Sabbath – Week 8

by | Mar 1, 2013 | Saturday, Weekend


When I crawled into bed last night, H asked me if I got Murielle a card for her birthday. “No,” I said, “I didn’t have time and this weekend is about her friends. I’ll get her one on her actual birthday.” And you can’t hear the tone, the way I responded to him, but it wasn’t nice. His question, it was the last card collapsing the house of guilt teetering in my mind. Of all the ways I failed this week.

While her birthday used to be a backyard carnival and face painting, baking a cake seems to require the same amount of effort lately. But really, this feeling of not measuring up to the lofty stick of my own acceptance, it’s about more than failing to achieve the perfect birthday party for my daughter.

Self-doubt is a neglected open wound. The acrid smell of simulated self-worth festering. And Sabbath, it is the index finger over my mouth, shushing the accusing voices.

This weekend, may we all kneel on the banks of still waters and listen. Long enough to clear muddy water, gaze upon our true reflection. And recognize truth when it floats to the surface.

Happy Sabbath Friends!


For your weekend reading:

Why I Stopped Feeling Guilty About Stupid Things by Emily Freeman – the title says it all.

Who Do You Think You Are  – a Simple Mom podcast with Emily Freeman and Holley Gerth about their recent writing exploits and struggles.

How Becoming a Good Christian Made Me a Bad Person by Allison Vesterfelt at Prodigal Magazine

A Response to the Complaint: “I Don’t Think Reading the Bible is Accomplishing What You Want it To” by Margaret Feinberg – The best thing I read all day.

Why We Write by Shauna Niequist – if you are a writer, this is convicting.

When I Feel Small by Sarah Richardson for SheLoves Magazine – because I do, feel small lately.

Winter Wonderings at Healthy Spirituality – Jean is a Sabbath sister sharing about her gradual and surprising transformation. (And this ties in to this week’s email for those of you in the sisterhood.)

And from one of my biggest cheerleaders lately for which I’m grateful,  I’m Having a Baby Girl Today. You just have to get this book.


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  1. Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk

    “And Sabbath, it is the index finger over my mouth, shushing the accusing voices.”

    • Lyli Dunbar

      That’s my favorite line, too! 🙂

      • Shelly Miller

        You two know how to make a girl blush.

  2. Pam

    I think too, as one who has fought self doubt lifelong too, it is remembering and recognizing – that even in this, it isn’t our own voice stirring up these doubts. It’s a whisper coming into our ear from the deceiver. Putting us down. Trying to get us to agree. And training our hearts to refute immediately with who the word says we are… I have to stop and ask myself sometimes, would God be saying this to me? To stop the dialogue in it’s tracks…

    • Shelly Miller

      I agree Pam. Heeding your wise words. Thank you.

  3. Emma

    I’m beginning to realise that one of the things stopping for sabbath is teaching me is that He is wanting to do big things, now that I am taking the time to listen to Him it is easier to believe He wants to use me. But. Self doubt is telling me loudly how badly I am doing, how much I am failing to do sabbath well & therefore how can I be hearing this right or listening well? I’m with you friend – running towards sabbath – desperate to gain the strength to kick self doubt into touch & I know His peace is there for the taking. This is indeed a season pregnant with purpose. Enjoy the weekend birthday celebrations – that birthday cake sounds so good!

    • Shelly Miller

      It’s amazing how a change of venue, laughing and engaging in good conversation with people who know you well, gives one perspective. I’ve had a lovely weekend already. Thinking of you Emma as I enter Sabbath. Praying He speaks to you in a special way.

  4. Elizabeth Stewart

    Beautiful photos. I always think of true rest rather like floating in the water, a letting go, relaxing, trusting the water, (or in this case, the Lord), to hold you up.

    • Shelly Miller

      I took a long walk on the beach this morning Elizabeth, it did wonders for my perspective.

  5. Sylv_R

    Yes. Sabbath is to still—including all those voices. Typically we are way overloaded, and Sabbath is for dumping the overload by the roadside!

    • Shelly Miller

      Great visual Sylvia. That is exactly how I see it too.

  6. Jillie

    “May we all kneel on the banks of still waters…and listen”. Amen, Shelly. From a sister who also lives with a great deal of self-doubt AND insecurity, I hear ‘ya. I know the voice that speaks to me so often is that of the father of lies, and sometimes I have the strength to fight him off and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I fall into despair. Those times usually happen when I am overtired or not feeling well. Haunted by my past. Rest is needed, and what better place than on the banks of still waters…sitting still and knowing HE is GOD. Soaking in the peace He gives to the troubled mind and soul. Only then can I stand, and walk refreshed and renewed in His great Love. Sometimes it seems that pursuing peace is hard work when it needn’t be. Stop. Drop. Pray.
    Whether you got Murielle that Birthday card, or not, this girl has gotta know how very much she is loved and cherished. You live it every day! Bless you, Shelly.

    • Shelly Miller

      I think you share a lot of wisdom here Jillie. I realize I got too isolated last week due to the rainy weather and deadlines.We’ve had a lovely weekend at the beach celebrating Murielle’s birthday and I already have clear perspective. Thank you for your love and support. It carries me on some days, truly.

  7. Lisa Kerner

    But really, this feeling of not measuring up to the lofty stick of my own acceptance, it’s about more than failing to achieve the perfect birthday party for my daughter.

    and there you wrote it why i have been afraid to join your sabbath sunday group. that fear of failing to achieve the perfect sabbath sunday… but it isn’t about that really, is it? so i’m joining.

    • Shelly Miller

      Well, I think you are the reason I wrote this one Lisa. To God be the glory. So glad to have you in the sisterhood my friend. None of us are perfect, and their is a place at the table for you..

  8. Nancy Ruegg

    “Recognize truth when it floats to the surface.” And before it sinks out of sight again, pull it out and park it on shore. Return often to review it until every nuance is etched on the memory. Then, may the Lord help me act upon those truths with conviction and passion.

    Thank you, Shelly, for the soul-stirring imagery.

    • Shelly Miller

      I like your imagery too Nancy. What truth you’ve shown in your words. Yep . . before it sinks out of sight . . .

  9. Janet Wilkinson

    I have been keeping Sabbath all my life. 59 years! I LOVE it. I do not know how people survive without it. Deep, restorative rest for the soul. I work at a University where students keep Sabbath. They are sooo grateful for Sabbath…laying down their books. To be with God and their friends. God in His wisdom, knew we would drive ourselves mad all week, and we would need to stop and be still. To know!

    • Shelly Miller

      Janet, you have lived what so many others are just discovering. We would love to have you join the Sabbath Society, you can read about it on my tab by the same name. What university? I’m curious.

      • Janet Wilkinson

        Walla Walla University in Walla Walla Washington. Sabbath is truly a gift from God, and it is so awesome that you are encouraging others to savor it!!!

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