Item description for Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity by Keri Wyatt Kent...
Overview Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity explores what it means to live in ?Sabbath simplicity? by focusing on six aspects of Sabbath as spiritual practice: resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing, and praying. Readers learn to slow down and find joy and meaning in the midst of their hectic lives.
Publishers Description Keri Wyatt Kent invites readers to rediscover the ancient practice of Sabbath in this practical and accessible book. Kent's experiences as a retreat leader and a journalist collide as she offers true, interview-based stories along with scripturally based advice and guidance on how to live in a rhythm of work and rest she calls 'Sabbath simplicity.' Based on what Jesus taught about Sabbath and how he practiced it, Kent explores six aspects of Sabbath as Christian spiritual practice: resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing, and praying. These are the antidote to our restlessness, isolation, and our hurried lives, workaholism, and self-absorption. Living a nonlegalistic, sanely paced, God-focused life leads us to freedom and grace, joy and connection. A group study guide is included, making this book an excellent choice for small groups.
Citations And Professional Reviews Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity by Keri Wyatt Kent has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 01/15/2009 page 74
CBA Retailers - 01/01/2009 page 42
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.8" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.485 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2009
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310285976 ISBN13 9780310285977 UPC 025986285975
Availability 0 units.
More About Keri Wyatt Kent
Keri Wyatt Kent is the author of eight previous books and is a regular contributor to "Kyria, com" (formerly "Today's Christian Woman"), "Outreach" magazine, and "Momsense" magazine. Keri speaks at churches and retreats around the country and is a frequent guest on several shows on the Moody Broadcasting Network, including "Midday Connection." Keri lives with her husband and two children in suburban Chicago.
When Rest arrived in my mailbox, it was with some discipline that I refrained from delving into the pages, simply taking a peek to see the layout & chapter titles had to suffice. I completed reading the final pages of a book in one night & eagerly jumped into this book the next day. My eagerness in part was due to previous experiences with this author. Although, I have never met her outside of books & email, I have a sense of camaraderie. This is the 5th book that I have read that was written by Keri Wyatt Kent - I have recommended her writings extensively & lead small group studies using 3 of the books with a dear group of women. They have helped to shift my relationship with Jesus increasingly toward relationship & away from religion. While I have found her writing style easy to follow & "do-able" as a mom of young children, I have also found that it challenges me to grow & change, as a daughter of Christ, wife, mother & leader. So starting to read this new book was a bit like sitting down with an old friend that I haven't seen in a while & jumping into conversation where we left off a year ago when we were last together. In the book Keri invites us to place Sabbath practices into life, not just on one day set aside for Sabbath, but throughout each day. Upon recently re-entering the work force outside my home, I have found the suggestions helpful getting through my most intense days of work. I am eager to delve into this book with a small group of women. Keri Wyatt Kent's style is one that has been very readable even for moms who proclaim that they are "not a reader". What I found most striking about this book though is that it is written to a broader audience than primarily mothers in the earliest of this authors books that I have read. My husband has enjoyed portions of it & would no doubt benefit from reading it in it's entirety. I would recommend this book to all individuals interested in being challenged to consider & broaden their Sabbath practices - female or male, single or married - Enjoy this inviting conversation.
Finding Rest & Simplicity Aug 26, 2009
" . . . what if you took God up on His offer to enjoy a day with Him?"
Living in Sabbath Simplicity is the type of book you will want to read slowly, gleaning ideas and encouragement from - put away - and go back to later. First, I will state very strongly, this is NOT a legalistic book of does and don'ts. It's about REST and SIMPLICITY as we learn to honor God, with compassion - not a set of rules. It is not a book of step by step directions, that you have to follow to make the perfect Sabbath Day. The author, Keri Wyatt Kent, shares how the Sabbath means to stop, to focus on God, and celebrate and enjoy Him, and each of us will do it differently.For her, it means not writing or turning on the computer, but playing games with her children and weeding her garden. I laughed at this "weeding the garden" because for me, that IS work! But she enjoys it and finds it relaxing and time outdoors with God. I've appreciated the encouragement from this book to not look for rules in it, but setting it apart:
"Sabbath simplicity: a sanely paced, God focused life."
"Sabbath allows us to rest, to reconnect with our faith and each other, and to revise the very order of our lives. It invites us to pause, to play and to pray. "
Keri shares some on Jewish tradition, though not in great detail, yet showing how we are not under the law of the Jewish practices, the gift from God to stop, to celebrate and worship Him, and to enjoy the rest He has set aside for us. I love her quote from Mark Buchanan in the book:
"Sabbath is not the break we're allotted at the tail end of completing all our tasks and chores, the fulfillment of all our obligations. It's the rest we take smack-dab in the middle of them, without apology, without guilt, and for no better reason than that God told us we could."
In Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity she discusses the debate when the Sabbath should take place - when it should start - going by Jewish tradition and what Christians have done through the years. She does not give an answer but encourages her readers that if we are not practicing the Sabbath at all or don't stop to rest ever - it is more important to make that first step in stopping and resting rather than which is the proper day for Sabbath.
