About the Episode
As a follow up to our conversation in Episode 25 about practicing soul care within the safe space of Sabbath, I wanted to share a few tips I’ve stumbled across over the years. I hope these six pieces of advice give you a springboard for designing a soul care practice that works within your week.
Click for Transcript
You’re listening to episode 26 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.
In Monday’s episode, episode 25, we talked about what the Sabbath has to teach us about soul care and mom guilt. And in the episode, I proposed that we start thinking about soul care as a category of care for ourselves that is outside of spiritual wellbeing.
And the way that I define those two things, spiritual wellness and soul care, um, spiritual wellness, landed more in the camp of Bible study, church attendance, small groups, prayer time, all those things that are really important to our relationship with the Lord, but slightly different than caring for our souls.
And how I defined caring for our souls was about allowing and creating opportunities for your soul, the very way that God had designed you, your personality, your essence, your talents, your skills, your gifting, for that, to engage the world and point them back to Jesus. And I don’t mean like in ministry necessarily or volunteer role. I just mean that when you are operating in the way that God designed you to be, you are reflecting His creative glory and his character. And so these things are often the things that we label as, oh, this makes me feel like myself or this makes me feel alive, or I get charged up about this, I get fired up about this. I think we instinctively know what this is for ourselves, but we have a hard time articulating what that means for us, because it is so individualistic.
It’s not, like spiritual wellness we all get, we’re all supposed to be reading our Bibles. We’re all supposed to be praying. We are supposed to do this collective worship thing. And we all know that this thing helps us grow in our relationship with the Lord. And so we can articulate that, that, that spiritual wellness side of things needs to happen.
We can articulate that we need to have physical needs we need to care for, we can articulate that, but when it comes to the soul care, caring for the essence of who we are, we lose our ability to articulate it very well. And we start to feel a little guilty about it because it feels very inwardly focused. But as I mentioned in that episode, I really believe that Satan’s way of keeping us from engaging the world how God created us to engage the world. And in doing so we step outside of that kingdom work. When we suppress living out our unique design, when we suppress that, allowing our souls to be who God made us to be, we aren’t making the same impact that we could be for the kingdom.
So in that episode, I recommended practicing this soul care within the safe space of Sabbath, because Sabbath has no expectation of doing or productivity, that it’s a safe space in which we can re-engage that part of our souls and care for our souls, it’s a safe place in which we can allow God to remind us of the unique ways in which he’s designed us to operate in this world.
So when I was recording that episode, episode 25, I actually shared six tips for caring for your soul on Sabbath. And creating a soul care practice within the safe space of Sabbath. I actually went into six tips, but it made the episode so long that I needed to pull it out of that episode and make it its own episode, which is what we are doing today.
So I know I’m deviating a little bit from our norm of a solo episode with just me talking on Mondays and an interview episode with me interviewing somebody and hearing their story on Wednesday, but I felt like it was important that this part of that conversation happened. I don’t think that we have a lot of resources out there about like the practical side of practicing Sabbath and especially this idea of soul care within the space of Sabbath, um, that I think is naturally a part of Sabbath and I think a lot of authors that I’ve read have alluded to this idea, but I haven’t come across any resources that really get practical.
And so I just want to get practical with you guys today to help you have a springboard for making this happen within your week.
But before we jump into those six tips, I just want to reiterate two things. One soul care is not about your physical needs. So it’s not about taking a nap, while that might be good for us, soul care is not necessarily about, um, that physical thing that need for sleep that need for a shower that need for food. I’ve talked about this before, I think those are just regular rhythms that we needed to get into every day. And we might need time on Sabbath to recharge in certain ways. And we might need to use Sabbath sometimes during, especially really busy weeks to, um, care for those physical sides but that’s not what this is about. This is not about caring for your physical needs. Those physical needs that you really should have a regular rhythm of daily rhythm for. This is about doing things that make you feel like you’ve come alive. That recharges you, that fills you up, that makes you passionate. That really sparks something within you. That really just gets your creative juices flowing something, that makes you want to go out and like it just revs you up.
And, um, and it might not be like, you might not get revved up in like a motivational speaker, like woo kind of way. I’m just meaning, like, it just makes you feel like you are your whole self again. This can be anything from creating, art, like writing, drawing, painting, et cetera, to something like volunteering for a cause that you’re passionate about. If you don’t already regularly do that during your work week.
