Sunday, February 26, 2012


(Below are parts of the definitions as given on


     7. Any place of refuge; asylum.


     1. Shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.: to take refuge from a storm.
     2. A place of shelter, protection, or safety.
     3. Anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape.

For a long time, my best friend Jenny and I have used the word "sanctuary" as a reminder for one another. It is such a strong, foundational part of our friendship that when Veronica was born, Jenny had this sign made for me as a gift.

This sign hangs on my kitchen wall, where I can see it everyday.
We need sanctuary whenever our lives are overwhelming, when we are stressed, when we are bone tired, when our children are driving us crazy, when there is change and thus chaos in our lives, when we are hormonal, when we feel down or depressed, when someone has hurt our feelings or made us angry or when we are trying to make a difficult decision. So, basically this means that we need sanctuary all the time. It has to be a regular part of our lives.

So, what is sanctuary? Sanctuary can mean many different things. Most often for Jenny and I, a really long chat on the phone with one another is our form of refuge. If we are experiencing a particularly challenging day, we may both savor a glass of wine during that conversation. Even better is a day spent together while our children play and we can talk for hours on end in one of our homes. Lunch often includes a glass (or two) of wine on these days as well. In the summer time, we try to schedule these days weekly and if the weather cooperates, they often take place at a beach on Lake Washington with a picnic lunch.

The Biblical word for this is "Sabbath."
Thus says the Lord: Take care for the sake of your lives, and do not bear a burden on the Sabbath day or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. Jeremiah 17: 21-22
Our American culture is terrible at this. Our society says that our value is found in how much work we get done and how much money we make. Who cares how well you know how to rest?

But God knows otherwise - even He took the seventh day to rest! Think about that. God didn't need to rest; He is all powerful. But rest is so worthwhile and so important that even God made time for it.

So should you!

I realize I'm stating the obvious, but we are not God. We actually do need rest. Furthermore, our efforts in our work will be much more productive if we take the time to rest.

But even as I write this, that idea bothers me. We shouldn't seek out time for rest simply so we can be better workers. I can just see that--Hurry up and rest so you can get back to work! Ha! That's completely missing the point. Rather, we should seek out rest simply for the sake of resting.

This resting, or sanctuary as Jenny and I call it, is an imperative part of a fulfilling, purposeful, daily life.

How can you create more sanctuary in your life? Do you know someone who is overwhelmed right now? What could you do to help them create some sanctuary?
Jenny and I having some "Sanctuary" last summer with our babes in tow.

1 comment:

  1. Best post ever!! :) Then again, I am, perhaps, a bit biased.


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