A Woman, Thinking

The Most Joyous Day of the Week

Word of the Year, Healing & HeartPoppy Lochridge

This is Part 2 of a new series regarding Sabbath, my Word of the Year for 2015. Part 1 is here, and part 3 will arrive in the next couple of weeks. Part 2 contains references to books and blogs.

“A world without a Sabbath would be like a man without a smile, like summer without flowers, and like a homestead without a garden. It is the most joyous day of the week.”
― Henry Ward Beecher

Articles and Blogs

Why We Need to Slow Down our Lives - Ideas.TED.com

It can be strange to see mind training — going nowhere, in effect — being brought to such forward-pushing worlds; the businesses that view retreats as the best way to advance may simply be deploying new and imaginative means to the same unelevated ends. To me, the point of sitting still is that it helps you see through the very idea of pushing forward; indeed, it strips you of yourself, as of a coat of armor, by leading you into a place where you’re defined by something larger.

Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime - Scientific American

A 2010 LexisNexis survey of 1,700 white collar workers in the U.S., China, South Africa, the U.K. and Australia revealed that on average employees spend more than half their workdays receiving and managing information rather than using it to do their jobs

The Disease of Being Busy - On Being

How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?

Terri, the Cloaked Monk, posts each Saturday on Sabbath

7 tips to de-stress your home - Cheerio Road, Karen Maezen Miller

Observe Light. Observe Darkness. Observe Quiet. Observe Bells. Observe Nature. Observe Order. Observe Ritual.

The New Sabbath Project

Directions for building community through a regular Sabbath dinner.

For Rabbi, God Isn't in the Details - Chicago Tribune

An article about the Humanistic Judaism movement. Includes the candle lighting blessing: Blessed is the light in the world. Blessed is the light in people. Blessed is the light of Shabbat.

“Sabbath observance invites us to stop. It invites us to rest. It asks us to notice that while we rest, the world continues without our help. It invites us to delight in the world’s beauty and abundance.”
― Wendell Berry

Books

The book that started it was Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor. As she described her first Sunday without a congregation to lead and nowhere to go, my heart leapt and Sabbath blew in my door to challenge me to this year. "On that first Sunday, even the prospect of public worship was too much for me. I could not go back to Grace-Calvary, and I could not fathom going anywhere else. I felt like a religious invalid, still weak from my recent fever and embarrassed by how I looked. [...] Once the sound of Ed's car had disappeared in the distance, I took a prayer book out on the front porch and read the morning office with the birds.

[...]

Sitting there on my porch that first Sabbath morning, I understood what Native Americans mean when they speak of 'medicine.' In the strictest sense, they are speaking of how a little yellow root can help with indigestion or a tea brewed with chamomile can help you sleep, they are speaking of the curative power of creation. Sitting there in the healing presence of the mountains, the waters, the birds, and the beasts, I could not recall why I had so often neglected this medicine, though it was lying all around me."

Other books I've browsed as references about Sabbath:

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor. Her chapter on Sabbath in this book is also available on Kindle as the "Practice of Saying No". But really, I recommend the whole book.

Sabbath: The Ancient Practices by Dan Allender. Allender focuses on Sabbath as a day for delight, and emphasizes the delight of spending time at home with our partners and dining with friends.

Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now by Walter Brueggemann. Brueggemann's book dovetails with several years of my own resistance to the male-driven, corporate model of work. "God is not a workaholic. [..] God does not keep jacking up production schedules. To the contrary, God rests, confident, serene, at peace."

Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller. Sabbath keeping suggestions and ideas to mull over and integrate into your own practice.

Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline by Lauren Winner. Reflections of a converted Christian on what she misses from Judaism.

Books on Sabbath on my "to-read" list:

The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time by Judith Shulevitz

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly: Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, Feasting by Marva J. Dawn

Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest by Lynne M. Baab