About the Episode
While my conversation with Nancy Lerma started out talking about how she and her husband just recently started observing Sabbath, it led to a deeper reflection and advice about treating Sabbath as a gift, connecting as a couple, and being a leader as a parent. We also talked about what a stolen truck has to do with Sabbath, so you definitely won’t want to miss this episode!
About My Guest
Nancy Jane Lerma flies the banner of truth as a writer, speaker, storyteller and teacher. She loves to invite others into a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus. Nancy has served as an Associate Teaching Director for Community Bible Study and has been a speaker to MOPS groups. She and her husband Ron have been married for 33 years and live with their Black Lab Packer in the Central Valley of California. Nancy loves to play tennis, swim and feed family and friends with farm to table slow cooking. She and Ron have 4 young adult children, three that are married and two very adorable grandchildren.
Click for Transcript
[00:00:00] This is episode 29 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
Rachel: I’ve noticed over the many conversations I’ve had with other women about [00:01:00] Sabbath, that there is often a worry about doing it wrong. I get that, we know the Sabbath is to be kept holy, but we really don’t understand what that means and so we’re afraid we’re going to mess it all up. I often say that Sabbath is a gift wrapped up in a command, but I want to focus today more on the fact that it is also a practice and just like with any practice, it’s the goal is not perfectionism.
It is progress, a movement forward towards Jesus and embracing the rest he offers, which is why I’m excited that my friend Nancy Lerma is joining us today to talk about how she and her husband are in her words, stumbling through it. Nancy Lerma flies the banner of truth as a writer, speaker, storyteller and teacher. She loves to invite others into a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus.
And she has served as an associate teaching director for community Bible study and has been a speaker for mops groups. She and her husband, Ron have been married for 33 years and live with [00:02:00] their black lab packer in the central valley of California. Nancy loves to play tennis, swim and feed family and friends with farm to table, slow cooking. I wish I lived closer. She and Ron have four young adult children, three that are married and two very adorable grandchildren.
Thank you so much for being here today, Nancy. I am very excited to dive into our conversation today. I think it’s going to be really beneficial. Not only those who are worried about getting started in a Sabbath practice, but also those of us who are have young kids, you are on the other side of it. You have grown adult children. And I think you have some wisdom that you are going to share with us today.
Nancy: Well, thank you so much for having me, Rachel. It’s a pleasure to be here and, um, I’m honored. So thanks for asking. Yeah, I wish I would have been your age and studying Sabbath. So I think it’s wonderful the quest that you have to share this, um, practice and make it a normal thing for Christian life.
Rachel: Oh yeah. Make it a normal [00:03:00] thing. Yes, exactly. I just, I’m hoping that it becomes just a part of our rhythms within the church, in the us and in the Western world. I know that there are some churches in other countries that do this and they do it well. So I hope that that becomes more a cultural norm here.
Why don’t we start by having you, um, kind of define what Sabbath means to you and your journey to start practicing it?
Nancy: Okay. Well, Sabbath, um, to me is setting aside a specific time of day of the week. Um, based on the seven day week to focus on, on God and to rest and to leave aside commerce. I think it’s really connected to leaving aside what’s considered your daily work, whether it be, um, stay at home moms type of work, or it’d be the avenue of, um, income. So to me, that’s a really [00:04:00] large connector of what Sabbath is to me.
Rachel: So, how did you guys start practicing that with, cause this is not, not been a very long practice for you. It’s relatively recent that you started practicing Sabbath.
Nancy: No, I really kind of always thought like the Sabbath I had misinterpreted some of the new Testament scripture. I’m thinking that the Sabbath was completed with Christ because now we have rest. But then I realize that we’re physically exhausted as a culture and society and my household. And we can just go, go, go.
And that, you know, I just, I think I had a realization that I function so much better when I have rest and start I’ve been connecting our spiritual journey with living on earth. And having a faith not only is it the divine invisible, but it’s also the physical, you know, boots on the ground kind of thing.
So, yeah, that was the real pull to it is trying to make faith, um, [00:05:00] put feet on faith.
