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About the Episode

Because our culture does not practice Sabbath together in a specific way, not even our church culture, we have to approach Sabbath with a very individualist view of it. What rest looks like for one may not be what rest looks like for another. My guest today, Anna Kettle, author of Sand Between Your Toes, shares with us how that flexibility helps us to embrace the heart-posture of Sabbath rather than executing a specific plant. Listen in.

​​​​​​​About My Guest

Anna Kettle is an experienced writer, published author, podcaster, and an award-winning marketing professional. Her first book ‘Sand Between Your Toes: Inspirations for a Slower, Simpler & More Soulful Life’ released last year under Tyndale House.Anna is a slow living advocate, a lover of coffee and good conversation, and a big believer in the healing power of words.She is married to husband Andy, and mum to their son, Ben. They live in the beautiful waterfront city of Liverpool in England.



Click for Transcript


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: My guest today is Anna Kettle. And Anna is no stranger to this conversation of rest . In fact, she’s [00:01:00] recently published a book last year called Sand between your toes, inspiration for a slower, simpler and more soulful life.

She is a slow living advocate, a lover of coffee and conversation, and a big believer in the healing power of words. She is a podcaster and award-winning marketing professional, and I’m so excited to have her today on the podcast. I know she has a beautiful perspective on this idea of rest and I’m excited to have her, um, have her share that with you.

So Anna, before we really dive in, do you wanna share a little bit more about you and your family and where you live and all those things? Yeah,

Anna: sure. Um, yeah. I also wanna say it’s really great to be on the podcast. Like I. What you’re doing on this show. So it’s really cool to be here. Um, yeah, so I’m Anna Kele and I live as, you’ll probably recognize from an accent in the UK.

I live in the north of England, uh, in city called Liverpool. And I, um, yeah, I work in marketing as a day job and I [00:02:00] blog and write, um, books on the side. I’m a mum to one little boy. Who’s just turned seven years old. He’s called Ben and he’s lovely. And yeah, and my husband runs, uh, music, um, production and, um, promotion company here.

So yeah, life’s pretty. Pretty busy. We always have plenty going on.

Rachel: I always love following you on Instagram and all the cool places you guys get to visit in your city. Your city just seems like a really cool one to, um, to

Anna: get to live in. Yeah, it’s good. Yeah. Liverpool’s um, Liverpool’s kind of it’s waterfront city, so it’s really beautiful.

Yeah, you’re right on the waterfront. And, but it’s also got a lot of culture and heritage, you know, like the Beatles come from there. It’s a big like football city. It’s a big music city. Yeah. It’s got a big eating city, like lots of good food and drink places. So yeah, it’s got lots going on, which we, like,

Rachel: I was gonna say, those are like some fun things you can do on your Sabbath. like, like when you take those times of rest with your [00:03:00] family, it’s like, let’s just enjoy. You know, the city has to offer and play and yeah, the thing. Well, um, let’s start our conversation with, um, how do you define Sabbath? What does Sabbath mean to you?

Anna: So for me, Sabbath really at the core is a day of rest. Um, which I think it’s probably how most people would define it. But for me, I guess that that’s depends how you define rest. So it’s what, it’s the day of whatever. Think of as rest and whatever is restful for you. So, you know, because I think rest can be look and feel different to different people, depending how you’re wired.

What’s worked to one person as restful for someone else or as life bringing for someone else. So, yeah. So for me, it’s really a stepping away from whatever. Work you do, or whatever your normal week is filled with whatever kind of work you normally do. Um, it’s that stepping away to kind of rest, but not just physically rest it’s about resting your soul.

And I think that soul part’s really important for [00:04:00] me. So, you know, I think we. In this day and age, we all know that you can be physically still, but still your mind’s swirling a hundred miles an hour with a thousand things you’ve got to do, or you’re scrolling through, you know, social media and there’s like just loads going on in your head still.

And you know, you, you can be still, but not rested. And, and so for me, it’s very much about that. soul will actually stills you and allows your soul to breathe and gives you space to kind of recuperate

Rachel: so, um, how did you kind, I you’ve mentioned you guys kind of have a busy life and busy lifestyle. Um, how did you get to this journey of practicing a Sabbath and a time of rest?

Um, was. Natural progression or was it something you had to like, say, Nope, we’re putting a line down. We’re gonna say this is what we’re doing.

Anna: Well, to be honest, it’s been a bit of a journey for me, Rachel. So I obviously I’ve been a Christian my whole life. My dad’s a church pastor, so I’m a pastor’s kid.

So I’ve always been around church. [00:05:00] PK is people calling her, um, But I’d, I’d never actually practiced sabath growing up. Like, you know, as a child, of course, we always went to church on Sundays, but because of dad’s job, like Sundays war was a really busy day. So we kind of did church and that was kind of the Sabbath, but I guess, but it was always a busy day, like dad was working and we’d always have people over and there was lots going on.

And so, and that, and that’s kind of the way I continued to treat Sabbath as an adult, like moving into adulthood. I didn’t really practice it, um, in the way that I do now. And so life just sort of puddled along and was fine. And then it was only really when I became a mother, um, and I hit a real season of burnout and it was because I went back to work after having my son.

