Surrendering to Sabbath – Week 12

by | Mar 30, 2013 | Weekend


Sabbath is the stranger you’ve always known. It’s the place of homecoming you’ve rarely or never visited, but which you’ve been missing forever. ~Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God

Sometimes God hands you a gift you know you need but learn not to expect. Because He’s your Father and you mature into His wisdom, like knowing when it’s best to pick fruit off the vine. Take a bite of impatience and it leaves your mouth gravelly and bitter. Or  wait instead to savor the sweet.

I bit into Holy Week and the sweetness of Christ dripped off my chin. Now I’m ruined for the taste of His kindness as I anticipate Sabbath.

This week I turned off the noise, lay prostrate before Him in waiting. And learned submission requires heart posture, more than burying my face into the floor.

Just when I settled on circumstance, He brought a gift I knew I needed right to my front door. Of smiles and kindred knowing, wrapped in a package called friendship stamped England. All quite unexpected. We strolled on the beach, skimmed soup from a cup and spilled words  leaving joy in our wake.

As we lean into the home stretch toward Easter, may your feet be sticky with the fragrance of Christ, leaving the imprint of His sweetness where it’s needed. Farm the unexpected while the harvest tenderly ripens and a surprise may wait for you at the front door.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” ~Pope John Paul II

Inspired reading for your weekend:

Rest is NOT a Four Letter Word by Sonny Lemmons for Prodigal Magazine

A Surprisingly Satisfying Alternative to Self Promotion by Jeff Goins (This is where I’m headed as I take a hiatus from social networking.)

Fans Do Not Equal Friends {The Benefit of a Smaller Blog} by Kris Camealy at Allume (Kris says it well. This is exactly how I feel about you, my online community.)

For Alcoholics and the People Who Love Them: Hope on Good Friday by Emily Freeman

Join me this week, Wednesday, April 3 for the launch of an online book club as we dig into Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg. I’ll be co-hosting with Duane Scott with link-ups for your blog posts on both of our sites, and an ongoing discussion on Facebook.


April 3: Chapter 000 – 001

April 10:  Chapter 002-003

April 17: Chapter 004-005

April 24: Chapter 006-007

May 1: Chapter 008-009

May 8: Chapter 010-Final Thoughts

Psst, come back Monday for the launch of something new, just for you, at Living the Story, my column at


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    • Shelly Miller

      Thank you Pam, you’ve been in my thoughts this weekend. Still thinking about your lovely drawings.

  1. Lynn Morrissey

    Oh Happy Easter, Shelly! Can you believe it? A resurrection of my ability to post on your blog, at long last! I don’t say that flippantly; please know that. But it is a miracle for me, because I didn’t think it could happen after you changed your format. But Michael has it all figured out on this end, so as I type, I am praying that when I hit send, it will work! In fact, before I type further, I think that I will experiment and see if this is a go!

    • Shelly Miller

      This was my best Easter gift Lynn. It’s so good to have you back here. Thinking about you this morning and praying.

  2. Jillie

    Happy Easter Shelly! I was just viewing your photos to the right of my screen. Is that your son walking the puppy dog on the boardwalk? Is that Murielle with you? Whoever she is, she’s beautiful! Is that the view from your back deck? I’m green with envy!
    Did you get a package from England, or an actual visit from real-live Englanders? How wonderful for you either way!
    Sad to say, I barely recall the timing of my last laying prostrate before the Lord. Nor do I recall what drew me there. But I do remember how small I felt compared to all that was around me. I felt humbled in His awesome Presence. I knew He saw me there. Sheila Walsh has said that she “met God on the floor of a psychiatric hospital”, and I believe her. And what you say about learned submission requiring “heart posture” more than burying your face into the floor, is so very true. It’s all about the heart.
    I love the Mark Buchanan quote. So true for me. I’ve been trying to hold Sabbath more sacredly, but I’m still missing it in the way He intended, I’m sure. Once we ‘taste’ true Sabbath, I’m sure nothing less will do.