Rachel: Oh, I love that. Put beat on faith. Yes, that is, that is a very, I like that imagery. That’s very cool image. So you had come to a realization that maybe you had missed interpreted some scriptures and to thinking that it just completely done away with. And so you decided, okay, I’m going to set aside this day a week. How did you go about doing that? Did you just. Okay, I’m doing it. Or did you have conversations with your family? Like, or what happened?
Nancy: Well, first of all, I didn’t think it was done away with, I thought it was completed and I think that’s a really big difference. Like the sacrificial system was completed in Christ because I don’t think anything is I think everything’s relevant through old and new scripture. So I thought there was a completion of it rather than a practice of it. But what I don’t, I think I stopped like doing laundry, like kind of like in like me alone, it’s like, okay, today I’m [00:06:00] not going to do the laundry.
Well, I’m still gonna do the dishes, but I’m not going to do the laundry. So it was almost like baby steps toward doing something different than I would usually do. And just say, I’m really, I’m just not touching that today. I’m going to wait until tomorrow. And so I think it started that small. Um, and then whenever my kids recently, my last, um, child got married this summer and everybody finished college. I had kids in college for 15 years, so like, whoo hoo!
Rachel: Oh my goodness.
Nancy: I know. It’s like, I can’t even imagine.
Rachel: I think you had a couple of kids who like grad school, right?
Nancy: Yeah. He’s had a lot go on. So anyway, I’m just with this spread of them and the ones starting all the way to the last one finishing. So, um, that, so I think that we just having more time at home to focus on what’s our new rhythm.
Um, and my husband, he said he’s Enneagram 8 so his energy level is like probably 10 times more than my [00:07:00] natural. I’m a seven. I like to play. So Sabbath kind of, to me has a connotation of rest and, you can laugh and have a good meal together. And so I loved that whole aspect of the celebration of Sabbath.
My husband really loves to work. I mean, he loves to work. He likes to work if he’s not working on where his work work, he’s working on a side gig or a home project. Yeah. And he just likes to do that. To bring it up was an interruption for him. And then he would, um, kind of go off on the dialogue. Well, you want me to do this for you? And I would have to try to pull back and say, well, not really, you know, we’re not on a timeline. And so a lot of the communication, um, part around it, I had to be soft. Um, just be soft and say, well, you can do what you want and not do it like in a passive aggressive way, but this is what I’m going to do today. And it felt so wrong to say, what are you doing today? Nothing. And he would look at me, I felt like I was like, oh, that’s like a loser thing [00:08:00] to say,
I’m going to be a hundred percent nonproductive. And I think as Americans, that feels really uncomfortable.
Rachel: Oh, for sure.
Nancy: Yeah. So those were the beginnings of our, you know…
Rachel: How long ago was this conversation?
Nancy: Probably, uh, maybe six months ago. Well, my daughter was married this summer and so I think we still, I think I started on my own, so really actually just summertime, whenever everybody was really gone.
It was funny today when I was asking him. So what do you think a Sabbath I was telling him about? I was going to be interviewed on this podcast and he is like so positive about it. Almost cracked me up and almost like to say, okay, really? Like this is the same person which you know, a couple months ago had other thoughts about it.
But I think it’s really beautiful because I think the Lord woos us into his commandments. And when it talks about in Galatians that we no longer follow the law, but the law comes [00:09:00] out of us from the spirit. And so I think I really see that taking place that when it is the living out the law through the holy spirit, we want to do what God wants us to do. And I am seeing that transformation become part of his thought process, which is really cool.
Rachel: That is really cool. And just a Testament to how when we show up consistently to a practice that puts us in the presence of God and puts us in a space where we can enter into that presence with God, how that shapes and molds us and refines and re re frames things for us, I do think is very wise of you to acknowledge the way that your husband’s wired. Knowing that the way in which he is wired is how you’re going to have to approach the conversation of Sabbath. You weren’t to push hard [00:10:00] against it was not the right approach for him. And I think there’s wisdom in that. I know that when, um, I first brought up Sabbath to my husband, fortunately, we were in a Bible study and we were learning about Sabbath together. It was a Bible study on on the 10 commandments. And so it just happened to be one of the weeks that the pastor preached on it. And we had the conversation as a small group. And as we were walking out of small group, my husband asked me like, this conversation is not done is it? And I’m like, “I don’t think it is.”
