Category Archives: Spiritual Discipline

When Others with ADHD Annoy You

Let’s be honest, having ADHD can be very annoying. We annoy our selves  and others are annoyed by some of our ADHD traits. Despite having ADHD it can sometimes be difficult to be understanding towards others who also have this disorder. One might think that it would be natural to be compassionate and extend grace towards others with the same challenges and struggles, but the heart and mind doesn’t quite work that way.

Part of my own ADHD traits include talking really loudly, talking fast, moving my arms all over the place when I talk, sometimes getting into people’s bubbles when I’m over animated, and being short with people when I am feeling tired overwhelmed, or overcome with anxiety. All these traits together sometimes catch people off guard if they don’t know me. This is one of the reasons why I don’t attend networking socials and feel uncomfortable being in places where I don’t know other people.

There are ADHD traits in others that I sometimes have a difficult time dealing with. Despite knowing that it is part of the symptoms of adult ADHD I still find myself becoming impatient or frustrated with the person. At times I feel disappointed in myself for not being more understanding and for not remembering that how upset I am when others with ADHD don’t extend compassion.

As I am writing this blog post I clearly remember a supervisor of mine who had ADHD, most likely inattentive ADHD. He was always late to work leaving me waiting to enter the building,  he had a habit of losing important paperwork, he was forgetful about things that were important (meetings, bookings, and passing on vital information), he rarely paid attention to staff when we were talking to him, and he was incredibly messy leaving our workspace looking like a high school student’s messy bedroom.

It wasn’t only I who found him frustrating, so did the other staff. However, I felt that I could have been more understanding towards him because we both have this disorder even if our symptoms were different. I wouldn’t expect people to make excuses for a supervisor who is a poor fit for a position; but there needs to be boundaries and a level of professionalism involved when dealing with a person who has a disability. Constantly writing a person up for poor performance without providing helpful suggestions for change, and workplace bullying such as name calling, ostracizing, and hostility is not alright.

When you know a person has poorly managed ADHD your expectations of that person need to change. In the workplace it’s easier to address because of performance reviews, policy and procedures, and sometimes clearly marked outcomes expectations. When you are dealing with that person as a friend or family member it’s more difficult, we have expectations, but they can’t be enforced, and you can’t fire a relative from being in your family.

What we can do is be more patient, understanding, and realistic. In the workplace a job might not be a good match for someone with ADHD and eventually the person might have to find something or somewhere else to make a living. The deeper issue is how we treat those with ADHD when we find their behaviour and actions frustrating and disruptive. It is well known that those who have adult ADHD are sensitive and more prone to have low self-esteem. Let’s try not to add unpleasant experiences to their lives.

I have been on both ends, the one who handled my frustrations in unhelpful ways, and the person who was treated horribly as a result of my ADHD symptoms. As adults the best thing we can do for our peers is show them some understanding while still maintaining our workplace boundaries.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

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ADHD VS Lent: The Halfway Point

At the time of writing this blog post Lent is at the halfway point. For some it has been a struggle, for others, the days have passed by smoothly. The most important thing to remember is that Lent isn’t designed to be a season of self-criticism, guilt, shame, or any other type of feeling that tears one’s self down. Lent is a time for strengthening one’s faith and relationship with God.

Fasting from something is our way of remembering our dependence on God. What we fast from is always voluntary and is chosen based on abstaining from something we have come to depend on in the wrong ways. There are people who ask, “Why do Christians fast from something for 40 days, why not give it up entirely?” The answer: if you give something up entirely, it is no longer as fast. A fast is meant to be temporary. There are plenty of distractions and dependencies in our lives that we can not give up entirely because we depend on them for survival; these might include food,  a car needed for employment, the internet, or radio and television.  

There are also things that bring us daily enjoyment and don’t require forfeiting for the rest of our lives. Plenty of people give up coffee during Lent. Coffee is not bad unless it negatively affects your health. For them it’s a reminder to be appreciative of the ability to purchase this great tasting, overpriced beverage. For others, Lent helps them to decrease their dependency on a caffeinated beverage they’ve been using to be more alert or friendly towards others in the morning. A follower of Christ shouldn’t need coffee in order to be a nice person to their family and co-workers. A change in behaviour and outlook is needed and that is where fasting during Lent can help. The time that would have been spent waiting in the drive thru or brewing a cup at home can instead be spent reading an entry from a devotional or scripture. Lent is never about the object that is being given up, it’s about what is being renewed, replenished, and strengthened inside of us.

