Are you finding that sometimes Shabbat doesn’t really feel like the gift that it is supposed to be? A lack of peace may be your problem. Take a look at these 5 ideas for having a more peaceful Shabbat, and see if they help you to embrace the weekly gift of Shabbat.
Take Prep Day seriously
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of YHVH thy Elohim: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days YHVH made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore YHVH blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
We are commanded, not only to rest on Shabbat, but to work for six days. In order to have more peace on Shabbat, be sure to take care of as much as possible on Prep day. Make sure your bills are paid. Make sure you returned any phone calls or emails. Try to tie up those loose ends, so they aren’t giving you mental clutter on Shabbat. For a prep day checklist, be sure to read this post.
Make sure you have prepared enough food for Shabbat. People that are hungry are usually cranky, and therefore the opposite of peaceful. Even if you don’t use a menu plan on the other days of the week, I would recommend you use one for Shabbat. Write down what you plan to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and fix it on Prep day. I highly recommend using finger foods, fruit, sandwiches, etc. that don’t really require preparation. Don’t forget snacks! Get a whole list of ideas here.
Plan the day
For me, lack of a plan equals stress. Life doesn’t always go as planned, but knowing that I at least have a plan helps me feel much more grounded. Boredom can also contribute to a less than peaceful atmosphere. You don’t need to plan every minute of the day, after all, it’s supposed to be a day of rest. But, it would be prudent to have a rough plan that might include meeting with a local group of believers, doing a craft connected to the Torah portion, watching a teaching online, etc. If you have some ideas of what to do during the day, if your children come to you bored, you can always offer them a coloring page, or sit down and read the Torah portion together, or even have a list of youtube videos appropriate for Shabbat. (Torah puppets is highly recommended.)
Looking for a way to do all of your planning in one place? Yep, I was, too. That’s why I designed the Torah Family Living planner. Be sure to sign up for the free time management course at the bottom of that link. 🙂
Create a mood
We want to have a peaceful home, particularly on Shabbat. Sometimes, we need to help that mood along. A few ideas come to mind. One, what does your visual surrounding look like? Yep, you got it! Clutter is not peaceful. Believe me, I know. Do your very best to remove the visual clutter in your home, whether it be baskets of laundry, or papers stacked on every surface. Start by just tucking things out of sight on Friday. Then, you might just find that the house is more peaceful every day of the week with the clutter gone! Two, what is your nose picking up? Obviously, I want to make sure the diapers are washed on Friday lol. Beyond that, consider diffusing some essential oils on Shabbat. The other big way to create a peaceful mood is playing carefully chosen music in the background. You may enjoy some soft classical music, or perhaps some Messianic music. I particularly enjoy Joshua Aaron, and my friend Lusi’s music.
We are very careful to not work by starting a fire on Shabbat, but have you ever considered that your words could kindle fires, too? If your home is filled with complaining, bickering, hot topics, and bitterness, no peace will be found. Make it a practice in your family to set aside the negativity for just one day a week. Don’t allow complaining from you or your children. Shabbat is a day set aside for us to focus on YHVH, and our negative words and heart attitudes have no place. This will take lots of practice, and I’m still working on it. But just being mindful of our words and attitudes on Shabbat will help immensely in our pursuit of peace.
Pray for peace
We can make all the efforts in the world, but the one with the biggest impact is prayer. We need to welcome YHVH into our home and ask Him to bless our home with peace. This can be done on Friday night as you say blessings together. Perhaps you would like to recite the Shema together Shabbat morning. Whenever and however you choose, be sure to pray for peace, peace in your hearts and in your home.
Want to learn more about Shabbat? Sign up for my free email course, including printables to help you plan for a great Shabbat each week.