But then the conversations from there, then in there out, like it had to be very informative. Like, when we had these conversations, he’s like, I need you to explain how this is going to happen. And like, he just needed a lot of the information before he could wrap his head around it. And so I think, there’s wisdom in this conversation right now for those listeners who haven’t started a Sabbath practice. And they’re wondering how do they talk to their spouse about doing this in their families? First step is [00:11:00] maybe, well, first pray about it. The second step is to consider how your spouse is wired and what would be the best way to approach that conversation with your spouse. Um, just like you would need to do with any kind of conversation.
But taking that into consideration, is a very wise suggestion.
Nancy: I think, I don’t know if, um, to children, listen to your podcast?
Rachel: Do children, um, I don’t, I don’t think so.
Nancy: Because it wouldn’t be appropriate. It’s not a bad conversation, but it wouldn’t be a children’s conversation–
Rachel: Just go for it.
Nancy: I remember my college roommate, she told me that she, her parents, every Sunday, they got her from church and they had their alone Sabbath time.
Rachel: Okay. “Alone Sabbath time”? You know what my parents called that?
Rachel: They would always tell us, we’re going to go talk about buying you a pony. That’s what they told us.
Nancy: That’s really sweet. Anyway, [00:12:00] so anyway, I had that in the back of my mind. So with Ron, I was thinking, okay, to lore him into Sabbath, like no kids are home. Like, you know, this is going to be a great day. And I just had great like snacks. I actually had a really nice bottle of wine, which we don’t, he doesn’t drink hardly at all, but he sure enjoy a nice glass of wine on the Sabbath but it was fun. And so we just kind of turned it into something celebratory versus I have to.
And I love in Galatians. I re I know it’s not it’s in Colossians. I recently read Colossians two and it’s talking about don’t judge, how they do the, um, The Sabbath, the festival and there’s a third thing, but it wasn’t saying not to do it.
Nancy: It was saying: don’t judge how. And I just thought that was amazing.
Rachel: Yes. I recently read and I forget who it was who said that… I’m going to have to lookup what book I was reading recently that talked about this because they [00:13:00] said, so often people read that passage and they think, oh, this is Paul saying that we don’t need to do these things. Um, kind of that, that doing a way thing that I said earlier. Um, but when you really look at the context of it, all, he, wasn’t saying, you can stop doing these things. He was saying. It’s going to look different because now different cultures are coming into the family. And when they come into the family, they’re going to bring different perspectives and different ways in which they worship in the way that they connect with God. And so they’re going to have to navigate that. And so it’s really about being sensitive to the cultures that were coming into the family of God at that time. And I thought that’s such a beautiful way to think about it, especially for those of us who are in cultures where Sabbath is not the norm in our churches, where it’s not even really embraced at all.
And for those of [00:14:00] us that we don’t have any cultural context for it. And so when we’re talking about, well, what could it look like? What should it look like? To take a step back and say, There’s freedom in this. It doesn’t have to look a certain way. That there is a sensitivity and, um, almost a culture creating opportunity,
Rachel: For us in this area.
Nancy: Connecting to that in Isaiah 56. It talks about, um, the eunuch and the childless woman, and God inviting them into Sabbath and promising blessing that they, that he would honor their sacrifices honor their, their Sabbath and all the way back then it was bringing in the foreigner into Sabbath. That is bringing in for all people.
Um, and I just, I think it was just a beautiful part of the heart of God to offer that gift of Sabbath rest to all his people. And he [00:15:00] came through the Jews and He showed us how through their culture, but he offered it all along for all of us.
Rachel: Yeah. And I, and I, and I liked what you said, and I want to circle back to it, about making it a celebratory time with your husband. A time of enjoyment and, um, because I think that’s really, what’s reflected in the garden when God originally created the seven day rhythm he created, he worked and then he dwelled with his creation and essentially he kind of got to hang out and play with them and enjoy the creation that he had made, you know?