For those of us who struggle to manage our ADHD, there will be extra struggles during Lent. This is a religious observance that is guaranteed to throw off our normal routines, possibly contribute additional stress and frustrations, and reveal just how undisciplined we can be sometimes. Instead of allowing these times of struggle, falling behind, or forgetfulness to bring us down; see it as spiritual growth. God isn’t sitting in heaven with a score card documenting how many times we didn’t quite hit the mark. He’s interested in you coming to him and sharing what was happening in your day, how you were feeling, what you’re thankful for, where your heart and mind is at.  Lent is a period of grace, not condemnation. If you are willing to stick with it, in the end you are given the same strength that Jesus was given. Christ made it through the 40 days flawlessly, but we are not Jesus; we will have faltered at some point, but because God is a just god, he doesn’t pit us against one another in a spiritual competition. He knows each of our individual strengths and struggles, this is why Lent is a personal act of spiritual formation.

So, my fellow ADHD’er, don’t allow your failure to master a struggle or temptation during Lent become shame, embarrassment, or guilt. God is still with you in the desert and when you silence the negative self-talk you will hear him whispering promises to strengthen you, never forsake you, love you, have mercy on you, and extend grace to you over and over again in the midst of your journey.

ADHD and Spring Fever

The first day of Spring in North America is March 20th, but spring fever has already set in. The fatigue inducing time change took place last Sunday March 11th, snow is melting, and the daylight kisses our faces for longer hours. There is excitement in the air as people keep mentioning that Spring is almost here.

The truth for those of us who live in the northern part of the continent is that Winter weather likes to linger as long as it can, we are not free of snow until mid May.

“Spring fever is something that teachers will often comment about starting in March or April.  It’s historically “known” that students with ADHD become more antsy, restless, and unfocused in the classroom around this time.  Adults will feel energized and more playful as well. The daylight is increasing, the weather is starting to warm, we see plants turning green and more animals coming out during the day.  In spring, the natural cycle of life supports us to get outside, breathe deeply in the natural world and become more physically active.” Add.org (click link to read article)

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

Spring isn’t only related to a change in the weather and hours of daylight, it is related to our moods and our faith. Spring equinox is a time to be reminded of metaphors around restoration, renewal, and rejuvenation. There’s a reason Easter occurs during the Spring, and it has nothing to do with any historical basis for the date of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

This new season is a great reminder to bring your hurts, pains, regrets, and any other burdens you carry to the cross. Those trees with dying leaves, the vegetables in the garden that died at the end of Summer, and the brown grass of September will not be the same; the new season makes things new and alive again. Spring reminds us that we need to go through a process of shedding and pruning in order to survive, grow, and be renewed.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:7

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15: 1-4

 

Prayer Does Not Cure ADHD

Prayer and ADHD

Things That People Have Said To Me About ADHD:

Have you tried praying that your ADHD will go away?

When you’re distracted, pray.

God can heal your ADHD.

Are you sure you have ADHD?

I thought only children had ADHD.

I came upon this blog post by Andy Lee  http://wordsbyandylee.com/how-to-focus-adhd-prayer/.

I’m not sure if she has ADHD, but she titled her post “How to Focus ADHD Prayer.” She listed the following symptoms checklist:

Do you have trouble focusing your thoughts when praying?

Do you pray the same prayers everyday?

Do you get bored when praying?

Do your prayers get lost in your plans or worries for the day?

Her solution: “If you struggle praying, if focus is impossible, there is a very good chance the enemy is running interference. Put on your helmet. Tell Him to go away in Jesus’ name.

She and others who take this approach are certainly people of faith. They have met spiritual interference and battled it with the help of God’s mighty spirit and strength. This is great, but ADHD is not a spiritual battle. It is not a sin. It is not something that can be prayed away.

Those of us with ADHD do need God’s help when dealing with the symptoms of ADHD, but I must be clear in stating that ADHD is not a spiritual disability.

