#Sucking at Sabbath (Press Pause #3)

Feb 01st 2017

At Calvary, we are in the midst of a teaching series on Sabbath. So I’m aiming for 4-6 posts each week to keep the conversation going. Many of them will be written by guest bloggers. This one comes from Shelby Caraway.


I grew up in the church and on the mission field and I know all the right things to say and do and I really truly love and want to obey God. BUT…I’m also an achiever. Have you ever done the Strengths Finder test where you find out what natural abilities and strengths God has given you? Mine are a mix of people-focused ones like, ‘includer’, ‘relator’, and ‘developer’ and get stuff-done-focused ones like ‘arranger’, ‘strategic’, and ‘achiever’.  That being said, spending time alone with God doesn’t always feel like what He’s created me to do. On most of my Sabbaths, I have to stop at some point in the day and remind myself not to sabotage my own Sabbath.

I work for Calvary doing Community Outreach which really means a little bit of everything but mostly making sure people are connected and know they are loved by God and people. It’s a busy job. It’s one that’s hard to know where ‘work’ ends and ‘life’ begins because there’s so much to do, and loving people is so much more than just something to do at work. So sometimes I overwork. Then, because I like achieving and doing, I have to have a side job, so I am the house manager for a 20 person home downtown. All of these things are good. But if I’m not careful to notice and protect a Sabbath it will quickly be the first thing I stop making time for.

I want to rest with God. But I am anti-boring. I want to dwell with Jesus. Not sleep. Not just have a day off. When I started being intentional about taking a Sabbath it was a slow transition. It switched from bringing work home with me to doing work at home so I wouldn’t check email…dishes, laundry, cleaning the house…with 19 roommates it’s easy to fill an entire day off with work. But God graciously told me, “Shelby, that is not rest, that is not Me.” I started hiking, reading, having intentional conversations, choosing the music I was listening to on purpose, and asking for accountability with my Sabbath and it has become something I look forward to now. A day of rest isn’t boring. A day with Jesus isn’t lazy. It doesn’t have to be completely introvert time. Instead, these are the moments I’m reminded that He is the One who is sustaining me each and every day… “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:8.