Hand gripped around the handle, I pull a wagon of open boxes filled with loaves of Dave’s Killer Bread from a small mission church on the corner of 7th Street and Alice. Following my mother-in-law and a friend down desert pavement, past iron gates into the bowels of need, we knock on doors while declaring, “Bread!”
It’s Wednesday and like the reliable sun in Phoenix, people open doors with trust written on their smiling faces.
I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35
Why do we abandon what is simple, available, and sustaining for what is cumbersome, hard, and heavy? Why do we try to fill our need with what is ultimately empty?
Time is swift and memory is fickle.
God uses the swiftness of time and the practice of remembering to open doors leading us home to Him.
Cradling a loaf of seeded bread, I gently place what is basic to sustain a life into tired, trembling hands held open in the direction of my voice. His gracious response reminds me that blindness can be overcome with a thankful, receptive, and generous heart.
If God sustains a nation by raining bread from the sky; if He feeds thousands of hungry souls with five small loaves from a little boy, how much more will He be the “I AM” in our harried world?
Let’s open our palms and let go of self-sufficiency for the aseity of God.
Let’s trade our carefully crafted contingencies and self-righteous support for a self-sufficient God that can change this restless world.
While we rush to fix, produce, and plan Wait on me is the clarion call from our Savior. Wait in the uncomfortable to witness the comfort of God.
The courageous are willing to feel unsure to step into the unknown.
As an expat returning home, I’ve traveled through six states over the last two weeks and this is my assurance: People are familiar in all places and circumstances don’t define us; they tether, strangle, or free us into the people we are to become. It is God’s love and our acceptance of it that ultimately defines our big, beautiful world.
We’re all on a pilgrimage filled with potholes — circling back to the comfort of his faithfulness, the generosity of his lovingkindness and the peace of his presence in relationships.
Standing in the shade under a concrete canopy on the top floor of a housing development, a woman rests on a cane and shares what she knows about the bread in the wagons we are pulling over dusty floor mats. Dave’s Killer Bread is more than just basic, it is bread formed from a mission statement.
FOR US, IT GOES BEYOND BAKING THE BEST BREAD IN THE UNIVERSE — IT’S ABOUT BELIEVING EVERYONE IS CAPABLE OF GREATNESS, CREATING LASTING CHANGE IN OUR COMMUNITY AND SO MUCH MORE.
May we all function with a mission to break bread with people as the focal point. Look people in the eyes, and remind them He is the “I AM” to all of life’s conundrums.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6
Today is the one-year anniversary of Rhythms of Rest launching into the world! I can’t believe it! But I’m overjoyed that the message of Sabbath is resonating with people all over the globe. To celebrate, I’m remembering your faithfulness in sharing about my book with those in your spheres of influence. And giving away this beautiful gift bottle made by OG Studio Creations to one lucky person who responds to one of these questions in the comments:
How are you trusting God with your time? How is Sabbath making a difference in your week?
Download our printable October calendar for daily prompts to persevere in finding rest. And follow me on Instagram for more photos from my speaking tour in the US.
The winner of the giveaway will be picked on Monday, October 9!
Update: Graceanna Henderson is the winner of the gorgeous bottle!
Yes, I know this hunger and this filling. So thankful that God slowed me down so he could and was willing to give me what I need every day—a bit of bread and some to give away. Congrats on a beautiful year of Rhythms of Rest! xx
Since we have moved into our retirement phase i have had to carve out time for quiet and writing. It is so easy to get so busy it is critical to set aside ‘space’ for rest. Either physical or emotional.
Sabbath is not so much a Sunday thing for me, in fact lately it has moved to Thursday which is when we go to the beach and i find a place of quiet and do my writing and internal work for the week. Allowing myself time to walk near the waves and breathe in it’s beauty….
God has slowed me down to reflect, to pray to read and write poetry about Him. I live on a hill I coined Sanctuary Hill it is truly a refuge. I find rest in Him on a regular basis, ad I take photos of His beautiful creations right before my eyes. A Sabbath rest gazing into His beauty of life.
I have agreed to let go of control and say yes to the unexpected. The unexpected has brought grace, chaos and joy.