And it’s really pointing people back to that, like original, original design, original identity that they were given to work and then dwell deeply in that creation and to enjoy it, like, don’t forget to enjoy it. Don’t get so caught up in working that you forget to enjoy it.
Nancy: There’s so much benefit. I mean, every time I look at the Sabbath there is always attached, a beautiful benefit for following the [00:16:00] Sabbath..
Rachel: Yeah. So what kind of benefits have you seen in your own life as you’ve been practicing?
Nancy: I think I’ve just seeing a closeness in Ron and I. He really like, you know, like we’ve, our communication is enriched. And so when we’ve been able to talk a little bit about, about, um, what next steps we want and also that we really have spent the last, um, I don’t know, 15 years really going on vacation to see kids graduate from college, visit them, and we might do a large family trip, or it might be for a wedding and our travel hasn’t really ever been setting aside time for he and I. So it’s really a beautiful time to establish a deeper love being empty-nesters, which is a hard time because you love spending. I mean, I love all that time. It’s fantastic having a large family and having the opportunity to travel a lot because of the things my kids have done.
But it also there’s this place of originally, like in the garden, it starts just [00:17:00] with a husband and wife and that relationship needs to be nurtured. So I really see a nurturing of our relationship.
Rachel: It’s almost like a built-in date night.
Nancy: Yeah. Yeah, is it is. And spending time, like a purposeful time together where we don’t, we’re not, you know, under schedule… we, we kind of connect every day. Every morning we’d have connecting points, but they usually have a lot of other people involved, prayers and to do, and and this just seems like a much longer relaxed day to enjoy.
Rachel: We just get to be together.
Rachel: There’s no expectation.
Nancy: Yeah. Yeah.
Rachel: So what does the typical Sabbath look like for you guys?
Nancy: We’ve been doing the Sunday, so we’ll get up and go to church. We’ll go to late church. Um, come home, have breakfast. One, one day we went to walk by our river. That’s kind of close by Kern river and I, everybody and their grandma was out there and it wasn’t that. That’s less than really all that [00:18:00] relaxing. We got to walk and circle back and said, we’ll go swimming at home and looking, we’re looking for what we can, you know, what things we want to do.
So it’s not really far from home. And then we did, we actually did a weekend to the beach and met up with my younger son and his girlfriend. We spent three days there and that felt so much like a Sabbath. And we just took them out to really nice meals and relaxed, swam in the ocean. And it was wonderful.
And I think we kind of had, if we had not been already in that mode, it would have been harder, um, to go and actually even do that weekend. So just set our mind at a different pace. And I don’t know what you think, but I know the land needs Sabbath. Like when it’s talking about in Deuteronomy, it talks about giving the land a Sabbath and there’s different time periods and I, and the time where the, um, Israelites are asked to pack [00:19:00] food and wine and drink and go for two weeks and worship God. And in the, in a sense like that’s the first vacation it’s actually related to the first tithe of giving. And so it’s connected once again to provision, um, yeah. Which is amazing that. Did you ask me how I got, I always go to the big picture instead of, because I said I’m a, I’m like a global person. I moved into metaphors really fast.
Rachel: You’re fine. I actually love that you keep going back to the big picture because I think it speaks to the fact that you recognize God’s heart for us with the gift of Sabbath. And you’re saying. Like I do the things because of this great love God has for me. I get to go spend the day at the beach with my kid and my husband, because God is offering that to me.
And I love the fact that you do that because I think so often we can [00:20:00] get caught up in the, okay. How do we Sabbath? Sorry. I’m like tearing up because like, it’s just so true, like to really embrace the fact that God has gifted us this rest, gifted us as opportunity to just enjoy and just be, and connect with him and connect with others.
I truly do believe there is a community aspect to Sabbath. So I like the fact that you are opening to doing that with others, as well as with just you and your husband. But when we really embrace. Just the love that he offers us through this gift. I mean, that’s why we do it. I like to say we’re not fighting culture just so that we can take a nap, right?