And I basically tried to squeeze motherhood into the cracks of everything else we were already doing. And as you said, like, we. We’re quite outgoing people quite sociable. We do lots and [00:06:00] then working full time and then trying to be a mom and all of those other things. And then writing all these other bits we do on the side.

And yeah, and it was like, I was just trying to squeeze motherhood into an already full life and it just didn’t work. And so for me, it was like it, that was the first time that, um, cracks started to show a little bit. And I realized that I wasn’t coping well and that, um, Actually just trying to add motherhood into everything else was a bit of recipe for disaster.

I was starting to get quite stressed and a bit retired and not really bringing the best of myself home to the people that I love the most in my own household quite often at the end of the day. And so I began to kind of realize that I needed to do. Something different and slow down the pace of life.

And so it began a whole journey for me around reading lots about the whole thing of rest and Sabbath about blogging and writing about it. And just thinking about it a lot and really wrestling with God and with the idea of how does it look to live in a hurried, modern, modern culture that we live in.

[00:07:00] And then that we all, you know, we have to, you know, most of us have to work. We have to be, you know, have to be available for our kids. We want to be, you know, but how does rest fit into all of that? And particularly in that season of motherhood, when you’ve got littles and you know, all that, like Rachel, you’ve got a few.

So yeah, for me, it was like that kind of, how does rest look when in that always on culture that we live in. Um, and so. Yeah, that was where I began to wrestle with it all. And actually the idea of Sabbath was one that kept coming back to me as I started reading different people’s books on the subject.

And, um, and I mean, also just looking in scripture, it’s just repeated so much, isn’t it? Um, you know, that whole idea of scripture, it’s like, Hmm, maybe there’s something actually in this, you know, God keeps talking about it. The people of God keep practicing it. Maybe just something in this sort of like.

Almost what we tend to think now of is quite a, you know, historical thing rather than something that we do every day, most of us. Um, yeah, so, so that was [00:08:00] kind of the background for me. And then, um, Yeah. So we just began sort of experimenting with it and thinking about it and sort of exploring different ways that we could rest together as a family.

And then actually, like if we were to do a Sabbath as a family, how would that look for us? Um, and so that was the journey really. And actually I was blogging so much about it at the time. That was where the book that you mentioned, my, my devotional which is all about slowing down and resting. That’s where it came from.

Like it was all, all of the content in that book spilled out of my kind of musings and blogging. In that season about how do we live in that rest? So, yeah,

Rachel: that’s beautiful. I love how organically it came out of a realization that you were not bringing your best home. Mm-hmm to the people that you loved and you should be giving your best to, but you were so burnt out.

You couldn’t do that well. Yeah. And recognizing that, I think that takes a lot of courage and a lot of bravery to give yourself the permission to say, I’m not [00:09:00] doing my best, but I want to, so I’m gonna have to make a change. And that’s hard. That’s hard to say that to stop the wheels that are just going, going, going, that maybe you’ve been in, um, a pattern of for a really long time to.

Pull back and say, it’s okay for it to go a different direction. That takes a lot of courage to do that and give yourself that permission when you guys, um, I wanna circle back to. What you had said about being a PK and that Sundays were considered Sabbath, but in your mind, it was associated with work.

And I think that’s really, um, especially for people who are in ministry, who are pastors, who are pastors, wives, pastor, kids, to recognize that that is a day of work for you, Christian, um, worship. On a Sunday for you, you are facilitating that for somebody else. Mm-hmm . And, um, it’s really important to take a day [00:10:00] separate from that.

Um, I follow a couple, uh, people writers, who that is the situation for them. They are pastor’s wives and they’re like, Sunday is not our day of rest us, but Saturday is, or Sunday is not our day of us, but we make sure to do it on Monday. And, um, I just think that’s a really important thing to note. Something that the rest of the world considers a restful day might not be that for you.

I’m thinking of people in like retail even, right. Like who, for them, they have to work a weekend. And, but for the rest of the world, that’s a day off. Right? Yeah. And so it’s that we have to. Um, take a look at our weeks, take a look at what our personal situation is because Sabbath is no longer a community, um, executed practice, right?

We’re not like the Israelites right. You know, the Israelites back that was part of their culture. Everybody took that day off at the same time. And so, um, for us, it has to be a little bit more [00:11:00] individualistic because our modern day culture doesn’t function the same way. And so I thought that was a really important point that you had made.

When you guys decided that you’re going to start practicing something as a family, what did, what did you come to an agreement about? Like what that would look like? What, what did it look like in your, every.

Anna: Um, I think it’s something that’s grown over time. So like, I don’t think, I think we all agreed that we needed to do something that was around rest.

I don’t think we initially used the word Sabath like, I, I don’t think we said, when are we gonna Sabath I think we just said we need to do something. We need to have a day of rest in all week. That’s like a, just a shifting of gear, a changing of pace in all week mm-hmm , um, where we just slow down and take stock.

And it’s a day of. Yeah, uh, just, recentering and re-energizing and that kind of thing. Um, and so I think it’s something that’s grown over time and I don’t think we had a master plan on day one. I think we’ve just kind of tried, tried, it was been trial and [00:12:00] error really we’ve like tried things and some things have worked well and some things haven’t and lately say it has been really fluid for us.

