Stumble Forward Into Sabbath | Sabbath Series Part 4

July 9, 2021

Don’t let perfectionism or the fear of failure keep you from the joys of learning to Sabbath as a family. Don’t delay one more minute from trying the practice of Sabbath because it will truly change your life.

Hi, I’m Drew, and I am a recovering perfectionist.

(Hiiiii Drew…)

My motto with many things has been, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” And there is truth in that, but it can also keep you back from experiencing some truly beautiful things in life because of the fear of not getting it perfect or messing up somehow.

Today, I’m going to tell you why you need to start practicing Sabbath as a family RIGHT NOW, even if you don’t know what you’re doing.

In my first post in this series, I told you a little bit about my story, and how I spent a lot of time learning ABOUT Sabbath, but never really trying to DO it. (click here if you missed that one)

There’s quote that’s attributed to St. Augustine that says, “A picture of food doesn’t nourish. Only eating food nourishes.”

“A picture of food doesn’t nourish. Only eating food nourishes.”

St. Augustine

Learning ABOUT something does NOT help you enjoy the benefits of that thing. That’s why the best advice I got for Sabbath was from an author and theologian, AJ Swoboda, who said, “We DO Sabbath before we understand it.” It’s better to just start, and figure it out as you go.

That’s why I want you to commit to “stumble forward” into practicing Sabbath. It might be jerky at first, but it’s worth doing. And I’m intentional with talking about it as a “practice.” We practice Sabbath, we don’t perform it perfectly.

“We DO Sabbath before we understand it.”

AJ Swoboda

Practicing Sabbath instead of performing it

Practicing Sabbath helps us learn how to trust God with our time the rest of the week. Practicing Sabbath helps us learn how to rely on God’s providence in all areas of life. When we take a day to not strive and earn, we get to slowly learn how God cares for us. And practicing Sabbath helps us learn how to enjoy the gifts God has already given us, instead of always seeking out more and more to feel filled up.

There are so many benefits to having a Sabbath practice as a family, so I really want to encourage to start now. Stumble forward into this life-giving practice. Start small, and see how it grows from there.

Maybe you can start with a family dinner with no TV or phones. Instead each member of the family takes turns sharing about some way that God provided for them that week. If this isn’t something your family has done much before (besides Thanksgiving dinner, maybe) then I guarantee that it might feel awkward at first. But give yourselves grace and stumble into it together.

Or maybe you can start by establishing a family walk on Saturdays. Together, outside, no phones. It might take a while, but that might become a little moment of Sabbath rest in the midst of an otherwise go-go-go life.

Or maybe you can have each member of your family take turns picking what meal you have together on a Sunday evening. And then, extend the experience by cooking it together! And the next week, have someone else pick the meal and cook THAT one together!

We GET to practice Sabbath because God our Father has created it for us. But practice it as an art-form, not another rule to keep. It’s life-giving, not a “have to.”

So, as we end our series, I want to hear from you: What’s one thing that you have tried or are planning on trying as a family? Comment below, because I’d love to know!


AJ Swoboda’s book, Subversive Sabbath, has a TON of great practical tips for practicing Sabbath, as well as an in-depth theological discussion on the implications of a Sabbath that extends to all of creation.

This is part 4 of a series. Follow the links below for the other parts:

  1. What is Sabbath and Why Should Everyone Do It?
  2. What NOT to Do for Sabbath
  3. What to INCLUDE for True Sabbath
  4. Stumble Forward Into Sabbath

Drew S Williams

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  1. Rolande Bockrath

    Good info. Lucky me I came across your website by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve saved as a favorite for later!


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