Posted in bible reading, change, family, food, hospitality

sabbath week

The fridge at the start of Sabbath week. Not overflowing, but considering it's usually at this stage that I do our weekly shop, our over-consumption is pretty horrendous.
The fridge at the start of Sabbath week. Not overflowing, but considering it’s usually at this stage that I do our weekly shop, our over-consumption is pretty horrendous. There’s plenty in there which will feed us.

Very soon I will stop talking about Jen Hatmaker’s Seven. I will – I promise.

But indulge me a couple more posts – after all, it’s not every day I read a book which changes my life. In fact, it’s not every day I read a book.

After reading about Sabbath rest in the final chapter of Seven, I read Leviticus and was reminded of the ‘Sabbath year‘. The Israelites were to work the fields for six years, then during the seventh year they were to kick back and live off what God had given them, through their hard work for the previous six years. It was an exercise in trust, mainly – could they rely upon Jehovah Jireh (the God who provides) to fulfil their needs? But it also gave them a break, which God knew was important for them – after all, He’s made human beings and knows how we best function. The one-in-seven rule seems to work: it keeps us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy.

Our savoury cupboard - tins galore. Enough to make a starving family weep.
Our savoury cupboard – tins galore. Enough to make a starving family weep.

I wondered if our family could adopt – or at least experiment with – a Sabbath week. For six weeks we shop for food as normal, but in the seventh week we buy no food at all. We live on what we already have. We find inventive ways of using leftover food – or eat plain rice and remember those who get no variety in their diet. We save the ‘best’ meals for when friends come round. We prioritise the kids, even if it means that Al and I have to go without – and, as we fast, we pray for those who regularly sacrifice food so that their kids can eat.

Baking cupboard. I have a feeling we'll be getting a little creative this week.
Baking cupboard. I have a feeling we’ll be getting a little creative this week.

This idea was born during the week commencing March 18th, so that means we’ve had six weeks of normal food shopping, and our very first Sabbath week begins tomorrow, April 29th. It will be an exercise in trust, and will give us a rest from the (often time-consuming) jobs of planning meals, writing lists and buying food. It will also give our bank balance a rest – an important chance for our finances to ‘breathe’ and perhaps be released for other uses. It will reduce unnecessary food waste in our household.

Not gonna miss out on carbs during Sabbath week, methinks.
Not gonna miss out on carbs during Sabbath week, methinks.

Here are a few guidelines. They’re not ‘rules’ as such but bear in mind I’m Queen of the Get-Out Clause. If we had no boundaries, within a day I’d be buying Double Deckers by the multipack, and claiming they didn’t count as ‘food’. I’m also an avid list-maker, so bullet points kind of make my day.

* apart from milk and a joint for Sunday, both of which we bought last week and froze, we haven’t deliberately stocked up on food, either by buying more or batch-cooking (the joint might seem a little extravagant…but in my year of celebration, Sunday roasts are becoming very important – look out for a future blog post on them!)

* if there’s not enough for us all, Al and I will go without – but we’ll never let our kids go hungry. If we actually have no food for them, we’ll buy some.

* Al’s job includes lots of coffee drinking with students. We’ve agreed he can still buy drinks if for work purposes, but no food.

* we can eat food bought for us (and will try our hardest not to go round begging at our friends’ doors like paupers)

I spy some marshmallows and popcorn! Hoorah!
I spy some marshmallows and popcorn! Hurrah!

I’ll be blogging our experiences!

* Are your kitchen cupboards groaning like ours are?!

* What are your views on over-consumption? Is it a problem, or should we just relax and enjoy ourselves?

And if it all goes horribly wrong, at least we have a good supply of booze. Liquid week, anyone?
If it all goes horribly wrong, at least we have a good supply of booze. Sabbath week = liquid week.
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Author:

I'm a stay-at-home mum to four kids between 1 and 6, and was formerly a teacher. I blog about living life as a disciple of Christ whilst coping with the demands and excitements of having small children. I've been battling an addiction with chocolate for many years. I'm generally winning, but my teeth are not.

18 thoughts on “sabbath week

  1. I like the idea Lucy, and although at times I’ve had to do something not too dissimilar it’s never been a voluntary decision -which makes it very different. I’ve been challenged into thinking more about Sabbath things this week too.

    1. Ah yes, looking forward to chatting to you about your thoughts on Seven! I hope that by making a voluntary decision I can empathise better with those who have to go without food through no decision of their own.

  2. I buy loads of food and just never actually eat it, my cupboard is so full that it has overflown into the spare bedroom! I buy food and then don’t fancy what I have in so just nip to sainsburys or asda to get something I fancy. Before reading your blog I decided (whilst hobbling back from uni this evening) that I’m not going to buy more food until I eat what I have in my cupboards. This is for 3 reasons, 1. I can’t walk to the shops at the moment so I should eat what I have in my cupboards. 2. I’m a student who leaves York in a few weeks for summer and I don’t really need to be taking home a cupboard of food. 3. How much money am I wasting when realistically I’ve not got enough money to flash out on takeaway and late night trips to sainsburys!

    Good luck in your Sabbath week. Hope it goes well

    🙂

    1. Good work Kerry! We’ll compare experiences. If you end up with random bits and bobs then websites like bbcgoodfood.com are great for leftover ideas, just type in what you have left and they’ll come up with recipes.

  3. I like this idea a lot Lucy! Having looked in our cupboardsto pack for our holidays I was actually surprised to see what we had in there, and what had been loitering in there for a while, all the while me still buying the same things as I thought we had run out! I am going to take up the Sabbath week when we get back …..

  4. I’ve decided to join you too for a Sabbath ‘week’ for the 10 days before we go away. I thought I would allow myself to buy milk, as we have child and he needs to have it, only to be given 4 pints at work today. God does provide 🙂

  5. How did I not notice this blog earlier?! I’m mildly obsessed by Jen H myself and was moved by each chapter of 7. I think this is such a fantastic idea and I’m looking forward to catching up and seeing how it went!

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