Distraction A Warning

If we keep our focus solely on our disability instead of focusing on our abilities, yes, we will eventually beat ourselves down spiritually. If we don’t keep our emotions in check we can end up believing things that are not from God such as thinking:

-we are not good enough

-we don’t have gifts and talents to offer the world

-there is something wrong with us

-we are less godly or spiritually disciplined than “normal” people

If you have ADHD please know and believe that you do not have a spiritual disease. While spiritual disciplines and faith in God can help you manage your symptoms, it cannot “cure”, “solve”, or “get ride of” ADHD.

ADHD Prayers: God, Did You Get That?

 

Confession time! Sometimes praying together in groups is really difficult for me. It’s not that I don’t care about the prayer requests of others, it’s more of an issue with paying attention and staying focused.

There were times when I would be in a group of at least ten people. We’d be sitting in a circle, each of us presenting our requests for prayer. Each of us with a back story to our requests for divine intervention.

As I mentioned, I care about each and every individual that asks for prayer, but by the second or third person my attention span would start diminishing. I once made a habit out of writing down every request in a mini-notebook so I could remember everyone’s needs during the week, but even that began to take great efforts in focusing. Doodle, doodle, write, doodle, doodle, write…grocery list, to-do lists, and…back to writing prayer requests.

Eventually it would be my turn to share. I would start out on point but within a few sentences I would be on my ADHD rabbit trail of thoughts. Sometimes I would pause and think to myself, “What was it again that I’m asking for prayer about

Soon it would be time to pray out loud. Prayer time would take on a stomach turning feeling. It was knowing that I would have to sit silently listening to between ten and twelve people praying. I would now have to be still in my seat, or worse, sitting on someone’s living room carpet, cross legged, toes numb, trying my best to sit upright and not doze off.

Were these thoughts and actions appropriate from a Christian woman in the midst of prayer?  No, they weren’t; but the reality is these were the thoughts, actions, and feelings I experienced. I wish ADHD was an excuse, it’s not, but it certainly is a cause and a reason for my struggles with staying focused and paying attention during group prayer times. There were people who told me confidently that this issue was a spiritual battle; it was spiritual warfare they said.

I would love to blame my issues with focusing on that ever-so distracting horned devil and his pitchfork, but the real issue is and remains a problem resulting from ADHD. Having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not a spiritual attack from some evil supernatural force. As I continue to work on mindfulness and meditation techniques, my ability to focus during prayer has increased, but I still have a long way to go. There are those with ADHD who have no struggles with staying focused during long sessions of prayer requests and praying; I consider those of you in this category lucky!

Power of Prayer - Max Lucado

ADHD becomes a spiritual battle when you let others convince you that your symptoms are not real. Or when people accuse you of not “trying hard enough”. It becomes a spiritual battle when people call you lazy. The spiritual battle continues when you fall into the vicious cycle of self-doubt, resulting from years of embarrassing mistakes or a series of memorable failures. The spiritual battle is sometimes that feeling of rejection and loneliness because you once again unintentionally pissed someone off and are now filled with anxiety, guilt, anger, and hurt. You can say, “I’m sorry”, but you can never say, “I won’t do that again,” or “This is the last time I _____,” because you know that with ADHD it is never the last time that you’ll be late. It is never the last time that something stupid, embarrassing, or oops, will ever come flying out of your mouth. It will never be that last time that anxiousness, worry, and fatigue has made you a prickly person to be around.

You see, it’s not ADHD that is a spiritual battle, it’s the emotions and feelings that result from dealing with this disorder that create spiritual struggles. Your disorder is not a sin.

Thankfully God is everywhere, and He is always there to listen to us in prayer. I may not have been able to be fully focused during group prayer times, but God is understanding. I trust that my prayer time, regardless of how often I have to refocus myself, is welcomed by God. He is faithful to us, even those of us with ADHD prayer requests. The disordered thoughts of our prayers exit our minds and mouths, and get straight to God all clear and in order.

Adhd and faith challenges

ADHD and Thanks-Giving

ADHD Thanksgiving 1

As followers of Christ, every day is a day for giving thanks, but what makes Thanksgiving Day different is that you have one day where the entire nation collectively gives thanks and acknowledges the good things they have in life, be it family, friends, material goods, or health.

