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About the Episode

These days, Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby are the odd ones out when it comes to closing your business down one day a week. And even more rare is an online shop “closing” for a day. But, that’s exactly what Valerie Woerner does each week for her business Val Marie Paper. Today, she joins me on the Simply Sabbath podcast to discuss her experience with practicing Sabbath as a business owner.

​​​​​​​About My Guest

Valerie Woerner’s mission is to help women live intentional lives that are an outflow of a fruitful, focused prayer life. She is the author of several books, including Pray Confidently and Consistently, as well as the owner of Val Marie Paper, where she designs prompted prayer journals and other practical products that eliminate distraction and increase focus in prayer. Valerie lives in Lafayette, Louisiana with her husband, Tyler, and their two daughters. Visit her online shop at valmariepaper.com.



Click for Transcript

Rachel: [00:00:00]
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.
Without fail. Whenever I want to go to Chick-fil-A or hobby lobby, it’s always on a Sunday and they’re [00:01:00] always closed. There’s something that is unique about closing your store down on Sunday. That just doesn’t happen anymore. And. This idea of not just taking a personal Sabbath, but extending it to your employees and your customers is one that doesn’t really infiltrate our culture very much anymore.
And so I’m excited that my friend Valerie is here today to not only talk about what Sabbath looks like in her life, but also what Sabbath looks like in the life of her business.
So thank you Valerie so much for being here today with me.
Valerie: Thanks for having me. I’m excited to talk about this. This is not something I get to, um, share about or hear other people’s thoughts on either.
Rachel: Awesome. But before we dive into your, our conversation, I wanna just make sure that our listeners learn a little bit more about you and where you’re coming from.
And so, uh, let me just share a little bit about Valerie. Valerie helps women live [00:02:00] intentional lives that are an outflow of a fruitful and focused prayer life. She is the author of several books, including pray confidently and consistently, which I still need to get . Um, as well as the owner of Val Marie paper, where she designs prompted prayer journals and other practical products that eliminate distraction and increased focus in prayer, Valerie lives in Lafayette, Louisiana with her husband Tyler and their two daughters.
So Valerie first, I wanna kind of get an understanding of how you even got to practicing Sabbath, because as I understand it, you have not practiced Sabbath your whole life. This is a relatively newer thing in your life.
Valerie: Yeah. Yeah. So, um, being a business owner of, I’ve been a business owner since about 2008, so 13 years.
And, um, my husband is too. So, um, In that time, you can very easily just work seven days a week. You’re constantly trying to, you know, if, if you’re not working, your business is not [00:03:00] growing. Um, there’s just a lot of pressure and not a lot of boundaries. Um, so I think probably, I guess it was around five years ago.
Um, I was actually writing my first book and I wanted. To learn more about Sabbath and rest. And I, as I was reading more about it and learning about it, I started practicing it. And, um, I started understanding the importance of it and just the idea that it’s kind of similar to fasting where it’s like, it’s this concept that kind of sounds old school.
It feels kind of out of place in our world today, but it is something so beautiful that you just think, man, if we truly embrace this and got to, um, experience what God has for us in it, it, it, it just could change our lives. And a lot of the heartache and the struggle that we feel of just being burnout and overworked, like God has a clear answer in scripture for us of what could be transforming and refreshing us.
And, um, [00:04:00] Once I started experiencing that. I started realizing just how beautiful that was and how I wanted that as like a consistent part of my life. And that’s something that I just chose if it was easy to do. Mm
Rachel: that’s. That’s so beautiful. And I, and I like the fact that it, that your desire to practice it was prompted from prompted from studying.
Um, For a book that you’re writing and that you were working on something and recognizing, wait a second. I could just work myself to death if I don’t take a break. Um, and so after you realized that you wanted to start practicing SBA, was it an easy transition? Did you approach your husband and say, Hey, are you interested in doing like, what was, what was your next step after.
Valerie: Yeah. Um, I think, you know, initially it’s like you try it and you prepare a lot for that first one or you, you just realize, okay. Like, if, if this is gonna happen, you [00:05:00] know, I wanna be prepared for it. Um, and it, and it goes really well and it feels great. And then it’s the consistency that can be hard. Like you just realize like, it’s Saturday night, your house is a mess.