Leaning -In More often than I use to. Being open to more suddenlies’. Capturing every moment.
I am going into a season of change. “Retirement” is coming up, but I sense that I will have more Kingdom work to do in ‘retirement’ than has been possible while I have worked and raised my children. One of my youngest is also graduating college; the last one to do so! So my husband and I are now free to simply ‘listen and follow’ and see what God brings. In the quiet times of Sabbath, we are trusting God for wisdom, direction, discernment, but also for His generous work in the lives of our children, their marriages, and our grandchildren. I am excited for what’s to come!
My mom and I giggle often, because when she retired, she told the Lord she just wanted to have purpose.
She TOTALLY does a million more things now than she did when she worked…and she was BUSY when she worked.
I have a feeling that your sense will be 100% correct. Those around you will need the time and attention and prayer that you can give a bit more freely in retirement.
Kathleen, my kids are still little, 4 & 7 and yet lately I have been thinking/wondering (thankfully in a curious way not in a trying to plan/control way as is so often my nature) what God will have for me in the season after raising/homeschooling children. Thank you for your inspiring example in your words of faith in and dependence on Him! Blessings as you make this transition and remember to give yourself grace as you find the new path He has for you. As Shelly said, “We’re all on a pilgrimage filled with potholes.” and I have to remind myself in transitions that it may take a bit of wandering and listening to land square in the middle of His path . . . and He has things to teach me along the way! Kelly
At this time, I am entering into a new season… a time of change. “Retirement” is right around the corner, but my sense is that this next season will be more productive than the last. With the last child leaving the nest, we have more time to simply ‘listen and follow” and see where the Lord leads. I am trusting Him for discernment and wisdom as we step out, and I am trusting Him to continue his work in the lives of our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren. Times of Sabbath give me the breathing space to not only hear His direction but to reflect and enjoy all that He is doing!
Sabbath has been absolutely transformative for me… such a gift! The quiet and rest has been filling up my soul, and giving me deeper perspective and sustainable vitality for the week ahead. Thank you Shelley!
I have found that practicing rest helps me listen and renews my soul. It’s more than just resting my ohysical body, it’s has been learning how to quiet the brain chatter. My mind is alway “on.” By slowing my ohysical body and “wasting” time, I feel more connected to the Father’s heart. Even when I am unsure and anxious, I practicing sabbath informs the rest of my week. I have experienced an improvement in my overal health and well being.
Sabbath is still hard, learning to trust He is sufficient and letting go of my control for His control of my life. So grateful Iam not on this journey alone, He knows the way.
How is Sabbath making a difference?
It ous making all the difference. Starting my day in a posture of listening allows God to lead me to the places in the scriptures where he wants to speak. It has freed me from needing to read here because yesterday I read there. It is cultivating our friendship. I’m learning that trust and rest are first cousins … and I think humity might be too. Still pondering.
Congratulations on the anniversary of Rhythms of Rest! I am glad the Lord led me to it. I have been struggling with what my Sabbath should look like since reading the book but I think the most important thing that God is teaching this recovering perfectionist is this idea and truth that “Sabbath is not about resting perfectly, but resting in the One who is perfect”. That is what is reaching out to me the most right now. I am learning more to rest in Him. When I do that I experience more of the peace He left us. I find I am able to incorporate small Sabbaths into the other days. To give myself permission to just sit a little while with Jesus and pace myself during the day. So thank you, Shelly, and I am praying for you as you travel and share the Lord’s heart on this topic. I like the October calendar title-Preparation is Everything. Yes!
I really loved Shelly’s description of things on the Sabbath being light and easy. So often, that description comes to mind and helps me figure out what to do or not do. 🙂 I also loved that she encouraged me to just keep at it. Those first couple of attempts felt disastrous. I’m really glad there wasn’t a camera hidden in my brain, recording the jumble that was going on. It still makes me laugh.
I’m trusting God with my time by saying no to “good” things and “yes” to best. It is hard though, when there are things I used to be able to do (ministry, self, others) but now being a mother of three under three with my newest just 7 weeks old, it just is a different time these days! I’m embracing it. Thanking God for the change. Sabbath is making a difference in the week for me by being that thing I look forward to, expectant, and seeing it as it was made for us not us for the Sabbath. I get excited thinking about the restoring and rest God has for me.