    • Shelly Miller

      Jillie, Hope you had a wonderful day celebrating resurrection. That is Harrison walking the dog for a friend who lives on the beach. It isn’t my back deck but that view is literally five minutes from my house. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful place. And that isn’t Murielle with me, that is my friend Helen visiting from England. I think she would take your comment as a great compliment since she is close to my age!

  3. Lynn Morrissey

    Oh yeah! It did work!! I tried once, and it didn’t! But now it has, so I’m going for it with another post. Yes! First of all, I’ve read all your posts (even when I was unable to comment) with great appreciation for your passion for Christ, pure desire to serve Him with your gifts, and for the inestimable quality of the writing and thinking gifts He has given you. I still maintain that you devise the freshest, most startlingly original metaphors on the planet! Witness this one: “May your feet be sticky with the fragrance of Christ, leaving the imprint of His sweetness where it’s needed.” Who but *you* would think to express spreading Christ’s fragrance abroad in such a unique and refreshing way?! Sticky feet! I need to remember to continually immerse myself in the sweet revelation of His truths, right down to my toesl, so that I leave His imprint wherever He takes me in the sojourn of my life. You know, Shelly, it dawns on me, too, that if we leave sticky footprints, and if people will follow them, their feet will get deliciously stuck on the path that we tread….which hopefully leads straight to the heart of Jesus! Like you, I have laid prostrate this week, but not in a way I would have chosen. I was flat on my face because of a medical concern, and I kept imagining what it felt like to lie prostrate at the foot of the Cross in both utter sorrow for all Christ had suffered on my behalf, but also in complete humility and gratitude that He had! I was stuck there, not because I had chosen this posture of my own volition, but it was wonderful for my prideful heart, as you suggest. And I can lift my head now and look up into the face of the risen Savior, because, as the wonderful quote you included says, I am an Easter person. He graciously has made me one, despite my selfish sinfulness. Oh, Shelly, He is Eastering me! I wrote a post about this very concept over at Kel Rohlf’s Nourishment for the Soul blog. And, of course, it makes sense that God would “Easter” an Easter person! Easter is the most astounding, unexpected gift we could possibly receive. I write this on Saturday, a time of darkness and uncertainty, after Jesus had died, and the disciples had lost hope. And then, next day,…… was UNEXPECTEDLY EASTER! What an incredible gift they found at the doorstep of the tomb where their stricken Savior had been lain. I’m clinging to that gift, as I know you are. And how wonderful, that even though He has given us the greatest unexpected gift of all, He keeps showering upon us yet more unanticipated treasures… your gift from England…….and like your gifts of emails, cards, and prayers to me. I have opened my hands, emptied out my disappointments and fears, and God has filled them, unexpectedly and most assuredly undeservedly, with sweet, sweet things. And I lick my fingers like a small child, just so eager to taste every last delectable drop. Thank you for making Easter so special for me this year, Shelly. PLEASE FORGIVE THE INCREDIBLE LENGTH OF THIS! I’M MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME! =] Bless you for your indulgence. Mostly, may God bless you this Easter in ways you would never expect and ways you will NEVER FORGET!!!

    • Shelly Miller

      It is so good to have your words here Lynn, they are always rich and full of wisdom. Thank you.

    • Shelly Miller

      Jedidja, It’s lovely to see you here and I pray your Eastertide continues to be full of the joy of the Lord in all things.

  4. Nancy Ruegg

    I agree with Lynn: you create such memorable and meaningful metaphors! For example: “Take a bite of impatience and it leaves your mouth gravely and bitter. Or wait instead to savor the sweet.” Makes me think of the dreams we often speak of. If we try to engineer circumstances ourselves, we miss out on the exquisite sweetness of God’s perfect plan. Jesus is our example. He awaited His dream of glory (Hebrews 12:2); now He sits at the right hand of God. Thank you, Shelly, for your insights that get me thinking, appreciating, and praying.

    • Shelly Miller

      Yes, I’m learning to wait, not always with patience but learning that His way of orchestrating life events is always the best instead of rushing ahead and trying to make things happen. Always a pleasure to connect with you Nancy.

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