You have nothing planned the next day or, um, like life just happens. And that, I think it’s in those moments, that things start to. Feel a little bit like, oh, wow. Like this is gonna take more intentionality on my part. You know, like for some reason it was easy in the beginning and then it’s like, it’s keeping it going.
That was, um, the challenge. But I know with my husband, we’ve had conversations of, um, which day to do that, whether Saturday or Sunday felt like the best day to do that. And, um, and so I think. I temporarily won out for Sundays, just because it’s a, you know, it’s a, we go to church, we spent, we go to my parents’ house for lunch.
We would have our small group that day. We would have naps. So it felt like this is perfect, [00:06:00] but, um, I know my husband likes the freed, like part of Sabbath for him is like a freedom. And having those, having a lot of stuff planned for your day is very different. So, but we’re currently in the process of re-figuring that out as he is, um, temporary, uh, youth pastor, or just, you know, volunteering until we find a new one and he is gone early on Sundays and he’s having to work, uh, and do that.
So. , you know, it’s just a process to try to figure out what that looks like. And, um, but also like to stick to scripture and you know, like what, what does God say about that? You know, mm-hmm yeah.
Rachel: I like the fact that you’re like, I won out . I love that.
Valerie: well, I didn’t know how to say that, but I was like, well, I mean, I feel like, but I got, yes, I, it was, yes. But I say temporarily, cuz I think Saturdays is it’s gonna switch soon.
So mm-hmm.
Rachel: So I have a question about that. You, you said that you guys were already in [00:07:00] this rhythm of church lunch with your parents. Mm-hmm small group. So. what In your mind changed that from cuz that’s I think typically when people think about Sabbath, they think about Sunday and those are the things that they’re like. Yeah, I do those things. So that’s my Sabbath. So you’re saying you were already doing those things, but then you decided to start practicing Sabbath. So what, what was different? Like what made it different?
Valerie: Yes. Um, it was definitely the work aspect. Like, um, my girls would take like a two hour, they would take long naps on Sundays because we would have church and then lunch with family, they would take a two hour nap and we had the option of go do work hustle, try to get ready for the next day or go sit on my porch, fall asleep.
Don’t read books that, um, you know, like I read a lot, a lot of nonfiction for, that, that I use in the [00:08:00] things that I write, different things like that. So even those things can turn into work,
Rachel: the whole research,
Valerie: and I. Yes, exactly. And, um, I just started taking that, I started like, it’s just funny how you could read a book and, and be sitting there thinking I have to keep reading mm-hmm or the freedom of this is Sunday.
Like I’m delighting the Lord. If I fall asleep on my porch, this is beautiful. And does not need to be measured or count, you know, mm-hmm um, yeah, I’m glad you asked that because it, on the surface, it, it did very much look like a Sabbath. Um, but it was the drive inside of me that needed to be tempered. And, you know, just the understanding that like part of Sabbath is to remind us that we have limits it’s to remind us that we are not God and we truly have, have to trust God.
And, you know, I talked about like preparing for Sundays, but we are gonna have Sundays where we’re not prepared at all. Mm-hmm and that’s not a sign to not rest.
Rachel: Exactly.
Valerie: It’s a [00:09:00] sign to that. We just need to trust.
Rachel: I love the fact that you brought up, um, how Sabbath teaches us about our limits. And I think, especially in our culture where we’re. Being told you can do whatever you wanna do. You just have to set your mind to it. You just have to hustle hard enough. You just have to do X, Y, and Z, and you can accomplish anything and everything, your heart desires. And that’s really not true. It really, we do have limitations. Our bodies can only go so hard.
Our minds can only take so much. We only have so many skills that we can learn in any given moment. And, um, and ultimately at the end of the day, God is our provider and God is our sustainer mm-hmm and that’s, we have to recognize our limitations because we then become more aware of the richness of the grace that he provides and the good blessings and ways in which he walks before us.
And. Clears the path [00:10:00] for us and removes the barriers that our limitations put in place. And so I love the fact that you brought up the limitation aspect of it and how you distinguished between the intentionality that you bring to the day that. Even if you’re not prepared for the day to rest in the way that you had intended your intention is to still stop and to still take that break and it’s gonna happen, whether or not you’re prepared for it or not.