I thought I knew what Sabbath was. I’m a slow learner and this has been an adjustment for me. For starters relocating across provinces gives a fresh start as well as fresh perspective.
The greatest help is knowing that others share in the struggle to adjust, learn, accept what is being offered. That said, peace has become a welcome part of the process. No condemnation.
Without the incessant noise of legalistic banter, my mind is free to focus on what truly is important.
Thank you for sharing your words. Thank you for writing.
I am becoming. Like the rabbit in the Velveteen Rabbit. Becoming more intentional. Making choices and planning ahead and then engaging in the space that is created.
We have tried for several years to celebrate the Sabbath and focus on God’s many blessings instead of what we think we need or need to do. We are not always successful, but know that our loving God knows our hearts. When we celebrate the Sabath to the fullest, we receive the fullness of His blessings.
Sabbath is Letting go…..of my thoughts, my agenda, my worries & anxieties, like balloons being let go, drifting away into the sky, away…away…..leaving a space for God, His love, His joy,His wisdom, His peace. ….deep & lasting through the week.
Beautiful, Clare! I, too, want to embrace a Sabbath of Letting Go. Thank you for this poetic reminder.
Finding sabbath rest in a hectic lifestyle as a missionary has been a long, hard process. Your writing has certainly helped me find it, and has been a real blessing. Setting sabbath time in the middle of my week (since Sabbaths are so full of ministry) has been a lesson learned.
I cannot even begin to tell you how much Rhythms and observing Sabbath have impacted my life and heart. More peace, more joy, more attention to the daily beauty around me. AND, in spite of my misgivings about ‘getting behind’ when I observe Sabbath, I am actually ahead and caught up each week. Only God could do that! Thank you for Rhythms!
Trusting God with my time. Yes, yes, Shelly. Leaving great wide swaths of grace and space in my days, saying ‘no thanks’ to demands that would put me too close to the edge. And finding Him sufficient when situations arise that are completely out of my control.
Breathing peace as I release those people, their pain, one by one by one.
Again and again.
How are you trusting God with your time? How is Sabbath making a difference in your week?
I am finding out that when my to do list is long and overwhelming, He always provides the time
to get done the important things. He perhaps clears my schedule or makes things quickly come into play.
He is Jehovah-rapha – the God who provides. I am getting better at not worrying about getting things done
because I am learning to trust in Him more knowing that He will help me to get done what needs to be done that day.
I look forward to Sabbath rest with great anticipation. It’s my favorite day of the week. I have learned to prep and prepare on Saturday for the day. I am learning to spend quality time with my Father. It is my day of reflection from the past week and a time to reset for the next week. I have also learned that it’s ok to take Sabbath breaks during the week if something is happening on Sunday. That is the case this week. I have decided to enjoy some Sabbath rest today, Friday. Knowing that I have extra time with my Lord fills me with unexplainable joy. I love my Sabbath day! ~ Blessings and hugs, Cathy
It is all His time, and I love knowing He will guide me as to what to do with it and when. I have learned to hold all plans loosely knowing He may switch things up at any given moment, even in my sabbath days. Some weeks He gives us solitude and silence, others weeks He asks us to invite others into it. This dancing with Father God is the ultimate thrill. I never know where He may lead, but I’m not letting go of Him.
Practicing Sabbath has brought a confidence in God and permission to enjoy Him, His creativity and beauty!
Rhythms of Rest was a complete God send for me. I now have Monday’s as my sabbath and God has miraculously changed my schedule so that I am able to touch those outside the church walls. I can be a caregiver to Mom and affect those around me. Shelly you have influenced more people than you are aware and I continue to tell other about this amazing book. Blessings
A job change almost 2 years ago has caused Sabbath to be more difficult yet more needed! Observing Sabbath, causes me to weigh each commitment I make during the week. In order to fully rest on one day, I must use my time wisely the other 6 days so decisions of what to do and not do are made with intentional thought.
Thank you for giving us a opportunity to win.good article really helped me a lot.
Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! Rhythms of Rest has made such an impact on me that I thought “Surely it’s been out longer than a year!”. The Lord showed me the importance of rest a few years ago when He began a work of inner healing in my life. Isaiah 30:15 is the verse He impressed upon me, and even now, returns me to again and again. His Rest covers everything I do. When I start to feel overwhelmed or anxious, I know it’s because I haven’t given rest priority. Your book has been such an encouragement! Thank you for your faithfulness in writing it, and for your continued encouragement!
How I’ve enjoyed your challenge to Sabbath! Your insight and reflections have caused me to consistently turn to rest. Thank you.
The Bread of Life needs to be distributed daily into my life as an antidote to the world, flesh and Satan. I am impressed that your mission to provide the “Killer Bread” to those in need answers a need for hungry and hurting in your community. May I ever hunger for this Bread of Life knowing it will meet my every need in Christ Jesus. Congratulations for your 1 year anniversary of your work of love, “Rhythms of Rest.”
This statement especially spoke to me: “The courageous are willing to feel unsure to step into the unknown.” My thoughts included: 1) Praise God I never need to step out in courage alone. God is with me, ready to instill his infinite strength. 2) To feel unsure of oneself is the proper frame of spirit for God to do his best work. Let uncertainty press the heart closer to him. 3) The journey into the unknown is one step at a time. Don’t allow thoughts of the future paralyze forward movement today. Thank you, Shelly, for your sweet-spirited wisdom! Your posts never fail to minister to me. P.S. I’ve missed you the last number of weeks! Glad you’re back in the blogosphere.
How am I trusting God with my time? I am committed to Sundays being my Sabbath. I am giving myself permission to do this, and making it possible by getting chores done in advance. Then God will take me in hand. Last Sunday, my first full Sabbath Sunday, I decided to ask my husband if he’d like to take a walk down by the river as part of my intentional God-centered Sabbath. He agreed, and as we were driving to a place where we could leave the car, we passed the botanic gardens. The sign said: “Free admission.” What a gift. What a Sabbath gift. We spent a couple of hours walking around the gardens, enjoying the fall colors, the flowers, the butterflies. I truly felt it was a gift from God, affirming my choice to honor the Sabbath. Thank you, Shelly, for your wisdom, for sharing yourself, for helping us realize the gift of Sabbath.
My husband is reminding me we work out of our rest, not rest after our work is done. I’m trying to remind myself that work will never feel “done” and I need to “work from my rest.” It’s helping! Taking time to play and pause and rest, is definitely giving more joy to engage in my work!
I look forward to your email every week! Practicing Sabbath has been a life changer for me! I am becoming intentional about slowing down and being more present!
I am new to Sabbath Society. I actually read The Turquoise Table recently and that led me to Rhythms of Rest, which I believe God is using to change my life. God has been working on me for quite some time and mostly it’s been little things that have reminded me to slow down and enjoy life, enjoy beauty, enjoy people. Reading the book gave me an even deeper understanding of Sabbath and why it’s so important to God to honor it. So for the past two weekends I have sabbathed for 24 hours beginning at sundown on Saturday. I was attacked immediately so that only confirmed that what I was doing was the right thing and that I had to perservere. I want to honor and please God and I am trusting in Him to commit this Sabbath time to rest in Him. He’s still showing me what that looks like for me but I’m in!
By the way, I have been seeing arrows…even before reading the book. That chapter literally gave me chills and tears of joy and hope.
How am I trusting God with my time? I’m learning to say “no” to more things so that when I say “yes” I can do so and be fully present. I’m learning to trust the inner voice when it says things like: “That would be too much of a stretch right now” or “You are not the answer to this problem, but you can certainly pray.” Rhythms of Rest played a significant role in helping me frame the changes I felt God calling me to make this year and practicing Sabbath weekly has been a regular reality check that this really is the way I want to live the life I’ve been given.
The statement etched into the bottle immediately relaxes me. I have been seeking how to best practice Sabbath for 3-4 years now – often striving because I want to “do it right.” Your book has helped me relax more and just “be” knowing I am fully loved. I could write for hours regarding this topic but I will let this be enough!
