Spilling Sabbath Secrets

by | Mar 20, 2015 | Sabbath


On Tuesday morning, we meet new friends while holding plates of eggs, sausage, beans and tomatoes (toe-mah-toes) on our laps; sitting in an arc of practical chairs aligned with permanent furniture in the rectory. A wide circle of church staff make room for three Americans joining them for breakfast.

When stomachs are full and coffee cups refilled, each of us share short paragraphs about ourselves.

I utter the words Sabbath Society and curiosity piques. A husband and wife walk across the room during a break and she tells me part of her story.

She serves the church but she’s also a doctor. Not long ago, God nudged her to take a Wednesday Sabbath each week. And bravely change career paths to create art.

God asks us to do some irrational stuff when we take the time to listen.




Standing in the middle of the circle surrounded by several conversations, I nod and smile as she tells me how a Sabbath rhythm has transformed her life.

Like children who hold a secret yet divulge to an empathetic listener in moment of weakness, we both spill about the way a day of rest becomes protected treasure once we lean into it. And something we never want to live without.

It turns out they live in the flat beneath us in the same house. Isn’t God amazing? The way He brings kindred hearts together makes a hard heart swoon in surrender.


Later that evening, we accept an invitation to walk down the steps for a glass of red and sip conversation. H and I sit on their white couch under the warm glow of lights strung around lamp shades and shelves of books, candles flickering throughout. A Siamese cat zigzags between her crossed legs and his knees bent over an antique pew bench.

“Are you going to the women’s group tomorrow morning,” I ask her.

“No, tomorrow is Sabbath,” she reminds me.

And suddenly, I am envious.

Sacrificing valuable time in exchange for abiding in His presence — once you say yes to the gift of Sabbath, there is no looking back. Those once known as busy when asked, “How are you?” will tell you that in a heartbeat.

Is it hard for you to say no to worthy opportuniies? How can you take baby steps toward finding a rhythm of rest in your week? Have you ever thought about taking Sabbath on an unconventional day of the week?



Want to make rest a routine, not just something you fill in between the cracks of your busyness? Join the Sabbath Society. Follow Sabbath-keepers in community with the hashtag #sabbathsociety on Twitter and Instagram and our Pinterest board, Surrendering to Sabbath.


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  1. Lynn Morrissey

    Shelly, I have tears in my eyes….for how God is so poignantly, beautifully at work in your life, and how He has begun to weave all the variegated strands together–strands of strength, Sabbath, serenity, sisterhood. I know envy is wrong. But let’s just say . . . oh how I would love to be there, experiencing all you already have in just a matter of a few, short days. England is in my blood and bones, and I think of it as my second home. And now, it’s your first. Thank you for continuing to blog your experience. I’ve told my English friends about you, and I hope they will stop by and take a peek at your poetic prose and your loving heart. Give H my love, and of course, Harrison. Oh . . . and St. Barnabas. Why does that sound so very familiar?? Was that the church in the movie, Bishop’s wife? 🙂 Of course, not in England, but the name. Happy Day of rest and happy rest of your days for however long God keeps you in the land of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

    • Shelly Miller

      Your enthusiasm is contagious Lynn. Thank you for celebrating with me. You have been there through thick and thin and I am so grateful for your steadfast faith in God to fulfill His purposes in and through us. Even though the wait has been long, it is still surreal that I am actually living in London now. I hope you can come for a visit. That would be so amazing, wouldn’t it? xxx

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Shelly, I am holding you to that one! Bless you. I am spreading the word near and far abuot your writing and London. You are developing an international ministry! Praise Him!

  2. Glenda Childers

    This was just so very fun to read.

    • Shelly Miller

      Aw, glad to know you thought so Glenda.

  3. Kris Camealy

    This thrills me to no end. LOOK at how God has orchestrated all of these details of your life–it’s his flagrant grace, as Manning would say. Look at how generously He loves, working ALL things together for His glory…. Just breathtaking!!


  4. Mary Gemmill

    LOVE the God connections happening already and rejoicing in God at work.
    Sabbath became vital to me when burn-out threatened.
    I take it on a Saturday and it is what my school community used to call non-contact time. As an introvert, I need a day each week where I refrain from connecting to others; a day for me; a day with God.
    It truly is life-saving,
    Loving stories of your new lives.
    Shabbat Shalom.
    Mary, xx

  5. Celeste

    Since becoming a mom of a busy little boy I look for moments of rest. I am grateful for the way you have presented this to us and the encouragement you send to us especially when I feel lacking.
    But today, this morning my little guy woke up at 6:30. Not that unusual but I was craving the quiet. We sat beside one another as I showed him on my tablet what laser tag was as he will be at a birthday party. He then turned to me and asked to see a music video. How do you type Holy, he asked me.
    Those words pulled up a host of music videos with words and as we sat together we listened to Hillsong followed by Michael W. Smith and my son sang.
    This mama cried.
    I think this was a good moment. A holy moment and need I say a great beginning to my Sabboth.

  6. Traci Rhoades

    Your pictures were captivating. Keep them coming! I am pretty sure God is teaching me along this line: “Is it hard for you to say no to worthy opportunities?” How to be quiet with Him.

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