Rachel: You know, that’s not what this is about. This is not about just getting a nap. This is about something so much deeper and so much richer. And we just skim the surface of it like you started talking about [00:21:00] the other Sabbaths, like I don’t even get into that with the stuff I talk about and write about in this podcast, but it’s like, there is so much to Sabbath. And when you start peeling back, all those onions and all those layers, you’re like, oh man, there’s a lot more here tied to identity and purpose and belonging and how this world was crafted for us to exist in it. And just all those pieces and it can get really, really deep, really fast.
Nancy: I think it’s that micro and the macro, like there’s our weekly Sabbath. you know, and then there’s and I, and I do, I love that what you’re saying, it’s, it’s different than, um, self care, even though self care is part of what it means to you, but that’s not enough.
Like if it’s only self care, that’s not filling the spiritual heart. Um, it’s like that big drink and the drinking from a spring that has satisfying water in, when you include God in that rest, it’s so [00:22:00] satisfying and you’re not thirsty anymore. Whereas if you just continue to self care, why do you need, you could just need more and more and more. It’s almost an insatiable and I’m really not at all dissing self care because I love having my toes done and things like that.
Rachel: I think in specifically in cultures that are more hurried and more hustle based cultures like that, of the US and most of the Western world, um, we tend to associate self-care with basic physical needs. Like for burnt out moms, right? What do we often tell them, go take a shower and get a nap, get some sleep. Like at some point, you know, sometimes you don’t, you are sleep deprived in certain seasons of motherhood. It’s like basic physical care. Like if we would, if we neglected our kids the way we sometimes neglect our physical needs, we would have some people knocking on our doors being like, um…
So I think [00:23:00] that we’ve like twisted this idea of self care, not realizing that this is just like basic physical responsibility for yourself. And there’s nothing selfish about that because it’s a responsibility to care for the body that God given you. But that’s only one part of all of this.
Nancy: Just one part of our humanness, our emotional care and our spiritual care. And those they have as much value. They all matter.
Rachel: They all matter. And Sabbath matters in a way that it’s very holistic, but also allows a level of being that our culture just does not give space for. Right. It allows a level of processing that our world does not give space for and allows a level of connection that our culture, I think sometimes brushes aside is not as important.
Nancy: Yeah, I agree. And I think it’s that hebrewic in a way of even like when in education, everything it’s so [00:24:00] approaching things holistically. Um, and I just think that we’re, we’re kind of trained in a Greek world, you know, our education system and everything else. And so we’re linear. If this is true, this can’t be true.
But sometimes these both things can be true, you know, in Hebrew books, when you start to understand the depth of truth, Sabbath is something that includes multiple things. It includes physical and it includes that spiritual. It’s just, it is. Um, if there’s a bit of a mystery in Sabbath, I think you might’ve been used that. And I just think that’s part of the wonder of it, you know, makes me want to want to dive in deeper, you know, and I like that you’re normalizing Sabbath. I think it always was supposed to be normal. And I don’t know how– I think once we start working at sin management and trying to be good, that leads to like a, doing like a checkoff checking things off your list for God, which you can’t [00:25:00] Sabbath that way.
Nancy: I mean it doesn’t even fit.
Rachel: And I think there’s something about the fact that often Sabbath was the worship piece of the week for the Israelites. You do Sabbath and then there is synagogue and there’s learning, that’s attached to it. And it’s kind of all tied up together with connection with God and with each other and like a gratitude for his provision and a remembrance of what he’s done.
And I think that, um, that rest as worship, we’ve lost that in our churches. And so I think there’s that mystery for us because we, we just don’t have the context for it.
Nancy: Right. I think one of the other things like seeing Sabbath connected to provision, you know, in saying that when I stopped doing what brings income into my home, it’s saying God is the provider. And that’s one of the things really kind of [00:26:00] mysteriously with us. We had an old truck that was my dad’s so we had to sell. We couldn’t get the smog passed in California because all of the laws. And so we just couldn’t sell this truck to save our life and we didn’t want to spend another thousand dollars to put the catalytic converter on it.
