About the Episode
How can a mom find time to rest, when she can barely find time to do all the things she needs to do? What if I told you the cultural norm of 5-day work week and 2-day weekend actually makes it harder for you to accomplish your to-do list each week? Or that it contributes to that panic you feel at the end of the week when you haven’t gotten everything done that you need to and the guilt you feel about not enjoying the weekend? There is another way. A better way. One that is laid out for us in scripture: 6 days of work and 1 day of rest. It’s time to rethink your weekly schedule.
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[00:00:00] You’re listening to episode four of the Simply Sabbath podcast.
Rest doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. If you feel like you’re about to break from exhaustion. Let me invite you to Simply Sabbath, a podcast for the burnt-out Christian mom, who longs to get back to the core of who she is and to reclaim the deep joy and stabilizing peace Jesus has for her in her every day– without the mom guilt that often accompanies self-care practices.
Hi, my name is Rachel Fahrenbach and I help busy moms just like you add a simple restful family Sabbath to their week. So they can experience a refueling that gives them exactly what they need to live the life that God has called them to. I’m so glad you’ve joined me today. Let’s get to it.
It always happens. I suggest to a [00:01:00] mom that she take a 24 hour period of rest and she responds with, “um, yeah. How has that supposed to work now?”
I get this question. I had this question! Because as moms, we have a list that is so long of all these to-dos and places to be and things to get done. And we don’t even know how to make it work in the week that we currently have. So how in the world are we supposed to get it all to fit in if we take a full day off?
Well, I’d like to suggest to you that the way that you are thinking about your week and your 24 hour day is actually working against you. It’s making it harder for you to get the things done that you need to get done. And if you adopt this Sabbath principle of six days of work and one day of rest, You’ll actually find it’s easier to accomplish the things that you need to get done.
And yes, mama, I am suggesting you adopt a [00:02:00] six day work-week. I’m not just flippantly using that. It comes from Genesis chapter one and there’s wisdom in it. And that’s what we’re going to get to today.
Let’s start by reframing how we look at the week. And I think if we start there, if you can see kind of holistically how the week can lay out, you’ll begin to understand this idea of one day of rest and six days of work. And I just, I hope you bear with me. I know you’re probably sitting there going, “I thought this podcast was about rest. Why are we talking about working more days?” Hopefully, by the end of this discussion, it will begin to make sense what I’m talking about and what I’m suggesting to you and you’ll begin to see how it actually could be better for you.
Here’s the thing in the field of chronobiology they have the term circaseptan rhythms. I hope I said that right. To describe the seven day rhythms that can be found in nature and in human biology. What we’re talking about is not just a [00:03:00] social construct. We’re talking about your unique design. What I’m suggesting is not that you work more, but that you stop working against the natural rhythm of time that is woven into our being and into our world.
So let’s break this down. The cultural norm is five day work-week, two day weekend. But I want you to take a look back on the last couple of weeks– now I understand at the time of this recording, we are in the middle of the holiday season, and so things are a little skewed with that, but typically, do you truly work for five days and then take two days off?
Does that actually happen?
And now, instead of asking yourself, do I stop working for those two days, ask, do I rest those two days? Do I take time off? Do I enjoy my weekend? Do I find my weekend to be refueling and [00:04:00] refreshing?
I would venture to guess that for most of you, the answer to that question is no. I would venture to guess that for most of you, you use the weekend to play catch-up. And so you’ll do a lot of things on Saturday, house projects, things that you can have your husband help you with, or maybe your husband can watch the kids while you will run, do the things you need to do.
Or maybe you do take Saturday off, but then on. You guys go to church and then in the afternoon you find yourself playing catch up to get ready for Monday. So my question to you is, do you really, truly have a two day off scenario, or do you find yourself getting to the weekend feeling panic because you know, you’re supposed to have all these things done so that you can have these two days off, but they’re not done and you’re going to have to work on the weekends. So you’re not going to get some [00:05:00] rest. So now you’re going to be burnt out, going into Monday, and it’s just going to be this vicious cycle.
That, my friend, is what I’m talking about: fighting the natural rhythms of life, fighting the wisdom principle of Sabbath that’s outlined in scripture for us.
Is the way that you’re operating your week now, working?
If the answer to that is no, that it’s not working, then what do you have to lose to try something different?