And I think that takes real trust and real faith that the world’s not gonna fall apart. If you decide to stop. Has that been an easy thing for you to do or is that something you struggle?
Valerie: It is, um, definitely a struggle. I’m just very ambitious. I want, I like I’ll go through really busy seasons and then I’ll feel like, okay, I’ve gotta slow down and I’ll slow down for a little while.
And then that I will forget what it was [00:11:00] like to feel too busy and, um, too maxed out. And I’ll add back to my plate. Um, but recently I’ve started to take I say recently. literally, last month was my first, uh, time I had committed to this a while back and just never could get, um, a good system for it. But, uh, I was reading a book about it’s called leading on empty by Wayne Cordeiro, I think.
Um, and it’s basically about being a leader and being burned out. And he talked about taking this day once a month and I wanna say it was two years ago. I committed to like tithing my work time and it was basically like 10% of my work time. I would basically just be trusting the Lord with, and it basically looked like 10 minutes.
The first 10 minutes of my days, my work days I would spend praying. And the first day of the month, um, I would not work the first, like work day of the month. And it just, the math mathematically equaled to about 10% of my actual work time. So mm-hmm, [00:12:00] um, I did this last month and I just took the day. Did not have any plans.
I did not. I, I basically read my Bible longer, spent time praying. I sat, uh, I swim in my pool or our neighborhood pool and just kind of like, let my mind think. And, um, Reflect on the things that I had been praying about and the day was so good. I felt like the Lord spoke to me so clearly in so many ways that, you know, maybe just not taking the time to do that, had it had kind of gotten pushed out mm-hmm or it, it was things that would’ve gotten pushed out if I had just had so much noise around and, um, all that to say, I remember telling my husband. I’m really excited for this one day a month, because I feel like it’s forcing me to come to grips with my limitations in another way. And I am my prayer is that that monthly time will add up and it will be something that I think about [00:13:00] on a daily basis, you know, like it’s not just this once a month that I am reminded of it, but that the, the constant, like meeting with him every day, every month for this full day, the first day of the month, where you’re just like excited and, you know, what’s God gonna do this month? What can we do? Let’s set goals and everything like that. Um, but to instead say I am pausing and, um, my book pray confidently and consistently is coming out on October 12th and I have already committed that.
Um, it’s gonna be October 3rd, which is the Monday, um, But I have already put that in my calendar as a day of rest. And part of me is nervous just knowing how much I still have to do. But also part of me is super excited because I know God has given me that gift and I am allowed to rest. And for people who maybe feel that like pressure, they’re like, oh, everything weighs on us.
This is a really heavy, busy season [00:14:00] for us, but to be able to say that there’s like a, a day that I can rest in the middle of that and just trust that the Lord is in control and that he knows I have limits. And he doesn’t expect that from me is so freeing. Yeah.
Rachel: So good. Everything you just said was so good.
um, I really do. I personally struggle with the whole limitation thing. I I’m an achiever personality too. And it’s like, you, you set these goals up for you yourself, and sometimes you can think that you are superhuman and can do anything, but at the end of the day, you really can’t. And I just, I love the idea of tithing my work time.
That that was a really interesting concept. Um, uh, I think I’m gonna have to check out that book that you mentioned. When you’re talking about it, it makes me think that. It’s almost like you view Sabbath as a mindset, really? [00:15:00] Not just mm-hmm a, a day off, but just a whole mindset. Um, a whole way of thinking about both work and your rest, uh, would you say that’s true?
Valerie: Yeah. Yeah. So I definitely think it’s like, um, a specific like day of the week that God calls us to, but yes, like I feel. It, it is something that will affect our whole life.
Like the day is the day is important, obviously, but it is, it, it should affect our whole life. And, um, the, the fact that we, it requires our trust in God and our faith in him, like that will, that will affect other areas it’ll affect Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday, whatever mm-hmm . Um, so. I do think that that is a good way to put it, that it is a mindset and that it’s something that can permeate everything. Um, and is not supposed to just stay in this one little part of our week.
Rachel: Mm-hmm [00:16:00] supposed to be outflowing into every part. And the Bible talks about, yeah, I like what you were saying about like taking the once a month, um, and reflecting and having a whole day, the Bible talks about various types of Sabbath.
