When Stepping Away Is Your Only Choice

by | Apr 18, 2015 | Sabbath, Trust


Before I left the US for England, I had the audacious goal of writing to you about daily adventures and sharing collections of photographs with each blog post. It turns out there is a lot of life to live here. Opportunities for sitting quietly with my thoughts and then writing about what I’ve processed are slimmer than expected.

Sometimes stepping away from the familiar to start over is the kind of trust that can change your life.

With a new normal comes a range of emotions. A see-saw between exhilaration found in new experiences and the fear that I’ll forget something important. Or that you’ll forget about me when it is silent here.

In the midst of distracted delirium, writing helps me to remember. Putting words to my thoughts is like holding a magnifying glass to God’s presence.

Writing is the discipline of noticing where He leaves crumbs toward the beauty He is highlighting. Words assign meaning to my days instead of walking around oblivious.

When I forget how I got where I am standing today, amidst the laundry, piles of paperwork and boxes to unpack, I can easily wander off course and miss the vibrancy of His intentions.


It’s why He says, “Remember the Sabbath.”

He gives the Sabbath, not because we need more spiritual hoops to jump through but because He knows how much we need it. And how easy it will be for us to forget rest is a gift of His love extended.

Wherever your weekend takes you, may you know that you belong, that your wayward feelings in the moment are not an indicator of your value or judgment about the future.

Part of finding a new normal requires acceptance for what is and what will be. Remembering how you got here is your compass. Rest and know that what matters the most will come clearly into focus.


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. Sharon O

    we won’t forget you…

  2. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Forget you?! Naw…… Never! I think that you are learning, praise the Lord, that you can take your Sabbath with you, because He goes with you too. I’m hoping that in all the newness, the familiarity of Sabbath will give you stability. HAve a beautiful Sunday. Love you!

  3. Janet from FL

    “New Normal”, yes I live that as a cancer survivor, and now thanks to you and God our Father, I have & make a Sabbath Day each week to give praises, to reflect, and to remember… My schedule this week was hectic too, and Sabbath a bit hectic as well, but glad for your post to help me stop and reflect. My “new normal” is life after cancer (disabled), with renewed life having accepting the gift of Sabbath, and hope to bless others with Christian encouragement. …God is blessing us today, Shelly!

  4. Leah

    Such comfort from your words today on Sabbath rest, on a Monday morning, as I am thinking about how much my husband and I needed to actually skip church yesterday, and how that counter intuitive act, set our week on a completely better course. The rest gift of being together as a family, to talk things out, to laugh over stupid jokes and the same old stories, with no guilt, because “it is not a spiritual hoop to jump through”.

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