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About the Episode

Today is Valentine’s day and I thought it would be a great day to talk about how you can reconnect with your spouse during your Sabbath practice! I don’t know about you, but there have been times when my husband and I have been so busy that we just feel like we’re two ships passing during the week, but because we have allocated time within our Sabbath for just us to Sabbath together, we are able to reconnect each week! I’m sharing 5 tips to help ensure that Sabbath doesn’t become only about the family connecting but also is a time of reconnection for you and your spouse as well.

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You’re listening to episode 28 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.

Today is Valentine’s day and I thought it would be a great day to talk about how you can reconnect with your spouse during your Sabbath practice. If you have grabbed the busy mom’s guide to simple family Sabbath, and that’s on my website, I’ll link to it in the show notes too. But in that guide, I talked about the 5Rs that we use to help us structure our family Sabbath. And one of those Rs is reconnect. We talk about reconnecting with God and reconnecting with others. And so today we’re just going to really hone in on this idea of reconnecting with our spouse during our Sabbath practice.

I don’t know about you, but there have been times when my husband and I have been so busy that we just feel like we’re two ships passing in the night during the week and we get to our Sabbath and we’re both kind of like, whew, we get to actually hang out with each other today. And how cool is that?

It can be really easy to use our Sabbath just to reconnect as a family but what I’m suggesting today is that um, you put some things into place so that the Sabbath doesn’t become all about the family connecting but that there is some time in there for you and your spouse to reconnect as well.

I liken it to kind of like a mini at home date. You know, you might not be able to do something really extravagant, but you just kind of get to hang out with each other. And if you remember back in the day when you were dating your, your husband, you, I mean, I know I did. I just, I wanted to just be around my husband constantly.

Like I just enjoyed spending time with him. And I miss that a lot about our busy lives now is that we don’t get to just hang out and do something together. There’s always something, you know? I missed that. I missed that from our dating days, that idea of just hanging with each other and just enjoying some time together.

You know, these days the kids go to bed by like 8:30 and then my husband and I are like, okay. Should we just go to bed too? Or should we try to like watch a show or something or do something and we’re like, let’s just go to bed. Cause we’re just so tired. Cause it’s a hard season sometimes when you have littles, you know, they’re, they’re kind of exhausting, but I’ve also heard that it’s hard when you have teenagers too. So I’m not sure that it ends until they’re out of your house.

But Sabbath can be that perfect space for reconnecting with your spouse. There is no demand outside of you guys. There’s no demand on your time. No distractions, no interruptions. You guys can just enjoy yourselves and have your little mini at home date.

I would say that it helps if your Sabbath practice is an evening to an evening to do what I am suggesting you do. If your Sabbath practice happens during the day, you might need to work a little harder to make what I’m talking about happen. Um, so I definitely, I’m going to just acknowledge that now, that if your Sabbath practice doesn’t have a time where the kids are asleep during it, then it might not work.

But what I would suggest you do, if you’re gonna practice say the day of Saturday or the day of Sunday, what I would suggest is blocking off that night before as your time of reconnection with one another. Your Sabbath reconnection with one another and treat it as part of your Sabbath practice. Block that time off and don’t let anything else get in the way of it. That’s what I would suggest.

So if you have an evening to evening practice, though, where I would suggest this all comes into play is after you have done your family meal, after you’ve done some time of family reconnection, maybe a devotion, whatever it is that you do as part of your Sabbath practice, that after all that, and the kids go to bed, that’s the time for you guys to reconnect.

So here are my tips for that specific time of your Sabbath.

The first tip I have for you is to just have fun together, have no expectations of this time. Just enjoy each other, just enjoy being together and just have fun together.

Um, it might help for you guys to brainstorm during the week, or maybe the Sabbath before, maybe just take some time, brainstorm a list, give yourselves like five minutes to just write down a bunch of different ideas of things that you guys would love to do together that don’t require you to leave the house.

Well, I guess I’ll add in this caveat. If you guys have teenagers, then this is a little bit more easy. You could go somewhere during this hour or so, um, and enjoy time with each other outside of the home, but I’m just thinking of our season of life where we don’t necessarily have any babysitters and our kids are younger and so I’m thinking more of that season of life. You want to make sure that your activities you’re listing are not requiring you to leave the house.