I hope that your answer to that is nothing. You really have nothing to lose in trying to do something different, because right now it’s just not working. Our culture, the way that we do this, it’s just doesn’t work. We are so exhausted. We’re so tired all the time. We’re always running, trying to get things done.
There really is nothing to lose.
I think that for some of us, the idea of taking a day off actually stresses us out because we think we’ll be more stressed out. We think that by taking a day off, [00:06:00] that we won’t have time to get everything done. And so we’ll be stressing out during the week just to get to the day off and how is that helpful and beneficial for our family?
I get that. And I think that for many of you, you are not going to be able to embrace this idea of a full day off until you understand how the six day work week works.
So what does it mean to experience a week that doesn’t dismiss our natural biological rhythms. It doesn’t dismiss the wisdom principle that God laid out for Sabbath, but it also allows us to show up for our families in ways that are responsible in ways that are caring and loving and in ways that don’t stress us out.
I do not believe that the week starts with work.
I believe that the week starts with rest. I believe we rest and out of that, we work the other six days and then we come back to rest. And then out of [00:07:00] that, we work six days. And the reason I believe that is because when you look at the creation account and you look at the day that Adam and Eve were created, They’re created on day six and immediately invited into Sabbath with God the next day, day seven.
And now I should point out here. Um, let’s read Genesis chapter one, three through five.
God spoke light and light appeared. And God saw that light with good. And separated light from dark. God named the light day. And he named the dark night. It was evening. It was morning, day one.
In the Jewish tradition, they start Sabbath at sundown and that goes back to the fact that during biblical times a day was counted from evening to evening. And it, it goes back to this verse. This is where it comes from. The day was counted from evening to evening not morning to morning.
And so what we can see in the scriptures is that Adam and Eve were created on day six. And then at sundown, [00:08:00] they were welcomed into Sabbath with God on day seven. Humanity was created out of God’s work and immediately welcomed into rest and resting with him.
That’s why I think that our weekly rhythm should start with a day of rest and out of that, we work our other six days of the week.
My suggestion: start by picking your day of rest. Which day will you practice the Sabbath? Now the Bible doesn’t have a prescribed specific day. It prescribes a rhythm of seven. It does not say what day to actually practice.
It is really up to you, especially in our culture where we don’t collectively Sabbath. We don’t have a stopping point and our culture is not set up to celebrate Sabbath. So pick a day that works best for you.
There is wisdom in practicing your Sabbath from evening to evening. One, your sleep is immediately [00:09:00] included. You are resting physically during your Sabbath time. And then two, you have time on either side of Sabbath to prepare. The morning time before Sabbath begins, you have time to prepare for the Sabbath.
And then in the evening after Sabbath ends, you have time to prepare for the next day for the work-week. So there’s this preparation time that bookends your Sabbath rest, and you can actually accomplish a lot during that. So I would highly suggest to you to look at that principle of practicing Sabbath from evening to evening.
If you need more help picking out a day of rest and a time for that within your schedule, I would love for you to check out my Busy Mom’s Guide to a Simple Family Sabbath. It’s on my website, [00:10:00] rachelfahrenbach.com/busy moms guide, I’ll link to it in the show notes as well. If you go there, you can request access to it. It’s free. It’s a free guide and you’ll get a couple training videos, some sample schedules, it’ll walk you through step-by-step in picking that day out. So if you need help, definitely go check that out.
Once you have that day decided, put it on your calendar, make it your anchor, and now you have your work-week. Yep. The rest of the week is left to get everything done.
I think by tangibly seeing this adjustment to the week this reframing of the week, you’ll begin to recognize how much time you actually do have, and it will lessen the panic that you won’t have time to get it all done. It just helps to see it laid out on actual calendar.
And since, you know, your time of rest, your time of play, your time of pure enjoyment that it’s set aside and protected, you can work without fear of never getting [00:11:00] a break. You can work without anxiety that this is an ongoing, never ending vicious cycle that you’re never going to be able to get out of. And I think you’ll find that when you know that you have a break coming up, you will find that you can work more efficiently, more productively because there’s an end in sight.
It’s like when you’re running a race, if you’re exhausted and you’re running and you don’t know where the finish line is, you don’t know when you’re going to get a break, your whole, like demeanor is going to drop. You’re going to be so demoralized. You’re going to be like, why am I doing this? And you’re going to just become probably a little bit bitter, a little bit angry, because all you can think about is “I’m going to break from the exhaustion. I can’t move another muscle. I can’t keep going.” but if you knew there was an end in sight, you’d be getting your butt to that finish line. Right? You’d be pushing yourself. You’d be crossing that finish line with joy. Be like, [00:12:00] yes, I get rest now!