So. I think even now we’re pretty fluid, even though we’ve been a few years into this now, but we’re pretty fluid on what Sabbath day looks like. So for us often, I think like yourself, Rachel, it starts on a Friday night and then we’ll do it till Saturday evening. And like, for us, we’ll quite often. Tend to start with a family meal together, maybe lighter a candle, just as a focal point.

Mm-hmm, pray together and just chat, um, and chat about what we wanna do that weekend and how we wanna rest together, or, um, but then there’s other weekends where maybe one of us is away with work on the Friday. So when back or, um, you know, or we’ve got like in a couple of weeks, it’s Easter. And so we’re visiting family for a weekend.

So actually we’re staying at my sister’s house and you know, like life happens, doesn’t it sometimes we’ll have. You know, things going on that mean, actually we can’t do it like that. And so sometimes we’ll shift the day. Uh, like, so we [00:13:00] are very fluid about whether we do it on a sat like Saturday as, or day rest or Sunday mm-hmm

Um, and sometimes to be honest, we don’t, we don’t a hundred percent always manage it at all. Like there are some weeks where it just doesn’t happen for whatever reason. So we, I would say we Sabbath very imperfectly as a family and I’m okay with that. Now. I kind of feel like there’s grace for that. And like, God really sees our heart that we’re trying to kind of live rest as a lifestyle, but it it’s imperfect.

And yeah. And so if anyone else is listening and feels like, oh my gosh, it’s too much. Like, I think it’s okay to be imperfect about it. And actually God just sees the. But also we’re fairly fluid in terms of what we do with the day. So like some, some days as you’ve said, like we, we might just choose to have a fun day out as a family.

And I think for us, it, this is where it’s really individualistic in terms of not just your kind of life stage and what you do, but also how you wired as a person. So for me and both my boys, my [00:14:00] husband and my son. We’re all quite outgoing type people. We’re all people that are natural extroverts, I think, and are energized by being around others.

So for us to go out and do stuff and be busy is more energizing. Right? Not being busy. Sorry. That sounds wrong. But, but doing something that’s. But

Rachel: having, doing activity, you mean like, yeah. You’re talking about social activities or activities outside the home, whereas maybe somebody with a little bit more of an interverted personality, they might wanna do something, an activity within their home. Yeah. And alone.

Anna: Yeah, exactly. So for us, it’s very, it’s not always, um, and it rarely is actually closing the door to the world and kind of having loads of quiet time. Um, for, as it’s mostly going out, having a fun day out somewhere, um, going for a walk, going out to do something, going out to eat rather than, you know, kind of spending the whole weekend cooking for others.

Um, it might be, we might occasionally have a slower day where we just take some time for ourselves, but, [00:15:00] you know, also because, um, even the way, even the way, um, our churches, so we have, um, We have a church sort of rhythm, which goes three weeks. There’s a service. And on the fourth week it’s scattered, which basically means we’re like church in the community.

And so we have small groups in our neighborhoods. And so on that scatter week, there’s no church Sunday service to go with. So we might Sabbath on the Sunday that week and actually all look like meeting up with some friends or brunch or lunch, like a few other families in the neighborhood who, who are Christians too, and maybe hanging out with them or having picked like in the park and the kids’ lives.

I love. So it is very varied and, um, yeah,

Rachel: no, I, you know why I love that so much because I. I know, I know I just talked about being individualized within our Sabbath practices, right. Having to figure out which day works best for us. But, um, I do feel like we sometimes miss out on that community piece of Sabbath of just being with other people.

[00:16:00] And there’s no expectation, you know, we might have things like Bible study or, or prayer groups or stuff like that, but there’s like a purpose to those. And there’s like a focus point. And I think what you’re talking about is more. Let’s just gather together and just be together and enjoy life together.

And I think we don’t get enough of that in our weeks, you know?

Anna: Yeah. I think, and I think, um, you know, that whole thing of like, let’s just gather, let’s just be community or like extended family together. Um, let’s just have some fun, I mean, now more than ever, I think after we’ve had so much social isolation over the last couple of years, Yeah.

COVID and everything. It just, for me, I feel like a lot of people are really hungry for that right now. Mm-hmm so, yeah, that’s sometimes how it looks for us to Sabbath. But as I say, it’s very varied. Sometimes we might go to the cinema. Sometimes we, you know, might eat out it’s sometimes we might go for a swim or, you know, like whatever we fancy doing, go to the beach.

Cause we live near the coastline and it just depends. But like for us, I guess [00:17:00] the key principles are that it’s like something. To do with stopping work or whatever looks like work in the normal week. So it’s not doing that stuff. So for me, I had to be very disciplined that I’m not, I’m not on social media, I’m not blogging.

I’m not writing, I’m not doing any of that stuff as well as not being at, at myself nine to five day job. Mm-hmm um, yeah. So it’s about stopping work and it’s about finding things that we enjoy as ways to rest mm-hmm so it’s finding the rest and the kind of rest that’s life giving and enjoy like something.