So things that I’m thinking of are like games or TV shows that you can watch together during that time, or, um, maybe making some art together or just sitting under the stars or going for a walk. Now I just said “that you don’t have to leave the house for,” right? I will say that what we have done in the past for our walks, once the kids are all asleep and our kids are very heavy sleepers they do not wake up, so this might not work if your kid doesn’t sleep well, but our kids are very like once they’re out, they’re out. So what we would do is we would, leave our front door open and we would walk, walk right in front of our yard. So only the length of our yard, right in front. If a kid woke up, they would see the open door and they would see us standing right there, walking back and forth, back and forth. So we just did that just for our peace of mind. We could hear them, they could see us, that kind of thing, but we just walked back and forth. Our neighbors probably thought we were crazy, um, cause we just go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth just in that small little spot in front of our front yard. So you could do that if you don’t have the luxury, if your kids aren’t older and can be home by themselves. But if your kids are older, go for a walk around the block, like go for a walk around your neighborhood and just enjoy some time together.

Another suggestion is to just snuggle up on the couch with each other. And then of course, I’d be a little remiss if I didn’t mention, you know, there’s other things that you guys could do… it is Valentine’s day. So it would be kind of ridiculous if I didn’t kinda, hint, hint, wink, wink at you on that aspect. I think you catch my drift.

Okay. Moving on. Tip number two, reflect on your week together. This is I think a really great thing to do during this time to reconnect. So just get into the habit of reflecting together, reflecting on your week. It’s as simple as saying what’s one thing that you enjoyed about this past week and what was one thing that was challenging?

Just start there. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be super deep. It just is about communicating with each other. I think we get so much in the habit of talking about the house and the finances and the kids and the things that we have to do. And, oh, we’ve got to be here and the schedule and the meal plan and all the things we talk about, all these things that we’re managing together as a couple and so reflecting on the week together just reminds you that you two are human beings outside of all the things that you have to manage. It opens up communicating again about what you’re experiencing in the week and not what you have to do in the week.

So though I gave you two questions that you could start with, some other questions and– always make sure it’s an open-ended question, don’t ask a yes, no question. That does not do any good for your communication– but open-ended questions: what was enjoyable? What do you hope for next week? What has God been teaching you this week? What’s something funny that happened this week? Just start there. I always think of these as curious question. Things that you’re curious about that you would want somebody to ask you about even, um, yeah, so those are some questions you can start there.

Oh, and so here’s a tip that I’ve learned over the years, don’t be afraid to write down. My husband is so funny. We have different ways of doing this, but my husband, he has like a post-it note and he can write verry very small. Like he was going to, he was originally studying to be an architect. And so you can imagine like, his handwriting is very precise and it’s very tiny. And so he has a post-it note where he puts down the things he wants to talk to me about. And he’ll pull out his little post-it note and it’s like just covered in writing and it cracks me up every time. I can not do that. My handwriting is atrocious. And so I use Google Keep Note on my phone and the reason I like that app is because it syncs with my desktop version and I can actually type on my desktop version and it will sync with my phone and vice versa. And this helps me to just keep these things that throughout the week that I’m like, oh, I want to talk to Steve about, or I want to tell him about it helps me keep that there so that we don’t get to this time together during our Sabbath. And we’re like, what do we talk about? What was it? I remember there was that thing that I wanted to talk to him about, but that was so long ago, so many things have happened, all these little children have taken up my brain cells with caring for them, so, that just kind of helps to write it down. So, you know, it’s safe and it’s there and it just helps you recall those things.

I would also suggest that in this time of reflecting together and just communicating about your experience that week don’t expect things to go deep. It can go deep and definitely give space for that and time for that. Don’t be so quick to move on to the next question, or don’t be so quick to, to fill that space with talking. Give your spouse a moment to, to respond, to think, to maybe add onto what they had to say. But also don’t expect it to have to go deep for it to be meaningful. It is okay for you guys to just share the, what you might feel is like surface level or superficial. I will say that this is a very hard thing for me. I’ll be honest here. I feel like if we’re not going deep, we’re not being meaningful. It’s not a real connection. I have been guilty of believing that. And so I have been in the last few months trying to recognize the value in even just the silliest of things, the surface-y of surface things, um, that we can share with one another, because there’s real connection in that too.