I’ll share with you what has been my work flow in the past. I say in the past, because we’re currently in a transition, we just moved across the country. And so we’re, we are re-evaluating our work rhythm, we still have the same Sabbath rhythm, but our work-week has shifted a little bit.
So we Sabbath from Saturday evening to Sunday evening. And Sabbath for us includes a meal. Includes resting. Includes church. Includes sleeping. It includes just enjoying time together. We structure our Sabbath using the five RS, and you can find those in the busy mom’s guide to a simple family Sabbath as well.
After Sabbath ends, I work as a home manager preparing for the upcoming week. Making sure I know what’s on the schedule. Making sure we have the things we need to do the things we need to do. I manage my home on Sunday evening.
On Monday through Friday, my work as a home manager, business [00:13:00] owner, homeschooling mom, all take place.
What I mean by this: as a home manager, that’s meal planning, budgeting our finances, cleaning, things like that.
As a business owner, I do have things I do throughout the week to move my business along.
And as a homeschooling mom, obviously I have to, uh, have to homeschool my children, have to teach them stuff. That all takes place Monday through Friday. Now I don’t attempt it to help fit it in from nine to five, I use my full 24 hours to make that happen.
I also have begun to think about having a team. My friend, Jenn at This Mom Knows podcast, she’s talked about this a lot about your mom team and who you have surrounding you or the tools you have that make up your team. Um, and so I began to think about my team. My husband is part of my team. Um, the delivery guy from Costco is part of my team. They’re on my team. We get things done together.
[00:14:00] So that happens Monday through Friday. Saturday morning until Sabbath begins is when I also work as a business owner. This is when I have a dedicated amount of time to work without disruption, without, um, things taking my focus. My husband is on fully during that time. And I will either go and work from a coffee shop, or I will shut my door to my bedroom and just give my business by full attention during that time.
So that’s my suggestion. Pick a day to rest, put it on your calendar, figure out, what your roles are like. I did, I broke it down home manager role homeschooling role, yada yada yeah, figure out what those roles are that you carry and then put them on your workweek calendar. When are you going to show up for those roles?
One last thing I’ll say about this, your self care, taking a shower, eating three meals a day, exercising, [00:15:00] spending 10 minutes with the Lord, whatever it is, your self care is not work. It is an obligation. It is a necessity only you can do this for yourself. You cannot outsource it. I can outsource my grocery, shopping to the Costco delivery guy. I can not outsource me physically feeding myself. I can not outsource me physically taking a shower. I cannot outsource me exercising to keep my body healthy and moving along. I cannot outsource my time with the Lord that helps me emotionally and spiritually be in a healthy place.
Do not move these basic needs aside in order to attempt to gain more time, to do more things. These are obligations, you have to do them every day of the week. They are not specific to Sabbath. They are not specific to the workweek. [00:16:00] They exist outside of both of these things. They are an obligation to continue living and living well.
So before we end, I will leave you with this question: what would you gain if you added in a day of work and made a day of rest non-negotiable? I’ll see you next time.
Hey, I just want to say thank you for joining me for today’s conversation. I know many things demand your attention. I don’t take lightly the privilege it is to share your time. I want to make things as easy and simple for you. So I’ve linked to all the resources mentioned in the episode in the show notes, and you can always find the links and more helpful information on my website, www.rachelfahrenbach.com.
As we say our goodbyes, let me remind you that what we’re talking about in this podcast is not just another thing to add to your to-do list. This is not another [00:17:00] expectation for you to live up to. It is a gift out stretched from the hand of your creator. An invitation to press pause on walking alongside Jesus in all the things He’s called you to do. And instead sit down across from Him and just be with Him.
It is an invitation to Simply Sabbath.
Ask: What would you gain if you added in a day of work and made a day of rest non-negotiable?
Do: Pick a day to Sabbath, write it on your calendar, identify your roles, and assign them throughout the remaining 6 days.
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Hey! I'm Rachel and I'm so glad you're here today!
I help busy moms add a simple, rest-filled family Sabbath to their week. If that sounds like something you want for your week, but don’t know where to start, grab this free how-to resource: The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Simple Family Sabbath.