I appreciate that she doesn't give a long list of "must-do's" and "must-not-do's". "Rest" was gracious in tone, thought-provoking, and in many ways helpful. Yet it should have been half as long. It was very repetitive and the chapters didn't always stay on course. A frustrating read at times. But worth reading? Yes.
When offered a chance to review this book, I jumped, because the title caught my eye, Rest Living in Sabbath Simplicity. I have for years believed certain things about the Sabbath and was very interested in reading this book. I am going to say up front, this book was not what I expected. Having studied, for several years about Jewish customs, holidays and feasts, I had an expectancy for this book, that was not met. That does not mean this book is a bad book, by all means it is not a bad book, it just was not what I was expecting to read. Keri, expresses her views and ideas of Sabbath rest very wonderfully, and leans hard toward the side of resting. This is a book about resting, taking a break from your busy lives and finding a place and a time to rest and rejuvenate. I did not really find any great truths about the Sabbath, in this book. There were some things that puzzled me, in the chapter about reconnecting, she speaks of Jesus giving the two most important commandments, she discusses how difficult it is to love all people all the time, and then I was left with the impression that she felt it was alright to observe these two commandments only on the Sabbath. I am sure that was not her intention, but it was the impression I walked away from that chapter with. All that said, I am glad for a chance to read the book, there were some great points in the book. At the end of the book each chapter has discussion questions for a book study group, which is very helpful.
I became acquainted with Keri Wyatt Kent's writing by reading her book, Breathe. As I explored the concept of Sabbath the more I wanted to learn about how to incorporate Sabbath in my everyday life. Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity gives real-life examples of how to bring rest into our lives. I know that in my life I am constantly wrestling with how to cultivate contentment in my life and in the lives of those around me. I believe that rest is the foundation for our contentment. If we never take time to rest in God, we will never have the opportunity to rest at all. This book is a great read for how to incorporate a Godly Rest into your life. I can't wait for Keri's next book...each of her books has hit home with me!
It seems like most of my life has been lived in a rush, but it wasn't always that way. I grew up in a Christian home where my parents rested (read: took a nap) on Sundays and all Sabbath really meant to me back then was that I had to be extra careful not to slam doors on Sunday afternoons or my dad would wake up cranky and yell. Now that I'm the same age he was, I'm beginning to understand the value of a Sunday afternoon nap, and the value of deliberately taking a Sabbath.In Rest, Keri Wyatt's winsome book on the value of living in Sabbath simplicity, she quotes Kent Kingston, who grew up in a Sabbath-keeping family: "When you've been keeping Sabbath since childhood, something happens in your brain at sunset on Friday when you realize the busyness of the week is over...a sense of calm settles on your mind and the muscle knots begin to unwind. The problems of the everyday are put on hold--bills, school assignments, work deadlines, renovation projects. And because you know you won't be dealing with any of these things for the next 24 hours, you just forget about them. It's the greatest feeling."I've been choosing to keep a Sabbath for a couple of years now, and Kingston is right. I look forward to it all week. When it arrives, it's like time slows down and my sense of urgency and rushing goes on pause. Everything tastes better, smells better, and I live in the moment, savoring friends, family, my home, my yard, my book. It's a guilt-free day (and who doesn't need more of those? Especially moms?) And I wouldn't trade it for the world.Our God is a Creator-God, a great Intellect, a Founder and Sustainer and Savior...and yet He's personal. He's practical. And He cares about the small things. Like naps.Thanks, Keri, for a book that reminds us of how good our God is and how the times and seasons He's put in place are for our pleasure and care. Read REST, and create that sacred space in your week.
"You do not have to be an Olympic-level Sabbath keeper. The Sabbath was made for people, Jesus said. It's a tool you can use to become healthier spiritually - more connected with the God who loves you, more peaceful, more joyful. Not perfectly any of those things. Just healthier." This is what I loved most about Keri Wyatt Kent's book "Rest"... It allows you to explore the gift of Sabbath rest without making you feel guilty because you can't do it perfectly. Keri gives practical examples of ways you could keep the Sabbath at various seasons in your life, even if it starts with just choosing to serve leftovers that day instead of cooking a full meal. Sabbath-keeping can be a journey that begins with a few small steps. It seems like a lot of thought went into this book: it is as if Keri read most of the classic literature on Sabbath-keeping, then made those ideas accessible to the modern soccer mom. The book also highlights a study on how top athletic performers gain their strength from the routines of rest they incorporate into their game. It is a book written for people who are, as Keri says, "afraid of taking a break, perhaps because we are afraid the world might stop spinning if we get off the treadmill." In other words, it is a book written for most of us.