I’ve always believed in the importance of cultures and communities having holidays for remembering and acknowledging the past and the present. Thanksgiving is a holiday that always reminds me that we can always find the good and the positive in the midst of struggle and injustice. I see the systemic injustices and atrocities that are occurring in other parts of the world and I can’t not help but give thanks to God for being fortunate enough to live in North America.

So this year I encourage you to give thanks for something no matter what your circumstances are right now. Collectively as Americans we have plenty to give thanks for. Thanks be to God!

Give thanks Lord

As I was preparing to write this blog entry I had to stop and think about whether or not there really was anything to be thankful for in terms of having adult ADHD. Well, I found some!

ADHD and Things to Be Thankful For

Energy. When used properly, the energy we get from having ADHD allows us to accomplish a lot of things, sometimes more than the average person.

Creativity. When your mind is constantly thinking of multiple things at the same time and always on the go, you can end up developing a lot of ideas that are “outside the box”. For those who are ADHD day dreamers, you can sometimes turn those dreams into very creative ideas and concepts that others might not have thought of.

Adventurous. Sometimes ADHD gives people the ability to combine their energy and creativity which results in an adventurous spirit; think Richard Branson.

Knowledge. One of the best things about the ADHD attention span is that when we’re interested in a topic, subject, hobby, or activity, we delve in deep. Ask us anything you want to know about something we are interested in and we will likely have the answer; just be prepared for a long, animated, and passionate answer!

Medical care. Being finally diagnosed with ADHD as an adult has changed my life in too many ways to mention in this short post. I am thankful for doctors and psychologists who have studied ADHD and contributed to medical advances in the treatment of ADHD. Over the years I have taken medication for ADHD, but more helpful than this has been the alternative treatments that I’ve used to help manage my symptoms. I am also thankful to have assistance with covering the high costs of prescriptions. Mindfulness, meditation, and exercise have proven to be effective means for controlling my worst symptoms. I am thankful for those who teach and share these alternative methods.

Having rights. Having ADHD recognized as a disability in the workplace and educational institutions is important. I don’t think I would have made it through college if there wasn’t a department for students with disabilities. The specialists helped me stay focused and accountable; I was also able to take exams in a separate area so I wouldn’t disturb other students with the constant clicking of my pen, the shaking of my legs, humming, and my need to read things out loud. In the past people with ADHD weren’t recognized as having a disability and it made life more difficult for them than it had to be. Today, things have changed and I am thankful for this.

My list is not going to be the same as yours. We all have varying degrees of symptoms and different life circumstances; but I encourage you to take time this Thanksgiving season to make your own mental or written list of ADHD related things that you are thankful for. Having adult ADHD isn’t always easy, but there is always something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Listening Mindfully

Day 26 Listening Mindfully

You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak,…” James 1:19

This year I fulfilled one of my long term blogging goals by participating in a 31 day writing challenge at write31days.com . I can’t say it has been easy. I’ve fallen behind in writing on some days, on worse days I’ve forgotten to post what I’ve written.

I chose to write 31 Days of Mindfulness for Christians. In the past I read great things about the benefits of mindfulness for those with ADHD. Initially I was turned off by the Eastern religious element to mindfulness, but with enough searching I found plenty of mindfulness and meditation teachings and practices that were completely secular. My 31 day series is intended to be mindfulness for Christians.

I encourage you to click here or “31 Days of Mindfulness” at the top of this blog site and check out some or all of the short, basic, and introductory topics related to mindfulness. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the research on mindfulness and  management of ADHD symptoms in adults.

This blog entry below is from day 26 of this mindfulness series.


 

Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages communicated to us. Listening requires focus. As we will later learn from James, listening and hearing are two different things. Hearing is about sound perception or being informed of something.

The purpose of listening is to: obtain information, understand what is being communicated to you, and to learn.

As a woman with ADHD, I can’t say that I’m slow to speak. When my ADHD behaviour lets loose I can speak a lot; more than I personally care to. I’m not always quick to listen either. Learning to not go into a deep ADHD daydream when my mind isn’t being stimulated can be a real challenge for me. This verse is one that I’ve meditated on in the past. Despite having ADHD, I’ve had to embrace the challenge of learning to slow my mind down enough to engage in active listening while communicating with others.

Fellowship and respect for others requires that we listen to others; not just hear, but actually listen. James warns us to be, “… doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they are like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act – they will be blessed in their doing” (James 1:22-25).

