My life can be nuts.  And that is no lie, folks.  Being a single mom to an extremely social and active twelve-year-old girl comes with a very full, multicolored, and often overlapping calendar of events.  Add to that I manage my family’s retail stores, called the Pecan Shed, and well you can see where the “nuts” reference fits.


My typical day starts around 5:30am and I usually don’t get to stop until well after 8 or 9pm.  My SUV is my office/breakroom/storage unit/dressing room/therapy couch.  Most days you can probably find enough crumbs and dropped fries under my car seats to make at least a Happy Meal.  This time of year, with Texas weather being more difficult to predict than the next lottery numbers, I have everything from parkas and gloves to sunscreen and flip flops and at least 5 folding/stadium chairs. 


I rarely have a free evening.  Usually the chaos really ramps up after 5pm when it’s time to rush from one practice, lesson, or game to the next.  

Throw in a service organization meeting or a volunteer opportunity here or there and perhaps a church event and that is my life. 


Are you as tired as I am?  Are you nodding your head as you read?  Well, sister, let me just say you are in good company.  Just about every mom (and a whole lot of dads) I know is doing all this and maybe more.  We are living in a world where the messages seem to be…


  • A full calendar means a productive life.

  • White space is for unmotivated people.

  • Busy kids are the best kids.

  • Your kid might miss out or be left behind if he/she doesn’t do it all.

  • And oh by the way, make sure you are eating well balanced meals, drinking all your water, and working out for at least 30 minutes a day. (Does that Happy Meal count as balanced?  It does come with either apple slices or a go-gurt!)


Then one day I heard the words Corona Virus and COVID-19.  To be honest, at first, I was too busy to even give it much thought.  I chuckled at a few memes on Facebook, made sure I had some basic essentials, but for the most part my life was not altered all that much.  Then, in the span of barely a week, life went from normal to me wondering if I was dreaming or in some kind of bad movie.


Schools were cancelled until further notice and I was informed I would be my daughter’s “home school teacher.”  All sporting events and gatherings of any kind were cancelled.  We were asked to practice “social distancing” and “voluntary self-quarantining” and then eventually we were told to “shelter in place.”  All phrases which were new to my vocabulary and way of living. 


My once full calendar was now black with marked out events.  My retail stores were like ghost towns.  My daughter was home.  We had no plans.  We had nowhere to go…no one to invite over…no alarms to set…no things to pack in the car…no uniforms to wash…no gifts to buy…no nothing (see that double negative…I do not make a good teacher!) 


All of a sudden I was at a loss as to what to do next.  My life used to be a blur of activities and now the days seemed to move at a snail’s pace.  I found myself antsy and looking for “projects” to fill my time.  I cleaned all my closets.  Then I painted rooms, doors, and accent walls, cleaned out my garage, weeded my flower beds, and by then it was only Thursday. 


I still had an entire weekend (and who knew how much longer) to fill. How was I going to occupy my days, my time, my child, my nerves, my fears, my worries?  And then my Bible app gave me the answer.


Then he said to them,

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for Sabbath.” 

Mark 2:27


God was showing me how these days could be used to practice something I hadn’t observed in years or maybe ever in my life…Sabbath.  Not only do I not observe Sabbath, but I rarely even think about it.  And God was reminding me He created Sabbath for me (and you too).  He knows I need to rest and spend time seeking a relationship with Him, so He set forth a special day to do so.  But somewhere along the way I stopped taking a day of rest…I stopped taking even an hour to rest…not even a cat nap.  I was far from practicing Sabbath.


COVID-19 forced me to Sabbath.  It forced me to rest…to slow down…to be quiet enough that I could hear that “still small voice” speak to me.  While the world was asking me to be 6 feet away from everyone else, God was asking me to cling to him.  I didn’t just “shelter in place”…I sheltered in God, His Word, and His wisdom. 


When the day comes, where the restrictions on us are lifted, I don’t know what life will be like.  I’m not sure what the new normal will be.  What I do hope is I continue to find ways to incorporate Sabbath in my life.  It might not be for an entire week, weekend, or even a full day, but hopefully I will be intentional in carving out time in my life to Sabbath on a regular basis.  After all, God made it just for me (and you too)! 

by Jill Montz

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