And we don’t typically talk about those because we’re mostly focused on this once a week Sabbath, but, um, I think there’s a wisdom in that, in that. First fruit type offering of your yeah. Your day, but also receiving the gift of rest within that. Um, I think that’s really why. So practically what, like practically speaking, what does Sabbath look like in your guys’ week? Does your whole family practice it? Um, do you just practice it? What does a typical Sabbath look like for you?
Valerie: Yeah. Um, it’s definitely a family thing and, um, we’ve talked to our kids. We have a, um, Two daughters, Viv and Vanna that are five and seven. And they’re funny because we’ve talked to about how, like, okay, they’ll say something and I’m like, no, like mama doesn’t need her [00:17:00] phone.
Like I’m not doing any work today. Or like, we’ll explain like what that looks like. So we’ll hear them repeat back to us. Like, no, mama’s not doing work today. Or mm-hmm, , you know, it’s Sunday. Like, they’ll just see, like, wait, what, what are you doing with your computer open? You know, like mm-hmm, they’re so, you know, trying to give them an understanding of that too, but, um, It genuinely looks like having a slow morning, um, on Sunday.
And I say this before my husband, they just started their, um, Sunday services, like a couple weeks ago. So we’re, mm-hmm before that it was, um, very slow. Um, we would go to church around 10 45, so we would have a good chunk of the morning to just, um, play music. The girls would color draw. We’d read books. I’d have like a longer quiet time.
Um, we’d play games. Um, and then we’d go to church and then we, my parents lived four doors down, so we would walk, we’d come home from church, go walk over there, have lunch with my siblings. Um, and then, [00:18:00] um, come home and genuinely take a nap and rest. And, um, in certain seasons we would have. um, our small group at like five to seven in the evening.
Um, and that was always fun. Um, we have taken a little break just with the other church commitments we have right now, but my parents still watch our girls. So that’s kind of a restful time or, you know, traditionally we see that as kind of like the break of our Sabbath, like to get into the weeds of it.
Like it probably starts more Saturday night. Mm-hmm um, As some traditions you know, and I want, I don’t know if it’s like all just all the Jewish tradition, going from like sun. Uh, dusk to
Rachel: to evening. Yeah. Sun down to sun down. Yes. Yes.
Valerie: There you go. Uh, sun down to sun down. So that would be the time that we would be like, have like a family meeting of just like, okay, well, what do we want the week to [00:19:00] look like?
And, you know, get the backpacks ready or do, do whatever. Um, were those things that we knew, I don’t wanna say to hold off, but we knew like this can wait, you know, mm-hmm, like we will have an hour Sunday night to like really prepare for the week. Like we don’t need to, this doesn’t need to just get done because it’s out and about, oh, like, oh, well we have to just get this done right now.
No, it can wait. Um, but yeah, that was, that’s typically what we did and less screen time for sure. Um, on our phones, no computers really. Um, and. Not really any TV. I mean, you know, like just the screens were just a big thing that just are not a big part of our day. Um, and part of it would just be like playing with the neighborhood kids or talking to our neighbors, stuff like that. I’m trying to think of different examples.
Rachel: That’s great. I love the fact there. It sounds like there’s community, there’s downtime, there’s, [00:20:00] you know, moments of reflection and, and your quiet time. And, uh, that sounds like a lovely Sabbath to me, but I think you, um, you brought up a good point about that sundown to sundown I’ve
I often talk about that there’s wisdom in it, because with the way that our weeks work, um, it helps us to. One, you automatically have rest time built into your Sabbath because you are sleeping part of it. Right. But also, um, it allows you the next evening to prepare for the rest of the week. And I think we do something similar.
Like we kind of have like a family meeting where we talk about things that are on the calendar upcoming. You know, on Sunday night we do this at, after our Sabbath has ended and we talk about things like, okay, what’s on the calendar or do we have any unique events happening this week? You know, maybe a birthday party or something came up.
Um, and then we make sure the backpacks are ready, make sure that we have any meal prep done. [00:21:00] And I think it just helps you enter into the week a little bit more with your feet underneath you. Um, and you’re coming out of a rest period with it too. And I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel as hectic. For me, at least it doesn’t feel like that when you’re so busy on Sunday.
And then you’re like, oh crap, we’ve gotta get ready for tomorrow morning. Yeah. You know, it kinda eliminates.