This soul care thing is about allowing God to remind you that he designed you and created you with a purpose and has equipped you for that purpose with a unique personality, unique talents, unique skills, unique perspective. That’s what this soul care is about.
So the very first tip, I’ve actually already given the first tip in the last episode. In that episode, I said, pick an hour, pick a time within your Sabbath practice. Designate it, lay it out. Don’t just go, oh, I’ll practice for an hour within our Sabbath time. Get specific at 10:00 AM on Saturday morning, I’m going to do this for an hour. I’m going to care for my soul. So very important that you get specific, you put it on your calendar, you commit to it because we know it is so easy to take us off to put us aside to, to not do this thing. We know it is easy to not let this happen. As moms, we just, it, it is the thing that we all let drop. It seems selfish and so we put it last. So that is why I’m saying to you. It’s important. It’s a priority. Put it on your calendar.
So, you’re going to pick your hour. And this is where you can avoid the mom guilt. Okay? You’re going to be like, feel so bad that I have a whole hour to myself and you know, my husband, he works hard too. He can have his own hour too! In fact, I would suggest you do that for him. You suggest to him at 12 o’clock, you take the kids and I get an hour to myself and then the next hour I’ll take the kids and you have an hour to yourself. Because it’s important both of you guys are getting to care for your soul in that way.
Next, you’re going to decide your one thing. I want you to set a timer for five minutes, and I want you to write down everything, everything that you would want to do during this hour. Okay. That is your starting list. This is where you’re going to just jump off from, as you do this week after week, it’s going to become a little bit more second nature. You’re just going to know how you want to care for your soul that week.
So start there. Uses this list as a jumping off point. And then from there, I want you to consider the week that you’ve had and the week that you have coming up. For instance, if you’re an introvert and you’ve had to expend yourself this week, maybe your soul care is to just step back and say, I’m just gonna be by myself for an hour and I’m just gonna read or I’m just going to go for a walk or something, whatever it is that makes you feel like you are being true to the person that God designed you to be.
But maybe you’ve just been at home all week and you haven’t gotten a chance to get out of the house and go observe other people and things. And maybe you want to change the scenery for your soul. That’s what I mean by analyzing your week.
Now, the other thing that you need to consider about that one thing that you’re going to do, and only one thing you cannot accomplish a lot in one hour, just focus on doing one thing for one hour.
You can also always adjust your time. You know, I am just suggesting you start out with the expectation of one hour to set that as like the baseline, and then you can always increase it if that week allows for it, or maybe you decrease it because maybe you just don’t have as much, um, bandwidth for it, or maybe there’s just another demand on your Sabbath that week.
Maybe for this particular Sabbath coming up, you had already planned to do kind of a family outing and that is taking up a huge chunk of time. And maybe you don’t want to spend as much on your soul care, and that’s okay too. So just remember that you can always adjust the time. Just kind of have a baseline to start with.
Another thing when you’re considering your one thing is to consider your supplies. Do you already have things on hand to be able to do that activity? Is it easy to go get those supplies before Sabbath, not the day of Sabbath, do not wait until that moment to get your supplies. Cause you will waste your time getting the supplies and not actually getting to do the thing. So are you able to get those supplies easily? And by easily I mean like stress-free, if it is stressful for you to get the stuff, to set up, to do the thing that allows your soul to play and engage, it’s not worth it. It’s just not. Um, I’m not talking about like, just things that are outside of your control. I’m just talking about like, you have a very jam packed week and maybe you’re not able to get to this particular store that’s 45 minutes away that has the supplies that you need. That’s more of what I’m talking about. Just be honest with yourself that maybe that activity needs to be pushed off to the next Sabbath, but also remembered there is a next Sabbath and so don’t panic that you’re never going to get to do this fun thing ever again. You get to do it next week.
So far we’ve talked about picking a regular time and deciding the one thing that we’re going to do during that regular time, um, each week, you’re going to decide what your one thing is. And then the next tip I would give you is to communicate with your husband, get into the habit of talking about your soul care needs. Get into the habit of communicating what it is that you need during that hour. Make a designated day of the week where you guys plan your Sabbath together, what it is that you’re going to. And this could take like 15 minutes. When you first start doing it, it might take a little bit longer, but when you get into the regular rhythm, my husband and I typically start talking about Sabbath on Wednesday or Thursday.