I am learning to trust God to multiply my time when I allow margin for godly rest. And the Sabbath has become a much-anticipated part of the rhythm of my week–a day of holy rest to savor.
How are you trusting God with your time?
For some, resting is extremely diffacult, i have been there, where i thought “doing” was so much more productive. I am learning, the gift of REST, to sit in the Lord’s Presence, and picture Him there, in an empty chair across from me…well it is so worth the time, to let the Sun shine on my face, to notice the beauty of Creation, …My soul is at peace, my mind, cleared from the chatter, and then i can go forth into the world knowing that sacred time with God is for a greater purpose. He will guide…and i am thankful, grateful, and still learning….
I’ve loved your emails, posts and especially Rhythms of Rest and the message of Sabbath. Having slaved under the tyrant master of business most of my adult years, it is good now to plan for quiet, undisturbed sabbath rest. Not always on the same day, but a priority nonetheless.
Presently, I am 2,000 miles from home (and grandchildren) helping care for my MIL who has lymphoma and was given 6-13 weeks five weeks ago, with the oncologist thinking the 13 weeks probably wasn’t going to happen. So my days are different than at home, as I a, serving to meet various needs. Time off happens when my dear SIL is able to give my husband and me a break for time away for a few hours. It is our time to ‘honor’ one who has so graciously loved her family for many years!
This is the first week of my intentions to find Sabbath after meeting you in McCall last weekend (Boise). Just today I was feeling overwhelmed, hoping I could fit in all I need to get done before a very busy weekend of ministry work. Suddenly I am being called by God to get out on this very beautiful day to spend some time with Him. How grateful I am that He who is Lord over all, loves me enough to remind me to lay it all down and trust in Him.
Shelly, truly it is amazing that Rhythms of Rest made its way into our hearts one year ago. In some ways, it feels like a lifetime ago, in others, just yesterday. This book is life-changing, and in fact, I just gave it as a gift on Sunday to a beautiful, gifted mother whose life is stretched right now in many directions. I believe so strongly in your message, and I know she will find such comfort and wisdom through your heartfelt words. Sabbath is making a difference, because God is making a difference, and He is the Lord of the Sabbath. This rest idea is His, and the amazing thing is that it is His gift to us . . . His provision in the wilderness that sometimes our lives seem to be. I think so often I have felt like wilderness time, waiting time, is both endless and empty. But when I learn to be patient and to wait on Him, which is really what Sabbath is, I find I am resting in Him. It’s more than a ceasing of activity. Sabbath for me has become a blessed, calm state of trust. My waiting has become weighty with the presence of the living God. Thank you for the vision you’ve cast, for living it yourself, and for guiding us along the way. I would say that God has used you, yourself, your words, as a wilderness provision for so many hungry, thirsty souls.
So excited to see you in PI! Your book has made a big difference to me!
I am learning that preparation is just as much a part of Sabbath as rest. I find myself almost eager during the week to get my work done, laundry, meal prep, etc. – in excited anticipation for what is to come – true rest.
My day of Sabbath rest allows me to focus on time with my Savior. This is a time of refreshment and rest giving me what I need to make it through the week. I work on Bible study and reading, church and worship. It is my time of refueling with the Lord.
I am learning to breathe in the small ordinary moments. They matter to God. I look forward to Sabbath rest each week and God has been showing me how to rest in the busy of my day, This has been life changing, Thanks for sharing your heart and congrats in your biik,
Shelly love this. I am learning after busy days as a Chaplain caring for the elderly, to be able to go into the garden with a lovely cup of tea hand over any thing that I need to hand to GOD and sit and be still. On weekends I have been enjoying getting into my Garden weeding and reconstructing garden beds and planting this might sound like work and I guess it is of sorts but it gives me so much joy and life that it restores me from the busy week with people. I can truly rest in that space with God as my wonderful creator. Life-giving.
I am still in the learning stages of resting, truly resting. I take water to work with me every day and when I saw this bottle, I thought this would be a perfect reminder to me to find rest, to look for it, to embrace it and to covet it as God shows me how.
