Read Proverbs 31:10-31.

This is an ode of praise for an idyllic, imaginary woman who sets a very high bar. She is trustworthy, hard-working, capably attends to tasks at home, and is a successful businesswoman. Her ability to be driven, yet compassionate is admirable. Looking at it from a 21st-century perspective, we cannot imagine keeping up with everything her life would have demanded.

To us, it seems like an impossible standard. Because we imagine this ideal woman would also be a devout Jew, we can assume she practices sabbath. Maybe that’s her unspoken, unacknowledged secret. Maybe it is because this woman takes time to rest in God and to recharge her spirit that she accomplishes so much. I think often in our striving to live up to seemingly impossible standards, we forget the importance of self-care and rest. In our hurry and overcommitment of time, we forego activities and practices that are restorative.

What activities help you to recharge when you feel your energy flagging? How intentional are you at building time into your routine for these restorative practices? To what degree do you believe that rest is important in being able to accomplish everything you set out to do and to doing those things well? Does your practice reflect that belief?

At least once this week, set aside an hour (bonus points for a full day!) to dig into a sabbath practice – whether it be a nap, reading a good book, a shared meal, or a leisurely walk – whatever restores your soul.


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