We start throwing out ideas about what we might want to do that weekend. Um, we start talking about how we want to spend our time, what we want to do with the kids, how we want to rest, how we want to play together. Like. As a family, how we want to spend time together as a couple, we, we start talking about that, our meals and everything.
We throw out ideas and communicate what it is we need from each other. And there have been times when one of us might suggest an idea. And the other one has said, you know, I need to maybe not do that this weekend. So for instance, um, typically that typically what it is is me saying, I think I want to go for a drive here and my husband, cause that’s something that my soul I love so much is like going to new places and exploring new things. Um, but my husband, you know, he has said to me in the past, like, I, I really just need time at home. I don’t want to be riding around all over the place. And I have respected that because we do this each week and I don’t need to get panicked. I don’t need to panic or worry that I’ll never get to do the things that make me feel like I’m coming alive or recharge me refill me because I can do it next week.
When you’re talking with your husband, you are not asking permission from one another. You are each communicating your needs and working together to make that happen for one another. I think that’s really important to, to remember, especially as women and as mothers, we are not asking permission to care for our souls or to rest from our husbands, God has already given us that permission. We are working with our husbands to make that happen for both of us.
Next tip. I would give you trust your husband for that hour. Trust your husband for that hour. Ask him how you can set him up for success during that time. So he doesn’t need to call you or ask you. So if you are leaving during lunchtime, And it, and it’s helpful for him to know what you’ve meal plan, just go over and with that with him, like, but then trust that he is capable more than capable of making lunch for your kids and for himself. Okay. Just trust your husband and don’t micromanage and avoid phrases or facial expressions that would imply incompetence. He is more than capable of handling things for that hour while you are gone.
Okay. Next tip: gather your supplies and ready your space before you get to your Sabbath practice. Having those things on hand means that you get to care for your soul in that hour for the full hour. If you’re not ready, you’re going to waste so much time looking for things as I mentioned before, and if your space is not ready, you’re going to waste so much time getting your space ready. That’s not what this hour is for this hour is for you to playfully engage your unique design.
Last tip, try to incorporate a little bit of reflection with Jesus during that time that you’re engaging your soul. Sometimes the activities that we choose to do, give us a chance to pray and reflect on our week. So like maybe like gardening or going for a walk or painting or whatnot, but sometimes it doesn’t. And so I would just say that in that space of that hour or so that you’re caring for your soul. Maybe give like 10 minutes of just saying, you know, just reflecting on this past week. Okay. Praying through that with Jesus, asking him to give you eyes, to see your week the way that he sees that. If your activity doesn’t give you that maybe set aside about 15 minutes to just reflect on your week. And I actually have three questions that I ask myself each week during my reflection time. And you can find these things in my Rest & Reflect journal.
That’s what my journal is for is to help you do this practice of reflecting on your week, um, in your Sabbath practice. But the three questions I always ask myself are, what did I embrace this week? How did God embrace me? And what do I hope for next week, so really simplistic, but just kind of a reflection on this past week and acknowledgement of where God has shown up in my life this past week. And then looking forward to what do I hope for, for the coming week?
So there you have it, the six practical tips for caring for your soul during your Sabbath practice. Once again, one pick a time within your Sabbath practice for your soul care. Two: decide your one thing. Three: communicate with your husband. Four: trust your husband for that one hour. Five: gather your supplies and ready your space before the Sabbath and six, don’t forget to reflect with Jesus on your week.
I hope this was really helpful for you today. If you wouldn’t mind sending me a DM on Instagram and letting me know what tip was the most helpful for you, I would really appreciate it. I’d love to get to hear from you what was helpful? What do you, what did you find interesting? Um, and maybe even are you going to do this during your next Sabbath practice? I’d love to hear from you guys. You can find me on Instagram @rachelfahrenbach and I look forward to hearing from you! Before I go, I just want to leave you with the same question that I left you with on Monday: 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.simplysabbath.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.
Episode 25: What Sabbath Teaches us about Mom Guilt & Soul Care
Episode 01: Sabbath and our Image-bearer Role
Ask yourself this question: How can I practice caring for my soul during my next 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
By subscribing, you allow each episode to be downloaded straight to your phone which makes sure you never miss an episode!
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.