Nancy: This is after we started doing Sabbath. So one morning Ron gets up at five in the morning and look, came in, in my, in the room and said, I thought you just left cause a truck just drove down the street. And so somebody came and drove our truck down the street. They stole it. Yeah. And so all this happened, it was like, it was almost funny. I laughed because I thought we couldn’t get rid of it. Thank goodness it’s stolen. I knew we had insurance on it and you always get comprehension as well as collision, comprehension is the theft part. And I’m glad I knew that ahead of time. Cause I didn’t know that for very long. So we ended up getting like this massive amount of we made almost $10,000 for this truck we couldn’t sell for 2000 because that was the [00:27:00] value of it.
Rachel: I love the fact that your story of provision involves theft. My truck was stolen that’s how God provided for us. That’s so funny.
Nancy: I know, but it’s just kind of, one of those things is part of when you’re really trusting and you’re not worried if your truck get stolen because I didn’t, my heart didn’t worry, and I know there’s a time in my life that would have freaked me out.
I would have lost time and I don’t even think, it was in the middle of my daughter getting married and the weeks that she did. So I ended up having a rental car that I could use it for my son to drive Grandma to the wedding. And just so many things worked out as part of this truck.
And um the provision of God when we trust and not live in a state of worry because he is provider. God provider. That’s one of his names and I’m trusting him in the Sabbath that we don’t have to work 7 days to get by.
Rachel: It really does reframe your mind. [00:28:00] Doesn’t it?
Nancy: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, I just love, I love that part of it. And that’s kind of been, that’s been part of our journey. My husband’s an entrepreneur. And so we’ve had some really great years and some really lean years. It’s been part of our journey of trust and in our faith and seeing God is provider.
Rachel: I could see how, when you have an entrepreneurial mind how difficult it must be to, to rest. To say, it’s okay, I’m going to stop. And I’m going to just trust God with that provision, with that piece of it. I’m going to trust in his character.
Nancy: Right, right. He is who he says he is and have that expectancy and not in a way, not in a greedy way, but just truly in a restful– it’s the rest part again. And I think that that Sabbath teaches our heart how to have the rest in God and in the daily things. When you have put that as part of your mindset,
Rachel: and that just comes from [00:29:00] practicing it week after week. So you mentioned that you guys have kind of stumbled through it. What kind of challenges have you found with practicing Sabbath for you guys personally?
Nancy: Um, probably not going out shopping and buying things, which is really funny because–
Rachel: No, I actually, I get what you mean. So you guys choose not to spend money on your Sabbath?
Nancy: What we did last Sunday, we went out and we bought this really cool antique mirror, this antique mall. And it was really fun to go. And I, and I was like, feeling a little torn, like, okay, I’m spending money. I don’t want to spend money on Sabbath because the people who work at the places where we spend money, and if I really want to create Sabbath culture, then I won’t create a place where they’re working. I know the Jewish people, the ones that were wealthier, they would get a Gentile person to come and turn on and turn off their lights because they got real legalistic about it and that’s not, and that is [00:30:00] not the spirit of Sabbath. No. Because that person they brought in, they were making them break Sabbath by doing the work that they thought they shouldn’t do. All along at the Sabbath was for all people.
Nancy: So because of that, wanting to honor that the Sabbath is for all people, but I did spend money.
Rachel: You’re not, legalistics about it. That’s the point here is that you have boundaries for yourself for Sabbath that you like to stay within, I call them guardrails. We have guardrails to help kind of like guide us in the way that we want to go for Sabbath, but sometimes we might have to make adjustments, right? And we have that freedom because it’s not, it’s not essential to our salvation.
Does your husband have a specific challenge when it comes to Sabbath?
Nancy: Oh yeah. Just not doing,
Rachel: it’s just not working.
Nancy: My goodness. Yeah. He just loves to do so many things.
Rachel: I have a question for [00:31:00] you since you have older kids and you are like on the other side of it, but you didn’t start practicing Sabbath until recently. Right? What do you think things would have been different if you guys had practiced the Sabbath?
Nancy: Yeah, I do. I really do. That’s why when we first popped on and I really admire what you’re doing with your young family. My adult children, a few of them had started doing Sabbath on their own and they it’s so neat for them on their own that they’ve grasped that. But we were, when my kids got in high school, um, my daughters in particular, they did club soccer. And club soccer robbed her. We allowed it to rob really beautiful family time– and yeah, they were great, one daughter, both of them ended up doing cross country and track and college it with no money attached to it.