I mean, when you’re a little kid, what’s the first thing you ask somebody? Oh, what’s your name? How old are you? What’s your favorite color? What do you like to do? Right. It’s all surface level questions, but that’s still a connection. And so I think if we can just remember that and treat our time of our spouse, without the expectation that we need to bare our souls, every time we get together in this space of Sabbath, but also allow space for, if we do want to bare our souls, that that can happen too. I think that’s just a healthy way of approaching communicating together in this way.

All right. My next tip for you break out a treat that only happens on Sabbath. It could be a dessert you both enjoy. Maybe it’s a TV show that you watched together only like during that time. For us, it’s This is Us, that’s our, that’s our show that we watched together. It’s like a treat to watch a show, you know. We have in the past done like no TV during our Sabbath. There’s seasons where we’re okay with having TV during our Sabbath. These days we don’t get to watch TV at night, during the week. And so it feels like a treat on Sabbath to get, to watch a show together.

So it’s really up to you guys. Like what feels special to you? Um, maybe it’s a puzzle you’ve been working on together. You only work on it together during Sabbath. The key here is this is a thing that you both enjoy and you can look forward to doing together during your Sabbath. It’s something you guys get to do together and you’re only doing it during your Sabbath. So it feels special.

The other tip I have for you is to make sure that you plan and prep. Okay. So, and do you do that together. Talk about what you want to do during your time of reconnection during Sabbath. Okay. So, talk about what treat your treat will be, what supplies you need for that, what your activity will be, if you need anything to make that activity happen. And get all of that and plan for all that before the Sabbath even gets here. Because the worst thing, the worst thing is when you get to that time where you’re like, oh, we have an hour or two to spend with one another, what do we want to do? And you’re like, what do you want to do? I don’t know. What do you want to do? Um, And not really feel on that tonight. Okay. Well, how about this? Yeah. I’m not really feeling like that either.

You just, you just want to avoid that you, you don’t want to be wasting your time. You want this time to be a time of enjoyment and play and not deciding. So decide all of that before Sabbath gets there and plan for it and prepare for it before your Sabbath even arrives.

And the last tip that I would give you: is that if you don’t have a regular practice of praying together, use this space to start that practice. If you and your spouse are not praying together each week, you’re missing out is a really wonderful way for you guys to reconnect, to get you on the same page, and to bring your marriage, your family, your jobs, your work, your rest, everything to God in that space. And it’s something that really binds you guys together and brings you onto the same page for a common goal. That’s a really great way to reconnect with your spouse during Sabbath.

So what were those tips again?

One have fun together. Two: reflect on your week together. Three: break out a treat that only happens on Sabbath. Four: plan and prep together. And five: pray together.

I hope that blesses you and your husband as you take it into your Sabbath practice. And I’ll leave you with this question, especially since this Valentine’s day today, how can I reconnect with my husband during our next time of Sabbath?

Have a happy Valentine’s day. I’ll see you next week. Bye.

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 link 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 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 the down, across from Him and just be with Him.

It is an invitation to Simply Sabbath.

We are missing the point.

And so, I would encourage you to care for your soul. When I talk about this, I get this image of a machine. And I think we, as women, we are this machine that has been designed to function a certain way. It has a purpose and it’s been firing up, has been going right and it’s been producing and it’s been doing the thing that is operating in its design, as its creator has designed it to do.

And we are like that pretty much throughout our childhood and our high school years. And then in college even, and we get out of college and we start pursuing these interests and these goals and these dreams and we’re moving along and then we meet our spouse. And then sometimes our production keeps going, our machine wheels keep turning and we’re doing the thing that we’ve been designed to do. Sometimes we slow down that and then kids come along and it slows down even more. And I’m not saying that that is wrong sometimes that it’s very necessary, but you slow down, you slow down and then at some point you just stop and the machine’s not going anymore.

When that happens, it’s a little rough to get that machine going again, right. You’re going to have to oil it, especially when it’s been sitting. And the longer it’s been sitting, the longer you have been neglecting your soul and the way that God’s designed you, the more you’ve neglected that, the harder it is to get it started back up.