Valerie: Yes. Yeah. And it, and it does, I feel like it helps your brain to not just be drifting to those things. You know, like if, you know, I have a set time where this can, you know, it because it’s one thing to be like, um, We want to trust God, even when things are undone, like that is true, but also we’re not trying to create all these.
We’re not trying to, you know, sit in a, um, in the middle of like a blazing fire and be like, Nope, it’s fine. Everything’s fine. It’s fine. exactly. It’s like our way of just preparing for that. And just knowing that I get to, I get to have a hard stop Saturday [00:22:00] evening and then just know if whatever didn’t get done, if there’s something, if there’s a lunch that, or, you know, someone I need to find.
I will have a little space to do that. Um, Sunday the evening before the chaos of Monday morning.
Rachel: Exactly. Exactly. It’s it’s having your time. It’s like budgeting your time, right? It’s like you would budget your yeah. Finances. You’re like, oh, we can go eat out because we have money set aside to do that, you know, twice a month or whatever it, it is.
it’s not a scrambling, can we make this work or not? And I think the same thing is true when we budget our time with Sabbath and, and I always say, Sabbath is two sides of the same coin it’s work and rest. it’s not just about that break. It’s about living the six days in a way that allows you to rest on the seventh, but also that when you rest, then you work the six days out of that rest.
And so it’s like the cyclical thing. I have a question for you about now that you guys are gonna have to transition your Sabbath a little bit and reevaluate what it looks like. Are there [00:23:00] any questions that you’re gonna be asking yourself as you evaluate what it needs to look like in the future?
Valerie: Oh man. That’s a good, good question. Yeah, I think, um, so Saturdays are hard for me to think about because I think of like birthday parties, um, you know, like what, what would be true? What, I guess the question I would ask is what are the things that would be truly restful and what are the things that.
We want to like that we would still wanna commit to like, um, I mean, my daughter’s birthday party is Saturday coming up. Mm-hmm and I’m just thinking like, if her best friend’s party’s on a Saturday, I want her to be able to do that. So it’s like, how do we know what is restful and can fit into the Sabbath and what is just like continuing the chaos of, you know, cuz not every birthday party that she gets an invite for is going to [00:24:00] fit that. And I dunno how to say that, to say like some birthday parties feel like they can fit into the Sabbath. Mm-hmm but like, I guess celebrating your best friend seems different than, oh, you got another invitation. We’re just, we just need to go or mm-hmm you know, does that make sense?
Rachel: No, I totally, it totally does because I think part of Sabbath is community. And, um, building into relationship and yeah. Resting in relationship. I think we, we were created in the image of a triun God. And so I think there’s something uniquely, um, placed inside of our, uh, our being that long for community and need community mm-hmm . And so I think that even in scripture, you see, you know, you see the whole nation of Israel resting together, and I think so there is something you, um, just intrinsically incorporated into Sabbath that allows for community, but I think it’s a certain kind of community. And I think that what you’re bringing up here with a birthday party, that’s [00:25:00] allowing your daughter to engage in relationship with a friend. That’s good. Like a good, um, Deep friendship or whatnot, however, you would say that is different than just, oh, the whole class got invited. Maybe you really don’t really know this kid very well, but you’re still gonna go just because it’s a kind thing to do. Um, but you know, if, if like, is that, is that part of Sabbath or not? I think you’re right. It, that it has to be a question of, is this something that fits into our Sabbath or not, um, is it something that’s gonna pull the family apart on Sabbath because you’re having to rush one kid here. The other kid’s having to rush there, or is it something like this happens so infrequently that today it’s gonna be a part of our Sabbath but this isn’t a regular occurrence.
Valerie: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, honestly, I’m intimidated by the idea of doing Saturdays, just because it does feel like, oh, that’s the day to get your yard done. And , um, one thing I know, like me and my [00:26:00] husband, we are redoing our whole like landscaping and it’s like this huge space. We ended up getting all the plants Friday.
We were planning on planning everything on Saturday and there was just so many plants and he ended. Um, putting together a fence too. So we literally had to do plants on Sunday, cuz we spent a ton on plants and we’re like, we have to get these in the ground before they die. Mm-hmm so as dumb as that sounds is a reason to not rest it, we did it and it was exhausting.