Rachel: I was going to say, did they get scholarships?
Nancy: Yeah, I mean, that’s the big, big pull that you have to do this. And I really don’t and I really, and I don’t think it [00:32:00] added up the benefit for them. And it really took from our whole family to have part of us go away and spend a day in some horrible place while they played three hours of soccer and then drive two hours home. And that was the opposite of Sabbath. I mean, it just sucked the life out of our family. I’m sorry to them that we didn’t have better leadership as parents. Um, we felt like we were doing, we were kind of like in the bubble of, you know, busy American culture with athletic kids and thinking we were serving them well. And really it didn’t… the money you spend for that you can save and probably get a little further along with your college tuition and everything else, then that magical scholarship of going, maybe even to a school you don’t want to go to because that’s the only one you can play at instead of just going for your heart purpose. I dunno, the soccer didn’t add up for us.
Rachel: Did your girls love it?
Nancy: No, um, [00:33:00] kind of, maybe my one daughter did. Yeah. But I think they would have been okay if we would’ve made that boundary. And they still would have gotten to play high school soccer and they could have played local clubs that didn’t have the Sunday games. I think there was alternatives that would have served them better. Um, it might’ve been a little bit of, um, them feeling they weren’t in the best club, you know, the ones or friends were in, but what are you teaching? You know, what are, what are we presenting? So, and then the robbing from the other kids that were, I had two girls and two boys. Um, yeah. And they all did things, but that club thing was a really, I felt like it was toxic for our family, so yeah.
Rachel: It’s not necessarily, you’re saying like sports are bad. What you’re saying is this particular way in which you engaged with sports, stole a time of rest from your family and you wish you had taught them how to rest rather than taught them how to be on a [00:34:00] team that traveled on the weekends and played a sport.
Nancy: Right. And the parents with, um, the negativity toward their children that, you know, there were other things in itthat I really could have, you know, I didn’t do that with my kids. You know, I just pray, pray, everybody didn’t get hurt. You know, the guy and the guy next to me is screaming at his kid cause they missed the ball. Anyway, that’s a little bit off topic, but I do think making boundaries around your family, whatever it is, unless it was something the whole family did and you use that, I mean, you picnic and you create something around that. So that is very personal. And once again, not judging the way other people put their family and system together, but you have 18 little short years with these beautiful people, you know, your little people 18 summers of vacation per child. And you know, that time is not very, that’s not very many when you count. And it goes really fast.
Rachel: I know my oldest is 10 and [00:35:00] I’m like, oh my gosh, I have less years with her than I’ve had with her.
Rachel: And that realization, I dunno what it was about. I think just, oh, she’s a whole decade old. I’ve been a mom for a whole decade. I think there is something in that that just kind of like, it, it really hit me this particular birthday that, oh, I don’t have much time left with her.
Nancy: Double digits.
Rachel: To just enjoy her and just hang out with her and just be with her and then also teach her the things that I think she needs to be taught, you know?
Nancy: Right. When they’re teachable, when they’re young and. It could have been fun too, Sabbath could have been really fun to do with family. Like, so how is it fun for you? Are you finding it fun with your kids?
Rachel: Yes. So we do a Sabbath meal on Saturday evenings. And that’s fun because my husband, uh, he’s in charge of it and oftentimes the kids are cooking with him or getting to pick what meal it is. And then we do a liturgical practice with it that [00:36:00] includes communion. And I love that part of it because us doing it over and over and over again has created a rhythm. And because they know what to expect. And because our, our focus is centered during specifically just that portion of our Sabbath, is focused around Jesus as our Sabbath rest his sacrifice on the cross being our, you know, perfect provision. It’s allowed for conversations to happen with our little ones.