Here’s my suggestion to you: set aside time within the space of Sabbath to engage your soul. And I do believe that when you start to engage your soul, you are going to reconnect with God in a whole new way. When you operate in the way that your creator has designed you to operate you connect with Him in a whole new way. And so I would suggest in your Sabbath practice, because honestly it’s going to take a lot of work for you to start saying no to the outside world to the good things that you are doing so that you can engage this design of yours, and there is a huge amount of mom guilt that you’re going to get hit with because of this belief system that you’ve had, that you need to suppress who you are in order to serve the people around you. It just it’s going to come at you.

And so I would suggest that you start practicing small and practicing in the safe space that is Sabbath. You’re going to engage your soul here in the safe space of Sabbath, because there’s no expectation of producing. In the safe space of Sabbath, you are allowed to just play. And I think play is a beautiful space where we just operate in who God designed us to be without the pressure to perform.

So within your Sabbath practice, I want you to designate one hour, just one hour, let’s just start there. One hour to do whatever you want. Now I say it that way, because I, I think that we know when we hear it that way, we’re like, oh yeah, if I could do whatever I wanted without needing to worry about anybody else, I probably would do this or I might do this. Only, you know, like, I can’t say to you: this is a way in which you engage the world or that’s just a selfish desire. I don’t think there is a, a measurement for that when it comes to soul care. I just, I don’t, because there have been things that like, fire-up my sister and make her fully come alive that I’m just like, uh, I don’t know how you can get so excited about that thing. But it is her to a T and she loves it. I can’t define for you what that thing is, but I think when you hear the, the question, “what is it that I want to do during this one hour?” there’s just something inside of you that responds to that.

And it can feel selfish because that’s kind of what we’ve been trained to think of it as is like “me time.” and, um, you know, this very self centered, self-focused aspect of life. But I think that that is Satan’s way of controlling the narrative on our desire to do the thing that God has called us to do. Our desire to operate in the way that God has designed us. I mean, God has given you your personality and your interests and all of those things. So of course you would want to say, okay, I’ve got an hour, what do I want to do? Like how, like, how can I have fun? Let’s start there!

I once asked this question on Instagram. What is something that you enjoyed doing as a kid that you have just let go of over the years? And why do you think you enjoyed doing it? Like now that you’re an adult and you can look back on it, how, you know, what do you think what’s kind of at the essence of that?

And the answers were fascinating. When we used to play as kids, we used to operate in our design in a very organic way. And so that’s what we’re talking about right now. We’re talking about allowing in the safe space of Sabbath ourselves to play again in order to engage our souls, engage our unique design, engage the way that God has designed us.

So pick an hour and I want you to actually say what that hour is. So if your practice starts at, you know, Friday at 5:00 PM and goes until Saturday at 5:00 PM, I want you to pick which hour.

So at noon on Saturday it’s mom’s hour. It’s mom’s hour to do whatever it is that she wants, to just play. And I want you to have fun with it and to enjoy it because that’s what God wants from you too. Like I just know as a writer, when people engage with my work and they, and they interact with it in it, it does what it’s supposed to do, it makes me so happy and it makes me feel the sense of pride. Right? I think God looks on us that way too. When we’re doing the thing that he’s designed us to do, when we are operating in our design, I think he smiles on that. I think he’s proud of that. He’s saying, look, my creation is doing the thing that’s supposed to do! And it’s reflecting me, reflecting my image in that.

Well, that was a lot but I do hope that it is helpful. And I do hope that it kind of distinguishes a little bit more what do I mean by soul care. And I hope that it helps you not neglect who you are and who God designed you to be.

So I’ll leave you with this question to ask yourself this week: how can I practice caring for my soul during my next Sabbath? I’ll see you next time. Bye.

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 link 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 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 the down, across from Him and just be with Him.

It is an invitation to Simply Sabbath.

 

Resources

Episode 16: Self-care, Soul-care, and Sabbath

Episode 22: Am I Being Selfish?

 

Now What?

Ask yourself this question: How can I reconnect with my husband during our next time of Sabbath?

Want to practice Sabbath but don’t know where to start? Grab this free guide: The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Simple Family Sabbath

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Hey! I'm Rachel and I'm so glad you're here today!
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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.

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