And I went to bed last night, appreciating Sabbath so much more because I was just like, I am staring down the barrel of like a really busy week and I’m coming off of a really exhausting weekend and it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. We weren’t designed to run like that. Um, I know I’ve read about stress and the idea is that stress is not in itself bad. It is the prolonged stress. That is not good for us. Yes. Like [00:27:00] you need to work out. You need to get your muscles moving. You need to. They even like, tear, like things like that for your muscles, like seem weird, but. We’re supposed to do hard. It’s supposed to work that way. Yeah. Yes. But we have to rest. And anyway, all that to say, like, that’s just a, I don’t wanna say Sabbath fail because you know, God is gracious with us.
Mm-hmm but just a good reminder for us that, Ugh, we need those days so much more than we think we do. And I think after you practice Sabbath for a while, and then you experience what it was like when you worked every day or you pushed really hard. Mm-hmm you. Your capacity for it. You’re just like, whoa, why can I, how did I, um, sustain that? You know?
Rachel: Right. Do you, um, Now I’m assuming you don’t like, like you’re not, um, some people find gardening really restful. Like if they spent the weekend yeah. The Sabbath doing what you did. They’d be like, I’m tired, but I’m exhilarated. You know what I mean? [00:28:00] Like some people are like that. Yeah. But I’m assuming that’s not what you’re, you’re not that kind of person. It sounds like.
Valerie: Oh, I will be when they’re all in the ground. we have, like, we literally have 40, 40 things to plant. And our roots, the roots that have been under, like there for trees that have died, like, it is not shoveling out a little scoop of dirt. It was like pulling roots, like it very different, but I will say you are right, because whenever I go in the morning, it’s really early and I go pull weeds or I just water the lawn.
Oh, it is so. Just being out in nature, like that is definitely refreshing. So I, that you’re right. That will probably be something that will naturally be a part of our Sabbath of just like, yeah. We just went out and looked at the plants and watered, but not, not what we did this weekend.
And I think part of what was hard was the feeling of, I am forced to do this. This is we have to get this done. We have to that mindset. So I think like [00:29:00] thinking about our Sabbath in, um, even the same activity can be. Restful, if you’re choosing to do it as opposed to, um, having to cram it in mm-hmm I know of, um, as a business owner, a while back, I remember writing a list of all the things I love to do in business and all the things that were really hard to do in business that I can maybe Del, like I was trying to see what to delegate mm-hmm and literally the list were almost the same.
It was just depending on if it was a really busy season, everything was painful. Mm-hmm if it was a really like having a lot of margin season, I loved everything, you know? Right. So that could be like a good, a good, not like a way to measure it, but like a way to think about like, okay, is this something that’ll be restful? It’s, you know, am I forcing myself to read 50 pages in a book? Or is this just, am I just like being open to what, what I can do with that time?
Rachel: Exactly. I wanna make sure that we talk a little bit about your, your business [00:30:00] and how you have incorporated Sabath into that space. Do you mind sharing a little bit about that with us?
Valerie: Yeah. So, um, this was, um, a decision we made. And I, even whenever we shared about it on our blog, like we, I did wanna say like, this is a personal conviction. This is not like for every everybody. So we have an online shop and, you know, it seems kind of odd to close an online shop on Sundays because technically, like we don’t do anything to work.
Like no, nobody on our team is required to work on Sundays or was before we did this. But, um, I was reading about, um, I can’t even remember where it is. It’s in the, in new Testament. Maybe I, Isaiah, but talking about like selling goods on mm-hmm the Sabbath. And for some reason that just like convicted me, um, in a personal way.
And the, I just felt like the Lord saying, you know what, like you’re, you’re bringing stuff on the [00:31:00] Sabbath and you’re okay with people buying from you on the Sabbath because you don’t have to work for it. Um, but it, so basically it’s like, you’re okay. I don’t know if that makes sense, but like you’re okay.
Encouraging people to do that because your hands are you’re you kind of feel like your hands are clean with it. Mm-hmm . Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah. Um, so anyway, um, the idea was to close our shop. We, we have a Shopify shop, so I just hit a button on Sunday mornings and it puts this, um, splash page up and part of the thought behind that was for me again, this area of trust and relying on the Lord for this business, like I have to trust that God can do what he wants with our business.