It’s allowed them to ask questions, just to dialogue, to talk back to us and process with us in a way that is safe and age-appropriate. And, um, oftentimes they ask us to clarify things they’ve heard in children’s church or Awana. But then also we’re just talking about our weeks too, and reflecting on that. And so I really value that. Um, I think it’s really allowed us to connect with our kids in a way that, um, I’ve realized they’re thinking about things I didn’t realize they’re thinking about. [00:37:00] And we’ve rushed through the week and oftentimes give us that opportunity. But then the next, we do a couple other things too in our Sabbath but mostly on Sunday afternoon we just play. We’ll go for a family walk, we’ll do a family game time or something. We just, we just have a time of enjoyment on Sunday afternoon. And that’s fun. Like you’re saying. One Sabbath. We went and saw ice sculptures in a downtown area nearby, you know? You get to do those things. How cool is that to just enjoy either God’s creation or things that have been created by other humans that you’re like, oh my goodness, look how God’s gifted them.
And they now they’ve gone and created these ice sculptures, you know?
Nancy: Wow. That’s really fun. I love, I love that so much. We did Passover and my kids were growing up, you know, which is once a year. And we did every night dinner. I mean, that was one of the things we had dinner table. But I love the specific and the way you have, um, the words that you put around [00:38:00] that is beautiful.
Rachel: Yeah. I think the fact that setting aside 24 hour period kind of was the game changer for us. It allowed it to be more than just, there was just a little bit more intentionality that has to happen with it, and it made it a little bit more special.
Nancy: Yeah, that’s wonderful. Well, my introvert kids probably would have actually started talking in the middle of it instead of, you know, it takes usually 12 hours to get a good conversation in any way.
Rachel: Yeah. Well, I could just keep talking to you. See, I just, I love the fact that you guys have started practicing this and that you are working things out together and that you are looking at it and saying, okay, how can we, how can we just enjoy our time with each other, our time with God, our time with our family and and just really connect and delight in the day and celebrate the day.
I really do love the way that you’re approaching it. And I love the fact [00:39:00] that you are just honest about the fact that it’s not perfect, that you are struggling with things and you’re figuring things out. And even the fact that like, this is what my ideal would be for Sabbath. And maybe I’m not hitting that ideal every week, but that’s okay because it’s about showing up.
Nancy: That’s good. Thank you. Yeah.
Rachel: So before we close out our time together, I know you’re a writer and I know that people need to go and read what you write because you have such wisdom and a beauty to your writing. So. Where can people find you?
Nancy: Well, right now they can find me @NancyLerma on Facebook, and then they can find me @NancyJaneLerma on Instagram, and my website will be up soon. It’s going to be called NancyJanespeaks.com and from there, they’ll find I’m working on a few book projects and hopefully they’ll be done sooner than later. It takes a little longer than I realized, but I’d love to love to talk to anybody and [00:40:00] connect with those who are listening and just encourage the young families. Right now I’m committed to helping other moms, young moms being a mentor mom. So anybody, anybody needing just encouragement, I would love to connect with you.
Rachel: And they can connect with you on Facebook and Instagram? Can they send you like a, a DM on Instagram?
Rachel: Okay. And I’ll make sure to link to everything in the show notes below. So, um, definitely we’ll do that. Um, Nancy, would you mind closing us in prayer?
Nancy: Yeah, I think that’d be a pleasure to do that. Father God, I thank you. I thank you that you created Sabbath. I thank you that you have beautiful commandments that make our relationship number one, close with you to know you, um, and to know each other and have great relationships with our family, with our friends and our community.
Thank you that your ways are perfect. And that your way of Sabbath is a perfect thing, but we don’t have to [00:41:00] follow it in a way that makes us stressed out, that it does the complete opposite. It fills our cup, and I pray you fill the listeners hearts with the desire that they want to practice Sabbath from their heart, um, and that they have freedom to practice Sabbath.
And give each family an individual way what works for them. And thank you, Lord, that we can honor you in obeying the Sabbath and obeying you and your perfect law. Bless this podcast. Bless Rachel and her family in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Rachel: Amen. Thank you so much, Nancy, for this conversation and, um, having you on today’s episode. And thank you for listening in, um, we’ll meet back here next week as we continue to discuss what it means to observe Sabbath in a culture that is so enslaved to hustle and hurry. Bye.
Hey, I just want to say thank you for joining me for today’s [00:42:00] 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.
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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.