here are some of my notes from the “breathe” book i read this spring about “sabbath simplicity” and the idea of simplifying so that we can return to a cycle of work and rest, and focus on God

  • sabbath is about honoring and strengthening connections to each other and to God
  • living a life of Sabbath Simplicity is a God-focused life rhythm of work and rest. you can’t add this to a crowded lifestyle; it’s a way of life you build by listening to God’s direction. it’s living from that Center deliberately and almost effortlessly. it’s choosing what you say yes to and what you say no to based not on the demands or example of others but on what God is calling you to.
  • the sabbath command is interesting because it doesn’t just give a directive but also the rationale behind it. it’s the longest command, because God elaborates a lot on what it means and why.
  • simplifying means really examining your motivation for keeping busy and hurried. just vaguely saying you “should” or “ought to” do something won’t make life simpler. will it enrich your life or just clutter it? the spaces in your day are what help you understand the meaning of all your work. it allows you to stop, focus, internalize and admire all that you’ve done/where you’re headed
  • God LIKES being involved in all the decisions you make (what you say yes and no to): “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. he delights in every detail of their lives.” (Psalm 37:23). just make sure we’re including God in those decisions and it can only be healthy for us: we learn to listen to him and hopefully we’ll be saying no to the things that pull us away from him. whenever you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to another. make sure that the “yes” is worth more than the “no.” (don’t be afraid to say no
  • what is your personal mission statement? use this to filter out what you commit to and what you can say “no” to
  • The Fruit of the Vine: “…he cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he trims clean so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-4) even if you’re doing all good things, be selective so that the REALLY good can shine through rather than be rushed through. sometimes you  have to cut back in certain places so that you can be really fruitful in other places.
  • frugality means we are to enjoy what we have. waste lies not in the number of possessions but in the failure to enjoy them. your success at being frugal is measured not by your penny-pinching but by your degree of enjoyment of the material world
  • don’t spend too much time reliving the past (feeling guilty, regretting, embarrassed, resentful, etc) because it keeps us (obviously) from being in the moment. spending time thinking about them will only serve to INCREASE the chances of repeating the error and the pain associated with past errors. don’t deny your feelings though, but be sure to acknowledge them and give them to God to heal. when we tell Him, He understands and we don’t have to spew those feelings on others–we get release and he can transform us through our mind. (Rom 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.)