Sabbath Time

Sabbath Time

When I was younger, I didn’t understand Sabbath time like I do now. My family didn’t practice it and it’s not something we talked about. As I got older, I thought that Sabbath was about “not doing work” which I found very difficult, because I’m someone that likes to keep doing something. I can’t just sit.

I was also looking for validation in work. I gravitated toward jobs that paid me less than the people I worked right next to, to bosses that treated me poorly, and to coworkers who were more like frenemies than anything else. I had a lot to learn about boundaries and love. I looked for acceptance from people and companies that would never accept me, and the more they treated me poorly the harder I tried.

Come Sunday, I’d be exhausted, but I’d rarely rest. I’d go to church, but even then, my mind was filled with work and what I could do to show my employers that I was worthy. And then the self-sabotage would happen, the negative thoughts I’d place on myself. I thought maybe, like so many other things in life, that I was just “bad” at Sabbath time.  I knew it was about “keeping it holy” as the commandment says, but what exactly did that mean? Going to church? Praying a lot that day?


As I got older, I developed a greater understanding for what Sabbath time really meant. God worked on me, so patiently, and has continued to show me the love that I couldn’t quite accept before. I like that my relationship with Him becomes better and then, so do my relationships with everyone else. I like that as I learn to accept what His love really means, I can also learn to stop beating myself up, stop looking for acceptance in the wrong places, and stop doing the things that don’t fill my soul. I can also finally learn to accept the way God made me.

I can also finally learn to accept God (1)

I didn’t always do this. I tried so hard to be what my corporate employers wanted, like an extrovert. That seemed so important to them. To make it worse, I worked with introverts who would look down on me, so I certainly didn’t want to be like them. So even as I tried to get their approval, there was something inside of me, the pull of my soul, that just desired acceptance for the person I really was.

One of the things I hid about myself was just how sensitive I was (and am) to noise and too much talking. I need my quiet time, and I used to hide that fact at work or in social situations because people made fun of me over it. I grew up thinking I was weird because of it, so I used to pretend to be extroverted once I got into the working world, leaving my desk and telling people I was going to take a “people break” in another department (where I knew other people) but really hiding in the bathroom throughout the day so I wouldn’t have to listen to anymore chatter.

Now I see that this need for a slower pace, for a quieter environment, was my soul’s way of telling me that I needed to connect with God, and I couldn’t do it with a bunch of people trying to talk louder in my ear than God’s voice ever could.

Sabbath has become a way to center myself, to connect with Him so that I can recognize His voice. It’s about going to church, sure… and learning about his word… but it’s more than that. It’s more than just “not working.” It’s a different kind of work. When I’m writing poetry or painting I’m connecting with Him on a completely different level. That type of “work” helps me reach out to Him even more.

On Sundays, you’ll find me enjoying things at a different pace. And I enjoy creativity every day, but especially on a Sabbath day. I like doing things like my garden sculptures, gluing glass bottles and vases together. This actually brings me closer to God!


As I stand there in my garage arranging dishes and bottles this way and that, I appreciate the colors, listen to the birds in the nearby tree chirp… I marvel at the sunlight that takes an ordinary piece of glass and makes it so beautiful, and I appreciate all that God gives me. I talk with Him, listen to Him…


I also spend time in my studio painting. I need this so much. It helps me reach out to Him, meditate on His words in a completely different way, and appreciate the gifts He has given me. It reminds me of all the blessings I take for granted too often.


I’m so much more centered when I’m able to create, quietly reflect, meditate on his word, listen to the birds sing or the way sunlight hits the earth… I look at the world and myself differently when I do it. I’ve learned that the Sabbath isn’t about sitting around doing nothing, but connecting with God. Spending time with Him.


“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”

Exodus 20:8






Cherie Burbach About Cherie Burbach

Cherie Burbach is the founder of Putting on the New. She is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer. She's written for, NBC/Universal,, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: Art and Faith: Mixed Media Art With a Faith-Filled Message. For more, check out her website.


  1. Beautiful thoughts, Cherie. Thank you. We all have our insecurities. I need my quiet time with the Lord, like I need water & food. I didn’t know you were so creative in other ways. Writing is all I can do.

  2. Thanks, Janet. I think we writers value quiet time. Being creative in a bunch of different ways makes me feel more connected to God. So glad for that.

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