How Moms Can Honor the Sabbath Even When We Don’t Get a Day Off

How can moms observe a day of rest…when we’re never off duty?

By 7:25am on Sunday I had already cleaned up two little messes, changed one diaper, fixed two sippy-cups of milk, folded up the blankets, made the beds, and was mid-way through breakfast prep.

Standing there in the kitchen I pondered that word. Sabbath, and it immediately led me to the words,Remember the Sabbath to Keep it Holy…

As the youngest of five children, I saw my mom rise before the sun– clad in her pink robe and bare feet, standing watch at a skillet of scrambled eggs and smiling over her coffee cup as we padded in the kitchen one by one. Sometimes, the dusting of flour on the counter tops and a quick peek through the oven glass confirmed what we thought we smelled, homemade biscuits!!

Other times Mom hastily served up nearly burnt cheese toast as we all ran out the door, pulling on shoes, tucking in shirts, and smoothing unruly hair– but either way, she was always at the helm of our ship— making provisions for us all as we made our way to church on Sunday morning. Once or twice I wondered… when was her Sunday? Who would make her breakfast so she could enjoy a break? When would her Sabbath come? But mostly, I just ate my own breakfast, filled my seat in the very back row of the family grocery-getter and never questioned the way things were.

And many trips around the sun later, I’m the mom. Biscuit baker. Cup-Filler. Smile-bringer. Hair-smoother. And to be truthful, sometimes it feels like I also wear the label, Non-Sabbath taker.

As I struggle with the push and pull of being both provision-maker and desperate needer of a Sabbath myself– I know there are things we can do to cut back on all the doing– and make time for the resting. And sometimes we do them. Takeout Sunday lunch. Extra planning on Saturday. Frozen waffles. And just letting some things go until Monday.

But I also know that life just is. And Sundays are a day that little people still need the same help that they need the other six.

Whether a mother, a Minister, or an ICU nurse, not everyone can take a service-free Sunday. And I’m just not sure that is what Sabbath means after all.

Because isnt it true that the hands that serve others for God are hands that worship simultaneously?

Perhaps we are the best multi-taskers when we first put our hands up toward Heaven to offer up our first bits of sacrifice.

I know that if asked, my mom would not say she missed out on those few extra hours of Sunday morning sleep. More likely, she would say that God gave them back to her twenty fold in watching her children grow to know Christ.

And some might say that the two are not related. But as one of those pajama clad kids who always woke up to such Sunday mornings, I would disagree.

Nothing is secular when done for the honor of the sacred. Nothing is ordinary when done with the hands and feet of Christ. And for all the moms and dads standing in all the kitchens today, for all the grandparents who are doing it again for another generation, it matters. For the nurse who stands at the bedside of someone who hasnt known true compassion in quite a while, you are serving GOD today. To the policeman standing guard instead of sitting with the paper, it all makes a difference. For the leaders in our churches who get up and get at it so Sundays can happen, we need you. For the sweet members who stand in quiet service, making coffee, turning on lights and just. being. there. We need you. We need you all. Every last one of you. So go hard after it for the Glory of God.

Cynthia Stuckey
Cynthia Stuckey writes from a blue house in the modern Deep South where she shares life with her blue-eyed Mister and two twirling girls. She writes at happygostuckey.com and on Instagram @happygostuckey. You'll find her there, clutching coffee & handing out copies of her free recipe memoir, Simmer. 

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