God wants us to listen to others with the same attention and care that He gives to us. If we don’t listen and hear what others are sharing with us, we are not truly paying attention to the other person. A lack of attention is a lack of care.

I do want to clarify and point out that I don’t believe James is chastising those of us who have issues with executive functions. We are not wicked nor are we bad or dishonest. Our sometimes inability to pay full attention and remember important information is not a result of sin, it is a result of a disorder. However, as believers it is imperative that we do work towards managing and improving our listening skills to the best of our ability. God never wants or accepts excuses; He asks us to be honest about our efforts to be holy.

Mindfulness Action

Change doesn’t happen overnight, so remember to give yourself grace, patience, and love when learning to listen well.

If you have trouble listening during interactions, sermons, bible studies, or group activities; don’t forget to pray to God and ask for His help and strength in building your listening skills.

If necessary, let others know that you have ADHD; this can go a long way in avoiding misunderstandings about you.

If you need additional resources, the following linked articles might be of help to you.

Listening Skills for ADHD

Become a Better Listener

ADHD and the Spiritual Discipline of Solitude

Spiritual Disciplines and ADHD: A Series

 

 

“We read in the Gospels that, “Jesus often withdrew into lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Practicing solitude and silence is an important way that Jesus fostered his intimacy with the Father, from which he heard his voice and was empowered for his ministry. He taught this same practice to his disciples.” http://www.soulshepherding.org/2012/08/solitude-2/

The idea of a person with ADHD engaging in the spiritual practice of solitude and silence might sound like an impossibility, but it isn’t. Those of us with ADHD can remain silent and be in solitude, especially for spiritual purposes. How do I know this? When we ask for God’s help, we do things not with our own strength, instead it is in His power that we are able to accomplish what seems impossible or difficult to overcome.

I will admit that it can be difficult, but all of the spiritual disciplines can be a challenge, this is why they are called disciplines. Anything that is easy and mindless doesn’t require discipline. It will take practice to be able to sit still before the presence of God in silence, but it can be done. Approach this time with God believing that it can be done and it will happen. If you don’t include silence into your time of solitude, it will be fruitless. Silence is necessary to fully hear what God’s spirit is communicating to you.

I find that both extroverts and introverts have a difficult time with silence and solitude. Extroverts are uncomfortable being alone and introverts often mistakenly believe that being alone is the same as being in solitude. During solitude you are not “alone”, the spirit of God is with you. It is a time for you to be with God without involving any other person. Introversion is when you are refuelled while being by yourself and doesn’t involve a spiritual component. This discipline doesn’t include being alone while engaged in a variety of other activities. Solitude is a focus on God, not on yourself.

What happens during times of solitude and silence?

We silence our mouths and our minds so that our hearts can be receptive to whatever it is that the Spirit of our LORD has to say to us in that moment. We learn to manage our urge to control other people and our environment. We take that time to stop and say to God, “I will be still and I will listen with my heart so that I may be closer to you and those around me. I will be still and I will listen so that I may better serve the world around me. I will be still and I will listen so that I may live my life on a godly path with godly intentions.

Our attention deficit will make this an especially difficult discipline to partake in, but it is necessary for our spiritual growth and with the power of God in us, we can accomplish this. We can’t afford to let ADHD take us away from precious time with God. Your time of solitude and silence might only be a few minutes to begin with, but over time you will be able to dedicate as much time as you deem necessary to this important discipline.

Additional Resources:

http://www.dwillard.org/articles/artview.asp?artID=57

http://www.soulshepherding.org/2012/08/solitude-2/

 

 

ADHD: Spiritual Discipline of Confession

Spiritual Disciplines and ADHD: A Series

Part 4 of the ADHD and Spiritual Disciplines Series: Confession

Confession:Self-examination is a process whereby the Holy Spirit opens my heart to what is true about me. This is not the same thing as a neurotic shame-inducing inventory. Instead it is a way of opening myself to God within the safety of his love so I can authentically seek transformation. Confession embraces Christ’s gift of forgiveness and restoration while setting us on the path to renewal and change.” Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

It seems as if our culture has shifted towards a society of people who avoid acknowledging personal wrongs, or when they do, they justify their actions with self-esteem boosting excuses. There isn’t a human being on this earth who isn’t perfect; and knowing this should hopefully make it easier for us to admit what we have done wrong.