And I guess the other things are that it’s, um, Yeah, but it’s about also about practicing delight. So, you know, it’s that sense of like, yeah, like when God rested, he said, you know, I don’t believe God rested cuz he was tired after. I totally agree with you. No one doesn’t grow tired, but I think he doesn’t.

Yeah. So I think the reason that. He stepped back and rested was to enjoy all that he created and all that he’d done. And, you know, it says that he, you know, after he created something, he saw that it was good. Right. You know, when you read that [00:18:00] Genesis scripture, and for me, that’s a really key component as well.

So it’s like that sense of practicing delight and mm-hmm, delighting in the world around us. And, you know, always goes back to what you’re saying initially about living in the city and having lots of fun and enjoying where you are, wherever God’s placed you. And. Yeah, and I think that’s part of it. It’s taking time out of being productive and doing lots to just be and enjoy and see that what’s around you is good.

And that for me is really key as well because I’m, I’m an Enneagram three, you know, the engram and, um, like that’s a very driven type of personality. Mm-hmm so I can always on, and I could, if given half a chance, I would be producing nonstop, you know, seven days a week. And, but God. No, don’t do that, do that six days on the seventh day, step back and enjoy it and delight in what you’ve done and trust me and know that that’s enough that you can stop now and just be, and just, and enjoy and practicing delight, you know?

And that’s also about being with God, isn’t it [00:19:00] like? Yeah. Delight and God’s world and the world around us. But actually it’s just, it’s also just about being grateful and knowing. Yeah, just that being a bit Stiller in a souls and yeah. So for me, all of that is wrapped up in it as well.

Rachel: You just said so many wonderful things. I’m like furiously taking notes over here, going, I wanna come back to this, this, and, um, but I’ve, I do agree with what you’re saying about it being delighting with the Lord in, um, delighting in the things that we, um, That we’re producing, because I think sometimes that whole like, stop and smell the rose is kind of, you know, phrase it’s like, if you’re just going, going, going, and producing, producing, producing, but never enjoying the things that you’ve just produced or never getting to enjoy the things that others have produced.

Then what’s the point of producing, right? Like what’s the point of creating is there’s no one to enjoy the creation. And I think that when God worked those six days and then rest of the seventh, [00:20:00] he modeled for us. It’s not just about the creating part. It’s about the enjoyment of that creation and being designed in his image.

I think we really need to take hold of that and really, um, like lean into that model of that example and execute. We are to create, we are to work. That’s how we’ve been designed, but we are also to enjoy that creation. Um, so I just loved that, that phrase that you use. And I also enjoyed the phrase that you use a lifestyle of rest that to me.

Just sums up what we’re talking about here, this lifestyle of working these six days, but then this one day of just of just resting and enjoying in that this is woven into the very fabric of your life, right? That this is just something that we do as a family, as an individual. Um, so. You also talked about [00:21:00] how you do it, imperfectly, which I laughed at when you said, because I just had this conversation with my husband.

Yeah. I’m like, I don’t know if I should be doing this podcast on Sabbath. I do not do this very well every weekend. He’s like, well, don’t you think that’s why you should do it. Like, it’s that imperfect practice. Like people need to hear that, that it’s not, you. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t have to have ity of the practice.

Anna: I’m actually the same conversation all the time. Peop. I’m like, I’m the wrong person to write a book on rest. Cause I’m a very restful person, but everyone says to me, no, that’s exactly what you need to write about this subject because you know, it’s like you are a learner on the job and it’s like exactly.

And that, and that is much more real. And I think it’s actually where most people are like, most people don’t do this well, And it’s why it’s such an important subject. Exactly. It’s hard in our culture. It’s really hard to do. It’s really comes culture.

Rachel: It’s it’s not just a, oh, this is a nice thing to do. It’s like a intentional resistance against [00:22:00] a, a wave that’s coming at you and the wave is bigger than you. And there’s no real. There’s no real, uh, ability for you to push that wave back on your own strength. And so when you resist that wave, when you are intentional about taking a day of rest taking a Sabbath, I think there is something that is sacred and holy and supernatural that takes place and God steps in and pushes that wave back for you.

Um, but it’s like, you have to step into that with him. You have to really like engage that rest with him. Yeah. For space to happen.

Yeah. So when you saying that you practice it imperfectly and you, you’re not the right person to write about this. Um, that makes me wonder the question. Like, what do you find the most challenging about Sabbath? Like what, what, what makes you feel like you’re doing it imperfectly?

Anna: I think, I think what I mean by that is that like, we don’t Sabbath in the way that I’ve kind of traditionally heard it talk about, [00:23:00] talked about like, we, we rest and we do what’s restful for us, but I, you know, it’s like when you hear people talk about time with God and you think of a quiet time and you’ve gotta sit quietly in a corner and it’s like the kind of narrow kind of view that you’ve had of what it means to have a quiet time.

Rachel: Do you guys have that? Do you guys have that song? Um, Uh, read your Bible and pray every day and you’ll grow up the world. Yeah. Did you guys grow up with that too? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. That’s what I always think of every time I think about like, yeah.

Anna: And then, so then if you are someone who doesn’t, isn’t good at spending a long time of, you know, like my husband, doesn’t like reading the Bible very much because he’s not a reader.