Without 50 days a year. Like, do I believe that he can take care of that? Or do I believe I need that 50 days so bad? Um, or do I trust that he, he will provide for us and he’s been very faithful. [00:32:00] Our business has continued to grow. It has not slowed down our business. Um, And it’s just been cool to see how having our page reflect that on Sundays.
Like we’ve had lots of people just tell us how cool that is to see from an online shop. Like it’s not something we have to do. Um, but they’ve really appreciated about it. Uh, appreciated that they’ve been challenged to think about the Sabbath differently just because we link to information about, um, resting and everything like that.
So it’s been cool to use that. And I will say just a caveat. If you go to our page on a Sunday, you’ll see a little thing at the bottom that just says, if you really have to place an order today, we’re not trying to stress anybody out with this. This is just our, um, what we’ve been called to do so you can use a password, but, um, we really, it, it is just a it is a decision we made for our own hearts to trust the Lord. Um, and we’ve even said like, you know, some Sundays it stays open just simply [00:33:00] because I haven’t gone to my phone to press that button. And there’s freedom in that, knowing that mm-hmm , if it becomes more of a. hindrance because I have to like, oh, I gotta set a reminder to go do this.
Like, if I’m forgetting, cuz I’m delighting in the Lord, like I’m not worried about it, but mm-hmm um, we are, we’ve said we are not going to stop doing this because of sale because we need money. mm-hmm essentially so, so yeah, that’s what we do on Sundays.
Rachel: How, uh, do you, have you, have you have a few employees, right?
Valerie: Uh, yeah, we have three.
Rachel: Okay. How did they respond to that whole concept?
Valerie: You know, um, I think we did not have any, whenever I started. Um, maybe I can’t think of if maybe we had somebody who wasn’t here anymore. Um, but I think, I think they, they think it’s just cool that so much of our, like so much of our business is genuinely prayer [00:34:00] led mm-hmm , you know, like obviously.
Our focused on prayer as a business, but like we just, everything is just open hands, the Lord. This is his company. And I think it’s nice when all these small details reflect that, um, that we can otherwise just feel no, like you just need to run a business, you need to be open. It’s just an online shop. Um, and yeah, a lot of the things that we’ve done in the past, like I do feel like they know are different. um, because we pray about everything and we are in tune to hear what he’s saying about that.
Rachel: I really appreciate that. You, you talked a little bit about this idea of it is an online shop and you don’t have to stop like you can, you’re making passive income is essentially, and, and as an entrepreneur, that’s oftentimes the, um, Appeal of being an entrepreneur doing online sales, right? And so I, I value the fact that you, um, [00:35:00] That you’ve made this commitment to say, I’m gonna put the expression, my money where my mouth is, came to mind, but like, literally that it is what it is, you know? You’re saying that those 50 days, you’re gonna trust that to God. You’re gonna say I don’t need to have advertised my stuff on that day. I don’t have to have the ability to take sales on that day. I just am going to commit that day to the Lord and trust him to provide for our business. And, um, it really is a step of faith.
Valerie: It keeps us like flexible. Like it keeps us like, oh my gosh, how, how much opportunity do we have for pride when you just think like, oh, our business is growing and things are happening. And it’s just so easy to just take that and think to just get super prideful with it. And, and if we’re not like continually coming under the Lord and like humbling ourself and, and trusting, like knowing that we, we can’t falsely trust [00:36:00] ourself, if we’re not doing that, then like, I mean, if, if you look at our culture today, just like the, the moral failures and everything like that, like it’s easy to do because the pedestals get so high. And, um, you know, part of this is just us completely surrendering everything and, you know, holding it loosely mm-hmm,
Rachel: Remembering that ultimately at the end of the day, it’s not really ours, that we’re just being entrusted with it and to steward it.
Do you have any tips or suggestions when it comes to practicing Sabbath?
Valerie: The biggest one that I would start with is. I mean, this is just like, yeah, super practical is like the screens. Mm-hmm, being able to like, take a break from that because I feel like we can, if we’re maybe used to, um, you know, like, oh yeah, we could take naps or we could rest. Or like if our, if our lifestyle is more restful, um, and we still have that, like that will create an unrest in us.