Your book has been such a sweet encouragement to me in developing more Sabbath rhythms into my life. I typically pause for Sabbath on Saturdays and keep coming back to your reminder, “I don’t do guilt.” It’s a day to rest from the pressures we can so easily put on ourselves, and setting aside time to focus on guilt-free rest can make it easier to keep a more proper focus the rest of the week as well. It is a blessed reminder to take up the easy yoke as Christ walks with us and carries our burdens day by day.
I’m learning to trust God with my time by letting go of expectations – of myself, of others, of situations, and of being busy. It’s a challenge for me to rest and I’m practicing the “5 minute pause” as a way to experience God’s peace and listen to His voice.
How do I trust God with my time?
People so often talk about time…how quickly it passes…there’s not enough, or too much. In my case, it seems to flying at break-neck speed. I gear up every morning for the day ahead, knowing I will travel through the day like a bullet, then ask myself where the time went.
A few months ago, I started riding my bike to work, complete with headphones so I could listen to music that spurred me on my cycling journey. One day about a month ago, I decided to leave the music at home and use the travel time to pray. I start by thanking the Lord for my family and my circumstance. I then present my needs, always including “if it is Your will”.
The difference in my days has been transformative. I have such a peace that stays with me the whole day. I give each day to Him, and He gives me back a sense of tranquility. I don’t feel rushed, I take advantage of moments to interact more with coworkers, chat with my children, play with my granddaughter, and sit and talk with my husband. And, each day seems longer!
God has given me what I didn’t realize I craved – the peace to live and enjoy each day rather than feeling challenged just to get through the day so I can go to sleep at night.
Thank you, Shelly, for this opportunity to put into words how awesome our God is.
I am *very* new to Sabbath-keeping. In fact, tomorrow will be my third. As one who has what I call a warped sense of responsibility to work, it is so easy for me to get caught up in busyness. I was getting mentally tired that even church was becoming a chore. Although I’m still struggling with finding my rhythm, I am looking at Sabbath as something I get to do, not something I have to do. The former is a privilege; the latter is another item on the unending To-do list. And although I’m facing the eve of Sabbath knowing what awaits me the next day, I’m trusting God for the ability to accomplish what must be done.
I am just beginning my journey into Sabbath Rest and I am so excited to focus on the One who’s is Perfect, rather than trying to follow rules perfectly. Enjoying reading your book. Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary.
Trusting God with my time by slowing way down in this season with three little ones…ages 5,3, & 1. Going against my productive,, busy, doing orientated mindset.
I am intentionally taking a day of Sabbath and seeing the fruit of it! Having time focused on Jesus, joy, and rest has fueled me so much more than I ever expected. I can tell when I begin feeding the lie of busyness and don’t set aside that time for Him, and I do not enjoy the condition of my heart and mind in those moments. Thank you for your book, as it has radically changed my life. And thank you for these posts and prompts to seek rest in Jesus. They mean more than you know!
I am new to Sabbath Society as of 5 minutes ago!!! I just ordered your book and am so excited to read it. In 2012, I began a practice of honoring sacred rhythms that included rest. Keeping Sabbath is something that I long to do and yet found it difficult to do within the context of family life. For the past few years, I have been able to set aside one day during the week for Sabbath keeping when the house is empty. I have found that the process of keeping Sabbath nourishes my body and soul for that day and then sustains me during the remainder of the week. If I am unable to practice Sabbath, it is as if my entire being is a bit “off center.” I cannot wait to read your book and join the tribe of Sabbath Society! So thankful that God led me to this group.
I use to be so busy I could not find time to breathe.
Now I have been trusting God with my time by just taking the time knowing God will cover everything else. I have made being in His presence a priority and I am able to hear Him more. It has also helped improve my health with decreased stress. It is not always easy trusting but I have learned to remain faithful and God’s will is always greater than mine.
How am I trusting God with my time? I’m believing He is ordering my steps!
I’m also learning to say no to all the things ….
Taking a break from active ministry for my husband and I have many new chances for sabbath rest. Not necessarily in a church service but in resting in a markedly less busy schedule. How this restful fallow season will affect his and our next calling will be interesting. Sabbath is essential.