He just struggles with reading for full stop he’s dyslexic. And, um, like for me, I like reading so that bit’s easy, but there’s like parts. You know, I find it, I find it difficult to sit quietly and listen to God for, you know, in that respect. And I find silence very hard. Um, so yeah, I, I, this is what I mean, but I, I think it’s [00:24:00] more that I feel like I do it imperfectly If you kind of benchmark Sabbath as that traditional kind of do it the way the, you know, Jewish culture used to do it and do exactly at set time and really rigid. But actually if you. You know, for me, it’s less, less about the, what you do, and it’s less about the, when you do it even. And it’s more about the mentality of stepping into a different head space.

One day are week there’s about resting and getting that step change and that, that slower pace of living. And for me, I think we do that well now we’ve gotten to real rhythm of like, okay, like we’re just moving into a different sort of rhythm of life for this day of the week. Right. And we’re just, we’re getting that step change.

And you know, for me, it’s more about the principle, I guess, than mm-hmm , you know, of learning to rest than it is about the sort of exact execution. Yeah. So I suppose it’s, it’s really, I say that like, we do it in perfectly, but it’s more about me knowing that there’s permission [00:25:00] to do it, how it works for us as a family and yeah. That. It’s more about the heart of it and yeah. Mental.

Rachel: Yeah. I think you bring up a really good point that sometimes we look at Sabbath then we think our only options are to either practice it exactly how the Jewish traditional, um, the traditional Jewish, uh, custom is to practice that with a hard line at sun sundown on Friday.

And it, um, there’s blessings and there’s prayers and there’s certain foods and stuff like that. Or other option is Sunday, all day Sunday, go to church, read your Bible, maybe go back to church later on if you’re in some denominations, you know? And so, um, or like you’re just, that’s a day where all you’re supposed to be doing is reading your Bible and praying, right?

There’s like that idea of Sabbath too. And sometimes we think like those are our only two options. That’s actually not it at all. And the Bible is actually not very prescriptive on Sabbath this supposed to look like it’s just [00:26:00] more about re resisting this urge to produce something on your own. And those are like the guidelines that are set out.

Always point back to this idea of providing for yourself ver more than, um, Then it is about like, this is how you, you light a candle, you have this family prayer. Hmm. While those structures are really lovely. And I think there’s real beauty in incorporating some of those things into your Sabbath rhythms.

Um, I think it’s important to note, like you’re saying that Sabbath can be what it needs to be for you and your family to engage God in that day of rest. Whatever that might be.

Anna: And I think it’s seasonal as well. Isn’t it like life it different in different seasons. Like you are not gonna Sabbath the same. If you’ve got a newborn baby in the house, as you are, if you’ve got teenagers, you’re just not.

And, and, and this is the thing I think it’s got to be flexible and fluid enough that you can, it can shift and, and. Yeah. And just change as you change and grow as a [00:27:00] family. Yeah.

Rachel: And I mean, we see that even in the Bible, when you’re looking at the different Sabbath and then they have the different festivals that, that show. So it’s like you have your regular rhythms of Sabbath in the Bible, and then you have the regular or the festivals or seasonal rhythms of Sabbath too. And so I think there’s a lot of truth in what you’re just saying that like, we tend to think of like, oh, we are, we’re changing our Sabbath practice. And you’re like, Your Sabbath practice is embracing the season that you’re in.

Anna: Yeah, that’s right.

Rachel: So I want to circle back before we move on to my next question, I wanted to circle back. You mentioned about six days of work and one day of breath. rest. You do, do you do that? I know you have a typical nine to five job, but do you consider. That you work six days or do you work five days?

Like in your mind, what does that week look like?

Anna: Yeah, my work work week is only five days, but then say like today we haven’t Sabbath today’s Saturday as we’re recording. Um, [00:28:00] and. Yeah, we’ll do it tomorrow this week, because today has just been a full day. Like we had some chores we had to do around the house.

Um, we’re having some renovational work done at the moment. So my husband’s spent half the dating DYI and painting. um, I trust and

Rachel: you do not find those things restful, right? No, if you do exactly.

Anna: Actually I have a friend who loves doing DIY and they find it really relaxing to paint. So maybe, you know, stick a podcast on, listen, some worship and like paint away.

Rachel: My mom just did that on Monday. She had had a really busy week and she is like, I need to rest. And she’s like, I’m gonna, I’m just gonna go and paint and just think about nothing. And I’m like, That does not sound restful to me. That makes me wanna like cringe.

Anna: Yeah, I know.

And this is the thing, isn’t it it’s like one person’s rest is another person’s work. Yeah. I mean, I, I actually love writing, but it’s, to me it’s producing, so I don’t do it on like, whatever day I’m resting. At the same time, like some people would [00:29:00] say, oh, I can’t think of anything worse than writing, whereas I actually enjoy it. So it is actually joy, but for me as a discipline, not to produce. So that’s part of the stuff I put out. Um,

Rachel: and also because it is work and I, I think there’s a, I know for me, there’s a difference cuz I love writing and I do feel like, um, It’s enjoyment. It’s not, it, it doesn’t feel work in the moment. Yeah.