And, um, [00:37:00] and if we can’t let go of that one day a week, then it will reveal maybe something that’s become an idol for us. So I think start there, like, that’s just a really basic way. Like, can I give up my phone for a day? And I mean, like, you might still have to like call somebody for lunch or like do stuff, but like, can I give up, um, scrolling and being on social media for one day?
And if not, like, just know that this. Do it anyway. And, or do you know, try, have somebody who can keep you accountable and do it with you, but just know that it’s gonna be so good. It might feel hard, but like it is going to be good. Um, but yeah, I think that’s a good first step.
Rachel: And by screens, do you mean, um, your phone or do you mean like all electronics, like TV and computers?
Valerie: Um, We’re, we’re not super strict about TV because we don’t watch a lot. Um, so like if me and my husband and I guess usually it’s honestly, the only time it’s on is in that evening after the girls go to bed on [00:38:00] Sunday. So I guess technically not Sabbath, but like if we wanted to watch a movie together on Saturday night after like we eat, you know, like we’ll do like a little cheese.
charcuterie board, we call ’em cheese parties, like on our porch or something that’s. But if we wanted to watch a movie mm-hmm we would just, we, we wouldn’t feel like hung up on, okay, wait, we can’t watch that. But, uh, and I know some people will be, they will do no screens, but that doesn’t feel as threatening for us. But I mean, the social media, like just it’s it’s wearing, you know, It’s so different. I mean, and like we just need, we genuinely, if no Sabbath conversation related, like we need a break from that. mm-hmm and if we can’t break from that one day a week, like, you know, but I think keeping that Sabbath mindset, it is a way that we trust God. We say like, God, you’re more important than this. I wanna delight in you today. Not delight in what somebody else is doing on Sunday.
Rachel: That’s good. Well, I know that you have mentioned [00:39:00] your book. I want you to definitely tell our listeners about your book , but you also have other great resources. And as we wrap up our conversation, I wanna make sure that we point our listeners to those resources and how they can connect with you. So how do they do that?
Valerie: Yeah. So, the book prey confidently and consistently .It’s super practical. It’s super accessible. Like I have written this for people who. Haven’t picked up millions of books on prayer by theologians and you know, but who want to learn more about prayer, um, in a deeper way, but just a more accessible way. We have prayer journals and we have a blog where we write a lot about like these kind of topics, this, these, um, spiritual topics, but really practical ways to talk about ’em all at valmariepaper.com.
Rachel: Valerie, would you mind closing our time together in prayer?
Valerie: Yes, I would love to, and I, I just, I. So I wrote a book called springboard prayers. It’s 125 prayers, and I realized that there is a [00:40:00] prayer in here for when your Sabbath starts. So if it’s okay to read this prayer, maybe somebody can come back to this prayer on Sunday or something like that.
Rachel: Yes, please do
Valerie: Father, part of me screams inside I’m not ready. There’s still so much to do, but Lord, I know the whole point of Sabbath is to teach me to rest in you and not rest when I’ve accomplished all I want to. Jesus said Sabbath was made for man, not man, not the Sabbath. This isn’t just a command. This is a gift. Why do I fight so hard against receiving this gift? All too often. My math is way off because I forget to factor in you God. And truly you are far less demanding on me than I am on myself. Let me sit in that realization for a moment. Your ways are truly higher than my ways. I think another day of work will get me where I need to be. And you’re simply saying rest, and I will take care of it for you. [00:41:00] Stop striving, hand me your burden. Give me fresh eyes to see this sometimes stale idea of the Sabbath and embrace it fully in my life in Jesus name. Amen.
Rachel: I love that. That was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing and thank you for that over us.
Valerie: Yeah. Glad I thought about that right before.
Rachel: I’m glad you did too. Thanks again, Valerie, for, um, taking the time to remind us of what a beautiful gift Sabbath is in our lives and, um, and for sharing some of your journey in implementing Sabbath and what it looks like in your life really appreciate it.
Valerie: Well, thanks for having me, Rachel. I appreciate it. I love this conversation.
Rachel: And I wanna thank you. Our listeners for tuning into today’s episode. We’ll meet back here next week. As we continue the conversation about all things seventh and the deep joy and stabilizing peace it brings to our lives. Bye.

Hey, I just want to say thank you for [00:42:00] 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.


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