Three girls with bedhead and furry teeth. Two big people holding their coffee cups like manna. Scrambled eggs between tiny fingers. And the smell of bacon. Amen.
Sometime late summer we began a family Sabbath meal. While dinner might be the traditional time, we felt Sunday morning breakfast worked better for us. So, every Sunday we gather around the table to begin our Sabbath. The big girls sing the blessing while Georgia bobs along in her high chair. Matt laces his fingers through mine until the girls sing Amen, Amen. So be it. So be it. Charlotte drips honey all over the table, her hands, and the chair leaving a sweet stickiness to everything she touches. I think of how we talk about choosing kind words with her all day long and the psalm, “Kind words are like honey.” More honey, Lottie Dot, more honey.
After more spoonfuls of crisp and eggs and after the last piece of bacon is gone, Matt pulls out his Bible and shares with us what he’s learned that week. With fleeting attention spans, it is only a few minutes, but I love those minutes. Gathered at the table which once found its home in my grandparents’ farm house. The chair my husband sits in is the same one I would reach over to with my little hands as a child finding my Papaw’s rough, pasture-tanned hands to say the blessing. Here we are gathered around that same table–Bibles cracked open, hearts knit together. This Sabbath meal.
Meals with littles are always a bit chaotic. Our Sabbath meal is no different. But we have embraced the chaos because we see the beauty in it. Over several months, we have figured out a few things that make the meal go smoother. (Still crazy because it’s us. Just a little less stressful.)
//Music: Most mornings the first thing I do when I wake up is turn on Pandora. This is definitely true on Sundays. My favorite morning station right now is Bethel Music + Jenn Johnson.
//Simple recipes: We keep the food very simple. Our go-to menu is scrambled eggs, bacon, and the berry crisp from Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine. I now do my bacon in the oven because it doesn’t require me to babysit it and there’s way less mess.
//Paper products: Because we have church that morning, I try to keep clean up as easy as possible. Paper plates and napkins make it much easier. (And the girls get a ridiculous amount of joy from fun paper products.)
//Light a candle: I am a big candle person. I light one in the evenings before Matt gets home from work, and we keep one on the table for dinners and Sabbath meals. Candles whisper home and refuge and rest to me.
//Coffee: Always coffee.
Some verses to pray for Sabbath
Hebrews 12:28-29// Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Psalm 16:9// Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
Psalm 16:5// The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Isaiah 4:6// It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.