But I know which of it is work and which of it’s just play. So if I was to go write a, like a fiction, like a piece of fiction that would be play and that wouldn’t be trying to produce anything. Yeah. But any other of my writing that would be work that would be producing. Yeah. And so it’s really. Introspective like you have to get really introspective, I think. Yeah. When you’re evaluating that, right.

Anna: It’s it’s as much about the motivation, isn’t it. And the mentality behind what you’re doing rather than what you’re actually doing. So you can, you can go for, you know, some do some sport, you know, go and play tennis or.

Go for a swim together [00:30:00] as a family on your day off, if that’s fun, time together, mm-hmm . But if you are training for a marathon, then you know exactly, that’s not the kind of exercise that is restful. You know, you’re not, that’s not a day off. So I feel like it’s less about the what, and it’s more about the mentality and the motivation behind that.

And that’s really key, I think for me, because. Yeah. It’s not about legalism. It’s about the sort of spirit you’re doing something in. Um, yes. In terms of, yeah. Are you doing this because you are trying to get something done and produce something and hate something and tick

Rachel: something. There’s some kind of result.

Yeah. There’s some kind of outcome that you’re hoping for by doing something.

Anna: Yeah. Or is it, is it something that you’re just doing for the love of doing it? I just mm-hmm, you know, to be, yeah. Mm-hmm you to enjoy to kind of be in the moment.

Rachel: Right. No, I think that’s really wise Ari. That’s a really wise phrase that you just said there it’s the motivation and mentality behind what you’re doing.

And I do think that you have to do that introspection. You have to [00:31:00] kind of analyze for yourself. What is, what is, what is the motivation I’m doing this thought of like, And then for some seasons of life, it might not be work, but then things might shift for you and it might become work for you.

So it, I think it’s a constant state of reflection. We have to be in that a constant state of introspection to analyze is what I’m doing restful? Am I truly engaging in that sacred space? Or am I doing this outta my own striving? Am I trying to do this with a certain outcome in plan?


Anna: And I think that’s so good to go back to your question then it’s like, so yeah, I do only work five days a week. Am I like paid for work? Right. But I think. Left to my own devices every day would be filled with some productivity. Mm-hmm so therefore we, yeah, we have Saturday and Sunday off from work, but that’s not necessarily the same as sabbathing and right.

And for us, we intentionally choose our Saturday [00:32:00] or Sunday, as much as we can and say, today’s gonna be a day of rest. Right. Rather like doing all the other things that we don’t do when we’re at work full time. So, yeah. And I hope that laundry and yes, you know, laundry and DIY and like, Gardening and like running errands, you know?

Rachel: I think that’s what leads people to, um, I think they can’t take a day of rest is because they’re trying to figure out how they can shove all that stuff into the work week. Right.

What’s typically thought of the work week, right. So they’re thinking I only have, you know, I need this other, you know, I need the weekend to do all these other things I can’t do during the work week. And it’s like, well, actually, no, you need six days to do all those things. And how that shapes out. It’s up to you to make that, you know, spread those chores out over the week or spread ’em out.

Like, that’s kind of how we do it too. It’s the same. Yeah. You know, my husband has his nine to five during the week. I do things like the podcast and writing and some of my other work [00:33:00] during the morning times, but then I homeschool a kiddos. And then, so that’s like all within that five day week.

Yeah. But then I take Saturday mornings and I continue working. On Saturday mornings doing more of like that, um, real creative space work, you know, where you need a couple hours, you can’t just fit it in the crack. Yeah. Um, and then we start Sabbath thing on Saturday evening and go through Sunday evening.

And when we gave ourselves permission to look at that six day and not try to, um, push everything into a five day work week that’s and, and to recognize that. Work is more than just your nine to five. Yeah. That work or is these other things, and it’s okay for those other things to happen on that six day.

And that you’re really only looking at one day of rest when we’ve shifted. I mean, did you find this to be true for you guys too? Like when you kind of shifted to that one day a week, um, rest period, instead [00:34:00] of looking at like, I need to get everything done before the weekend, did it help you.

Anna: Yeah, and I, yeah, I think that’s absolutely right.

And I think what it meant was we were more focused about getting, what we used to do is like all of those other kind of things, work type things that you have to do during the week, right. Would just kind of be a bit everywhere. So we didn’t do it very well. We just let, let it spread all over the place.

And then it would spread across all seven days. Whereas now it’s like, Just be a bit more organized. So some of the things we’ve shifted online, like now I do online shopping and get deliveries, so I don’t have to worry about that stuff. Right. Um, and um, some of it is about being more organized, so like, we’ll do the laundry on a Saturday morning.

So it’s done, you know, if we’re sabbathing on Sunday, right. We’re doing it, but we’ll like, Yeah, so we’ll flex around what’s going on in our lives, but we’ll kind of be organized in terms of making sure that things that need to happen have happened. And then it frees up the other day. And I think that’s right.

[00:35:00] It’s about remembering, you’ve got six days actually to do all that stuff and yeah. And just planning to do it in six days, rather than letting it bleed into all seven. Exactly. Just like, because you just do it whenever.

