Why You Don’t Deserve a Break

Why You Don’t Deserve a Break

In this article we are going to have a brief overview of the idea of Sabbath and what it means to celebrate a Christian Shabbat. 

You Don’t Deserve a Break. 

Especially you moms out there! You really don’t deserve a break.

It’s not that you’re not hardworking. I know you’ve had your hands full of poopy diapers, and kids screaming for a snack while they hang on your legs in the midst of your dinner prep. And you’ve probably just spent the day answering a million questions, organizing and cleaning up thoughtful activities, and stopping your two year old from flushing 10 toilet paper rolls down the toilet. Yes, you are hard at work!

But no, you don’t deserve a break.

Am I saying this so that you stop reading and hate me? Nope.

But I do have a point, so hang in there with me.


The Break Maker

I first want to introduce you to the designer of “the break“.
He spent an intense six days exercising his creativity in every way imaginable and then he rested.

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. Gen 2:2-3

and then he told us to:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Ex 20:8-11

Sabbath 101

The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word “shabbat” which means rest.

I want to point out that the Sabbath is a day and is the first thing in all of creation that God calls holy!
Holy is just another word for something dedicated or consecrated to God. It is special and set apart from the rest of the week and demands that no work be done!

The Jewish understanding of Shabbat is that it is a joyous celebration, to be observed with family and friends. It’s the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, and in the Old Testament we see that breaking the Shabbat was punishable by death. It’s a big deal!


What does this mean for Christians?

About six years ago God really was illuminating the word “Sabbath” for me all over the place and I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do.

“I’m not Jewish, God… what am I supposed to do with this? Why is this so important to you?”

While working with YWAM here in Germany we met a large, homeschooling family, who at the time I’d define as “weird, but intriguing”. They told us how they had been celebrating Shabbat (Friday evening until Saturday evening for them), as in the Jewish calendar.
We were even invited to one of their celebrations and I was utterly astounded.


Imagine your favourite celebration during the year.

Mine is Christmas. I have great memories of Christmas: the smells, the decorations, the food, the family, the laughter, the food, the eating, the chatting, and the food.

When our little family joined their family and friends and celebrated this weekly event, it brought me back to everything I love about Christmas… but they did it every week!

I was looking for a way to teach my kids about my faith that didn’t  just revolve around sitting in a church bench and being spoken at and this experience hit the nail on the head.

We Work like Crazy!

I’m not being all North American here and exaggerating: it’s true. The average working mom works an average 98 hours a week (that’s two full time jobs) and I can assure you that the ones “staying home” are working just as hard.

The work literally never ends.
The moment I fold the pile of laundry a new one rises up.
The minute I refrain from bringing order into my life, or my home, CHAOS ensues!

So you’re probably still wondering why I said you don’t deserve a break?


Here is the not-so-secret secret to this special weekly break:


It is rest that has absolutely nothing to do with what we deserve or have earned.


It is all about God and his grace.


Who Am I?

So (for me) on Friday evening until Saturday evening I STOP being the maker, the creator, and the busy-bee. I leave the dishes, I leave the mess, I stop my projects, my work and my concerns.
I put the running of my own little kingdom on hold. I physically stop and consciously  remind myself, and those around me that it’s not my strength that gets things done.

God's rest and break

I remind myself who the true KING is.

God is God and I am me – I am not God.


On this day of rest we are no longer defined by the work we do,  nor by the accomplishments we have achieved or the talents we possess.

God is the author, perfecter and finisher of all work (even ours!).

On Shabbat (or the Sabbath) we can just be, simply, ourselves. We have time to enjoy one another for just the way we are, and enjoy God for just who he is.


Stop the Excuses

There will always be work to be done, there will always be projects that need to be finished, there will always be the sly little voice saying, “ONLY when you finish this, you’re allowed to rest”.

We don’t work until we deserve a break.

God commands it because he knows we can’t and shouldn’t do it all.


Take the rest he so graciously gives so you can be a person full of LIFE!


So have a break, and make it a FULL DAY.

Your boss insists.


Have you already started having a weekly break where you do absolutely no work? What does it look like for you?

Curious about the practical side?


Read the next post: Thank God it’s Friday – to see how our family celebrates!

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Even on my days off, I never “enjoyed” breakfast. It was just something that had to get done before the rest of life continued.


I never questioned this mentality. That is, until I met my husband.


He is German, and a great lover of breakfast.


German vs. Canadian Breakfast



Before our marriage I knew that we had some cultural differences, but paid little mind to them. We were both from Western nations. In my mind he was practically Canadian, just with a language difference.
After just about 10 years of marriage, I know better.


One shock for me in our first year of marriage, was the complete contrast we had regarding how eating breakfast looked.


He breakfasted.

I ate food.


The two may not contrast at first glance. But in essence, they do.


When my husband sat to breakfast, he would bring out all the spreads on the table that he desired.
The coffee was prepared in our french press, and waited on the table.
The table was set with breakfast dishes, awaiting our arrival.


In the meantime I would put two pieces of toast down for myself, spread butter and jam on them at the counter. I slurped at my coffee, gobbled down my two pieces of toast and was ready to take on the day!


