March 20, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God. Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the Lord.


Isaiah 58:13-14


When I was a little girl, my grandfather used to say that I walked with a purpose. From that point forward, my life has confirmed his thoughts, as my natural tendency is to be a productive-achiever-never-slow-down type. I never get to the end of my list. I often see my worth in what I accomplish. Anybody with me?


About 17 years ago, I was at a women’s retreat, and I heard someone talk about spiritual practices. I had been a Christian for over 30 years, and I had never heard that subject being taught. It was eye opening and heart opening for me. I began to pursue spiritual practices much like we are doing in Overflow—a “taste and see” of the spiritual disciplines.


It’s impossible to practice them all. For this current season, I am practicing the gift of Sabbath. I make the choice to turn off my productivity switch. That is not easy for me to do. I avoid pursuing my own affairs—laundry, groceries, work, and emails. I take slow walks in His creation, read a book for fun, journal about my life, watch a movie, and take a nap. I hold back from shopping—even on Amazon.


Do I do this practice perfectly? No. Do I grab my phone when I intend not to? Yes. But at the end of the Sabbath day, I realize life is not about me and my to-do list. I remember that I am a human being, not a human doing. I remember that God has control over my life. I take delight in my relationship with him and my family, and savor this gift called life. It allows me to offer a better—less frantic, more rested—me to the world the next week.


Are you in need of resetting? Becoming a better you? How can you take a step towards the practice of Sabbath? Be intentional. Carve out a day and time to practice—if even for a few hours. A few days before your calendared Sabbath, prepare to accomplish all the necessary things. And then enjoy your time of rest.

For Reflection

What day and time will you practice Sabbath this month?


What things need to be complete in order to give yourself a day of rest?


Dear Heavenly Father, help me to remember this week that Sabbath is a gift. Help me not to trample on it by pursuing my own affairs. Give me courage to set aside a block of time to delight in you and your creation, reflect on the grace and gifts in my life, and give me wisdom for the week to come. AMEN.

Rebecca Madden
Women's Ministry and Connections Director