Rachel: Exactly. Do you guys have a conversation each week about what that week’s gonna look like?

And if you’re gonna, like, what day you’re gonna Sabbath then? Like, how do you guys determine which day you’re Sabbath and what you’re doing that day?

Anna: Yeah. I think we tend to look at the diary ahead, like, you know, a week or maybe a couple of weeks ahead and see what’s coming up and it’s like, oh, you are away with some friends this weekend.

So it’s not gonna really happen in the same way. Mm-hmm. Or like, you know, we’re away visiting family for Easter. So we might give that one a miss, but then this week it’s like, oh, there’s kids party on Saturday. And there’s like a few things we, we may as well make that the kind of work day. Yeah. And then we’ll do it on Sunday this week.

So we mm-hmm yeah. We’ll tend to look at the diaries ahead. And we have a, you know, technology is wonderful. So we have a shared kinda family diary right now, you know, so that’s [00:36:00] good. Um, so we, we all sync up so we can see what everyone’s doing and. Um, so yeah, we’ll tend to have that conversation at some point.

Like, so when are we gonna have a rest time this week? And it’s like, oh, let’s do something on Sunday. Let’s let’s keep Sunday free or let’s yeah. We’ll, we’ll just we’ll yeah. We’ll normally like, look a week. We don’t plan borrow ahead. We’ll normally just forecast a week ahead and see what, what we’re gonna do.

Rachel: I think that’s, I think that’s really, um, important for people to hear that it can is a weekly conversation. Right. Cause even though we typically have, I. What you’re saying to us is like, you have a, an ideal, and then each week you say, can this ideal be hit or does it have to be adjusted? Yeah. You know, typically we do Saturday, but the Saturday’s not gonna work.

So let’s do Sunday. And we have those same kind of conversations in our home too. It’s like each week, this ideally we would like it to start Saturday evening and go through Sunday evening, right. Five to five on those two days. And that’s typically what we [00:37:00] enjoy doing. Does that happen every week? No, but the, the being willing to shift and not let go completely, or even shift our mindset on, you know, an Easter weekend is just an extended Sabbath.

Right. Mm-hmm , you’re with family and I don’t know your family, maybe it’s a lot of work to be around your family. Like that’s true for some people. Yeah. But, um, if that’s your, if that’s your situation, I would just. You know, if your family’s hard to, um, navigate in holiday situations, then maybe make your day.

The next day, when you come back home, you know,

Anna: it’s like, yeah, exactly. There’s, that’s it. And you have to think around it and you know, like our family is, you know, it is good, fun. It’s good, fun hanging out. So we’ll probably take the kids out to do something and then, you know, some fun activities. And then.

Yeah, probably eat together in the evening. So in a way that is great Sabbath.

Rachel: How has being in this regular rhythm of a day off changed your life, maybe changed your family’s life? [00:38:00]

Anna: Uh, in lots of ways, I think practically it’s given us more head space or like more time together as a family. It’s given us more. Processing time, um, to like kind of deal with life as it happens to us, you know, like when you’re always on, then there’s never any processing time to kind of work out how you feel about life and what’s happened during the week and to process.

So, yeah, that’s helped. And I think we’re all less stressed and less rushed and on a really practical level. And I think for me, as I was saying, it’s been a mentality shift as much as anything. So. You know, it’s really been that decision to practice AB being that exactly. That sort of resistance to always on never stop culture.

Um, so for me, it’s not, yeah, it’s been a realization that it’s not just something I do because I’m tired or run down or worn out. That’s not, when I rest, I rest because. It’s about trusting God [00:39:00] to do what I’m not gonna do and what I can’t. So it’s about saying I’ll put in as much as I can. And for six days I’ll really serve, serve, and work hard and be the best I can be.

And then. With that extra sort of seventh day, I’m gonna trust God and relax and rest and believe that my good enough is good enough. That exactly don’t always have to be striving and, um, achieving and always stretching for more or better or working harder, faster, whatever it’s that is such a mentality shift for me.

And I think it’s not something that has come naturally to me. So. That’s been a really big mind shift. And, and so I feel like I’ve really changed through that. That actually it’s really changed my spiritual life. And it’s been less interesting. It’s been less about, oh, I spend loads of time with God on my Sabbaths like talking to God and spending time in his presence.

And it’s not been necessarily about that for me. It’s just been about [00:40:00] being able to lean into God and lean into. Being able to cover what I don’t and not being so independent and self kind of, um, self-reliant, self-reliant, that’s the word I’m looking for. Yeah. And like, realizing that I rely on him and it’s been that sort of rewiring of my brain almost like that has more spiritual freedom.

And so for me, that, that thing of like, um, Yeah, there’s, there’s that other bit, isn’t there about, like, about Sabbath, about remembering God, and that’s a really important part of it, but for me, it’s not about like loads of time in God’s presence going to loads of church meetings or whatever necessarily.

Um, you know, those things are all good, but for me, it’s about that. It’s about that mind shift about remembering God that on the seventh day I get to say. Oh, yeah, I’ve got to remember that. It’s all about God and it’s not all about what I can achieve for myself and like coming away from that sense of independence and self-reliance and, um, you know, and that was very much what [00:41:00] it was always about.