But to my frustration… I was stuck waiting for him.


One piece of toast at a time would reach his plate. Between sips of his coffee, he would spread Nutella on his toast very thoroughly.
Then, with pleasure, he would eat (in my point of view) incredibly slow, and chat with me.


Those first few weeks I assumed he just was enjoying our, “honeymoon phase”.
But it never ended.


It still hasn’t.
But my frantic food frenzy has.


Slow breakfast has prevailed!




4 Lessons Learned:


(while impatiently sitting and waiting for my husband to eat his breakfast)


1. Eating is not just about cramming nutrients into my body so I can do bigger and better things.


Being forced to eat slowly, and enjoy my husband’s company at the table showed me it’s not just about the food. It’s about actually tasting what I eat. It’s about the time we get to slowly spend together without the panicked rush of jumping on to the next thing. Food is more about fellowship than satisfying a physical need. I AM NOT A MACHINE.




2. Slowing down doesn’t mean missing out.


Somehow in me there has been a sort of panic. If I don’t do things quickly, then I’m going to miss out on everything else in life.
In reality, life happens in the here and now.
Biting, chewing, tasting, talking, and laughing all belong to life. If we’re too busy to taste, we rob ourselves of experiencing life how it’s meant to be. We have taste buds for a reason!


3. I LOVE to enjoy!


I always felt too busy to actually sit down and enjoy food. We can sit down and enjoy a movie, or a TV show, but somehow sitting down and enjoying food has become obsolete. It’s become a means to an end. Eat the food, SO THAT we can enjoy shopping, or playing, or… At least, that’s how it looked in my life.
Once I was challenged to slow down consistently, I realized I actually enjoyed the leisurely pace of breakfasting. I had time to reflect on my day, or contemplate things, or as a couple we had time to talk, dream, or plan our life together. Not only did I enjoy the time together, but I was more attentive as to how things tasted.


4. I found out what butter tastes like! 


Simon was at first appalled that I could not taste the difference between margarine and butter. After some slowing down, and actually tasting, I found out butter is DELICIOUS!


I love slow breakfast.


Slow eating fits with the upcoming Advent season and Lent as they are a time to slow down and make space for God.

Your Challenge


My challenge for you this week, or weekend is to have a purposefully slow breakfast and taste some butter!


Tell me how it goes 🙂

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If you missed my previous post on the “Why?” of Lent check it out here: https://lifelivedintentionally.com/lent-for-beginners/


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5 Things You can Give Up as a Family for Lent

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We like meat.

This also challenges my creativity, because instead of depending on a tasty meat to be the centre of the dish, I am always forced to think outside the box.

So If you have some great meatless meal suggestions, I’ll take them at any point!




  • We fast sweets.

 (below are some of my thoughts from 2018)

This one will hit me after lunch. Since we typically eat a warm meal after lunch, and I like to balance my savory with a bit of sweet. I’m going to be left with an empty spot.
We are letting the kids eat some sweets, so they aren’t fasting them completely




  • We fast “Apfelschorle” and any other soft drinks (aka Pop – for the Canadians), and alcohol

Now I know you North Americans are not going to know this drink, but you should really become acquainted with it! It is apple juice mixed with soda water, and it’s refreshingly awesome. Here in Germany it is a staple drink for pretty much everyone I know. This one I will particularly miss.
We aren’t huge alcohol drinkers, but we live in southern Germany where fantastic wine is abundant. My husband and I typically do enjoy a glass of wine together once a week.




  • We fast Netflix, Movies, and Video Games


We have done a complete fast of electronic entertainment a number of times over the years, and it has always been great. At first it’s awkward since my go-to method of relaxation is flipping on a series that I enjoy. As the days go by I start to find peace in actually having peace. When the kids are in bed, and all is quiet in the house, it is really quiet.
My thoughts finally have time to settle and be in peace.
This quiet space is great because it’s also uncomfortable for me. From experience, I know God uses my discomfort to show His comfort.

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  • We fast buying things (except groceries, and medicine)

 (below are some of my thoughts from 2018)

This is a new one for us this year. Though my husband doesn’t find a particular hardship with this (besides buying books), I almost felt a bit panicked about this last night.
What if I need to buy new bed sheets – ASAP?
Spring is coming and I won’t be able to buy the beautiful flowers or garden things that come on sale! AH!
I know that I’m being challenged by God to simplify my life, to make more room for him.
Things crowd my thoughts.
Things crowd my house.
Things disturb my peace.
Things are hard to give up, it’s a process for me.
But I want to make space.



Make it visible

This is really helpful to keep the family reminded what we are doing and why. Simon prints a list of what we’re fasting, and beneath it he has included this:


What we seek to add:

Unoccupied time
Reading, alone and together
Enjoyable prayer times
Being silly together as a family
Playing games together
Learning & maturing


That’s exactly how I see each one of these things that we give up: as making room God in our lives.

He is my comfort, he is my satisfaction, he fills my thoughts. Or he should. Shouldn’t he?


How are you preparing for Easter? What things are you giving up for Lent?




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