As Christians, God doesn’t embrace our excuses for why we have sinned, but we can have peace knowing that we are not doomed. He doesn’t accept our excuses because He is a loving God and He wants us to approach Him with integrity, honesty, and a heart of repentance. The results of approaching God with honesty is a clear conscience, a deeper relationship with Him, and the transforming wisdom that will come from God’s response to our confession.

Having ADHD means that we will often unintentionally commit wrongs against others on a regular basis; it is the negative results of having challenges with executive functioning, irregular moods, anxiety, and the increased stressed of having attention deficit. God knows the true circumstances and reasons behind the thoughts and behaviours of each person; He knows how ADHD effects individuals and can easily lead to a variety of wrongdoing. ADHD isn’t an excuse for sinning, but it certainly helps to explain why certain habits prove to be more difficult to overcome.

Confession helps those with attention deficit deal with the aftermath of wrongdoing. It allows us to be honest with God and others about what we have done and seek ways of making changes in our self. The act of confession won’t eliminate ADHD, but it can certainly help believers manage their symptoms.

True confession helps lift the shame that those with ADHD unnecessarily burden themselves with. Confession doesn’t bring shame, because God does not shame us, instead He embraces us and reminds us that we are forgiven. He blesses us with his Holy Spirit who empowers us to continue moving forward in the life long process of spiritual transformation.

REFLECTION:

If you are looking for additional resources to help you with this specific spiritual discipline, the following is a link to a Catholic resource on confession. Even if you are not Roman Catholic, there are some great prompts listed for self-examination for you to consider. http://www.netusa.org/guidetoconfession/

 

Joy of confession and forgiveness

ADHD and Sabbath Living

Spiritual Disciplines and ADHD: A Series

Part 3 of the ADHD and Spiritual Formation Series

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20: 8-11

The root word ‘shabhath’ in Hebrew means to: desist, cease, or rest.

As Christians we honour God, our bodies, and our minds by taking meaningful and intentional time to rest. Despite Sabbath being a great way for self-renewal, it is also a commandment. It sounds unbelievable that God would have to command us to take some time to rest, but I think God knows very well that in a world of injustice, rest would sometimes become a luxury afforded to only the fortunate.

Those of us with ADHD have an additional need for rest and ceasing from non-stop activity and even more importantly non-stop thinking. With attention deficit, it can be difficult to unwind our minds; we spend much energy hyper focusing, worrying, thinking, stressing, and daydreaming. No wonder some of us are more easily fatigued than the average person.

Relax

When we don’t take time to rest, our executive functioning becomes an even greater challenge than it already is. A lack of rest from work and other activities prevents us from being able to manage some of the following executive functions: keeping track of time and finishing our work on time; keeping track of more than one thing at a time; changing course in the midst of reading, writing, or speaking; censoring inappropriate thoughts or behaviours; remembering details.

In addition to resting, regular Sabbaths are an opportunity to spend quality and quantity time with God. This time of ceasing from the mundane gives us extra time to spend on spiritual matters. Having that extra time can be used for things like personal musical worship, extended study of the bible or devotionals, going for physically non-strenuous walks or bike rides, it might even mean sleeping in and lying in bed for a few extra hours.

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

Some people are quite rigid about how they define and live a Sabbath life, but I’m not here to tell you exactly how you are to honour this commandment. Jesus warned us about taking God’s commandments to ridiculous levels. Creating appropriate ways of experiencing holy rest is going to be different for everyone. I work shift work and there is no way that I would be able to dedicate every single Sunday as a Sabbath day. I also don’t use it as a day to unplug from technology because listening to sermons online and enjoying classical music via my laptop is very relaxing for me.

Prayerfully consider when and how you will engage in holy rest. Regardless of how you choose to develop this spiritual discipline, we do so remembering that this is a time to connect with God by giving our body and mind intentional rest. By connecting with God and our self, we are then better equipped to be in community with others in our personal life and our work life.

24-6 or 24-7 ?

Sabbath Considerations:

Is your spouse and/or children supportive and respectful of your Sabbath?

What will you be doing and not doing during this time of rest?

What does holy rest mean to you? What does it look like in your life?

How are you connecting with God during this time? How are you connecting to your self during this time?