The is reliance. Wasn’t it? Mm-hmm , it’s like they actually took the time away. And part of that Sabbath, um, rest kind of. Period was about remembering the Lord and how he delivered them from Egypt and all these different things that he’d done for them. And so, so yeah, I feel like it should have that element of like Thanksgiving and reentering yourself as well in that, and for me, that’s, that’s been the real big step change.

It’s been that mentality shift to. Not feeling like I always have to speed on and always striving for a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more like, if, what more can I squeeze outta the week? You know, I don’t have to squeeze every last drop. Like I can do do it and then step back and say, God, you know, everything is in your hands.

Ultimately, anyway,

Rachel: I love that. That’s so be. So beautiful. Do you have any tips for the busy mom who wants to practice a day of rest? Wants to take a step back? Do you have any tips for her? Any [00:42:00] suggestions? Um,

Anna: I suppose my biggest tip would just simply be to start small. Like you don’t have to do it.

Perfect. and a hundred percent of the time straight away just start small. Like you don’t even have to start with a whole 24 hour period or a whole day mm-hmm, just take a morning or take an afternoon, or right. You know, just a little bit of time, um, you know, start. In a way that makes sense for you or do it every few weeks if like every single week seems too much of a stretch, like just, I suppose, yeah.

Just start where you are. Like God likes, I think God’s pleased when we make that hot move towards him and you know, that turning towards him and I don’t think. And I think, however, that looks, if it’s like just a small step into more levels of rest and into working out what rest is, then, you know, I think that pleases as hot as well, you know?

It’s um, yeah. And, and the other thing is to just really think about what is [00:43:00] restful to you. Because I think that for me, that was the hardest part of the equation. Really. It was like, I’m trying to do all these things that I think rest looks like, and actually I’m not enjoying it. Mm-hmm and the thing is, unless it’s what you enjoy and what’s restful and life given to you, right.

You’re gonna give her part of two weeks anyway. You’re gonna quit. Like no true. Be like, this is rubbish. This is not enriching in my life. Mm-hmm and Sabbath absolutely should rest. Absolutely should enrich a life and make it better. Mm-hmm . Yeah. So I think if you’re not, if you’re not feeling that, and you’re not feeling that it’s adding to your life and it’s something good, then you’re probably not doing it right for you.

Um, right. So it’s not about taking sort of something off the shelf that works in my family and doing it in your family. It’s like, yeah. It’s but I think that’s the key question I post to anyone and I say this all the time, but it’s like, what is restful for you? And I think that’s the key question it’s like, yeah.

What does rest look like to you? I think if you can answer. What brings rest and life and [00:44:00] gives you that space for your soul to breathe? I think if you can answer that, then you’ve probably cracked the kind of hardest part of it.

Rachel: Great advice. Well, we could keep talking couldn’t we could, its such a for

Anna: hours can’t we hours

Rachel: and hours. It’s suchness both of us are like, we love rest. We want you to rest. Come on. So, um, I just thank you so much for being here. Thank you for having this conversation for me. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom, all your insight, all the things that you have for us. Um, before we go, , um, I always like to end the episodes with prayer for our listener.

Um, and would you mind closing us in prayer?

Anna: Yeah, of course. Yeah. Great. Thank you. No problem. Father God, I just pray for anyone who’s listening to this podcast and this conversation right now. Um, is perhaps thinking about this idea of rest and feels that they need more rest in their lives. And, um, perhaps [00:45:00] feeling like just a bit overwhelmed, like where do I start?

How do I make the changes? It seems too big. And it seems like there’s not enough minutes or hours in the week. Lord, I just pray that you would just, um, give them creativity Lord God, just real out of the books thinking about what rest could look like for them in their everyday life. Lord God. And what a day of rest as a family could look like as well.

Lord, I just pray that, um, you would just release people from that sense of having to do it a certain way or. Having to do it all straight away, Lord God that you would just bring a freedom to just try and do it imperfectly and to have trial and error and to freedom, to fail, even Lord God, to have a go and fail sometimes Lord that, that, um, people would just understand that.

Yeah, or you, you are longing for them to take just a step towards this. and I pray that you would just give [00:46:00] people ideas, inspirations, creativity, just ways to make this work in their life and their season right now, Lord God, thank you that you, your heart is for us God and that you long for us to know your rest and to live in your rest.

And I pray you were just. Just even things out of this, this conversation we’ve had, Lord God would just unlock doors and new ideas and ways of doing this for different people that are listening now. Thank you. Jesus. Amen.

Rachel: Thank you so much. That was beautiful. I’m like just speaking to my soul right now.

I love it. Well thank you again for being here today. Thank you for the conversation. And um, for those of you who are listening, we’ll be back here next week. Bye.

 Hey, I just want to say thank you for joining me for today’s conversation. I know many things demand your attention. I don’t take lightly the privilege it is to share your time. I want to make things as easy and simple for you. So I’ve linked to [00:47:00] 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.[00:48:00]


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

I help busy moms add a simple, rest-filled family Sabbath to their week. If that sounds like something you want for your week, but don’t know where to start, grab this free how-to resource: The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Simple Family Sabbath.

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