I find myself talking about prep day alot lately. Many of you are new to this whole idea of keeping Torah. I’m so proud of you for leaving what you knew and embarking on this journey, not always knowing what will lie ahead. I hope I can be a bit of encouragement to you today.
So it’s Thursday night once again. Where did the week go? I have once again begun my preparations to head into the Sabbath. I’d like to share a few things I have learned that might help you have a productive day and delightful Shabbat.
Remember what you are prepping for
It’s easy to get all caught up in prep day and forget that we are preparing for Shabbat. Preparation Day is simply a means to an end. It needs to be used wisely so that we arrive at the goal. If you spend a crazy day preparing and crash on Friday night, you may not be fully entering into the rest and peace of Shabbat. The Bible teaches us to work for six days and rest on the seventh, not go about our business for five days and work like crazy on the sixth to collapse on the seventh. See the difference? It’s all about keeping things maintained during the week so you don’t have to do a ton of housekeeping, laundry, and baking just to get through Shabbat.
This is a lesson I am in the middle of learning. I am not very good at keeping things maintained. I tend to sprint rather than endurance run when it comes to my household tasks. I am learning that this is not the best way. It stresses me and stresses my family and makes the weekend much harder than it should be. If you are struggling in this same area, I would highly recommend a book that I am working through right now. It is worth every penny and helps you think differently about your home and the necessary jobs.
Keep it simple
Carmen from Pebble Crossing said to me recently that sometimes you get done what you get done on Friday and just let the rest go. This is so true. Sometimes we do expect too much from ourselves. Perhaps it is better to stock the fridge with fresh fruit than expect ourselves to produce a bunch of baked goods.
This week, for example, Doug offered to make chili cheese fries for Friday night dinner, and I plan to skip the challah bread this week. That takes my baking down to maybe some muffins, which will be so much easier for me to manage. Again, we want to focus on what we need for Shabbat. That is where our heart and mind need to be. If certain preparations are causing me stress rather than preparing me for Shabbat, perhaps I need to find a way to simplify.
Include your children
It’s never too early to begin teaching Torah to your children. Have them help pick out the menu, tidy the house, set the table pretty for dinner. A wonderful short teaching for your children on preparing for Shabbat is available here. I also have a printable book titled It’s Preparation Day, which is perfect for the little ones.
From our family to yours, Have a wonderful prep day and Shabbat!