I enjoyed this book. It gave encouragement to look at our Sabbath day differently, and to set some more peaceful goals, including spending more uninterrupted time with my children, starting more traditions on Sunday/Sabbath, and making a peaceful, relaxing, restful home. She gives ideas such as lighting candles to set some traditions in setting the atmosphere. There were two little things that "bugged" me in this book. One, was she quoted Rob Bell a few times which made me want to quickly read past his ideas, as there is numerous things theologically I do not agree with him on. She also made a comment about finding it difficult to live in the way she wishes she could in loving God and others throughout the week. I know what she is saying as far as taking more time with God and my family, children, in a peaceful way, yet God does not tell us to love one another only on the Sabbath! These are minor, comparatively to the idea of the idea of REST and SIMPLICITY on the Sabbath.
Rest, Reconnect, and Revise Your Life Jul 8, 2009
The back cover asks the question, "Is it possible to learn how to rest so that we have the energy and focus to live a meaningful and joyful life?" I was hoping the book would provide an answer to the overwhelming nature my life has taken on recently. And it may have. It definitely gave me a lot of great ideas that I'm planning to try out.
The book goes through six different aspects of the practicing the Sabbath, each piece tied into the big picture of just stopping for a moment (or a day) to regain our strength and push through the next week. Each of the six aspects was covered in a chapter with a good explanation of the concept, examples of how other families made it work for them, and best of all, real life suggestions for making it work for you. Some people can't take an entire day off so she suggests just a couple of hours to start. A lot of great examples and suggestions made me feel as a reader that this was something I could do.
I'll admit, Sundays are the Sabbath for me right now but I could do a lot better with making it more of a defined rest day. I don't go shopping, run errands, or workout. Anything that would be forcing someone else to work, I don't do. But there is so much more I could do to make the day more restful and peaceful, a day to rejuvenate for the coming week. Maybe then I wouldn't feel so burnt out by the end of the week.
So overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love Kent's style of writing because not only did she provide facts (e.g., there is a pause between each of our breaths), she also provided every day examples of ways to incorporate these ideas into each of our lives. And even if you're not religious at all, I recommend this book to anyone because all of us can benefit from the reminder to just take a step back and take a break so that you can keep moving forward.
Creating an Oasis in a Crazy Week Jul 7, 2009
For years I've struggled to find a way to make Sunday special, but as a working mom with five children Sundays were always needed as a work day to help us maintain sanity. We cut grass, shopped, and tried to pull the house back together as we prepared for yet another crazy week. I often left on Sunday afternoon for a week of business travel. I've longed for a book like this to help me refocus Sunday craziness.
Keri Wyatt Kent doesn't try to tell us what we should do on Sunday. Instead, she shares her journey toward peace and simplicity. Each Sunday may look slightly different depending on the season of the year, but the overall goal is to remember the purpose of the day. God created a day for rest and remembrance, worship and relationship-building. She uses Bible verses and historical references to help demonstrate the ways our forefathers legalized or ignored the value of a day of rest.
This book is a good way to evaluate your current Sunday traditions and decide if there are some practical ways you can make it more restful. The purpose of Sabbath is to focus on God and create the peace only He can give -- an oasis of rest to prepare you for the upcoming week.
Meaningful Sabbath in the Modern World Jul 3, 2009
I was so excited when the opportunity arose to review Keri Wyatt Kent's new book, Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity. First, free books are always a wonderful thing. :) And second, but more important, the issue of honoring the Sabbath is one with which I've struggled for a long time, and one which has been increasingly on my mind in in my heart in the past few months. For our family, Sabbath-keeping involves goals such as these:
Corporate worship with our church family is priority.
We don't take on outside commitments (other than church) that require regular Sunday participation.
We keep Sunday shopping to a minimum.
Our Sundays are often far from restful, however...and at times even when they are restful and relaxing, I wonder if they truly qualify as "honoring the Sabbath":
There are times (such as the last couple of months, when we have been preparing for Family Camp and VBS :)) when church activities seem to run us ragged, even on Sundays.
While I rarely shop on Sunday, stopping by the grocery store on the way home from church ends up being a necessity some weeks. I steer clear of the mall and other retail spots...most of the time. But one of the most restful, refreshing Sundays I've had in a long time involved a fun afternoon trip with a friend to a craft store...I came home energized, motivated, and feeling creative inspiration I hadn't felt in a long time.
Our "no outside commitments other than church" policy for Sundays is definitely a good thing for our family...but lately I've wondered if our *quiet* Sunday afternoons with everyone following their own pursuits leave something to be desired.
I have to admit that after my initial excitement about reading Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity, within the first few pages, I was a tiny bit put off. Kent mentions early on that her daughter's soccer team periodically plays on Sunday. I shoved down the little Pharisaical voice inside saying, "What on earth is someone whose child plays soccer on Sunday doing writing a book about Sabbath rest??" and continued reading. I'm glad I did.
Kent doesn't offer pat answers or a list of "dos and don'ts". Instead, as she shares honestly her journey toward a life of Sabbath Simplicity, she encourages us to take heed of the Biblical mandate to set aside a Day of Rest, and to explore how God would have us and our families live that out.
Rather than getting hung up on "Which day should one observe, Saturday or Sunday?" (although she does give a brief Biblical and historical argument for the Lord's Day observance on Sunday), Kent lays out a basis for a day set apart from the normal routine and ideas for making it meaningful and workable in our fast-paced modern world.
I could well relate to her introduction to the second chapter, where she describes herself as "a bit of a restless soul". "The illusion I labor under is that when things really get going or finally settle down, I'll be able to focus on what matters. I'll be content. I'll live a simple and serene life." She then describes the trap I think many of us fall into..."running like crazy but getting just about nowhere" in the pursuit of contentment and serenity...making more lists, doing more tasks, working more hours, when what we really need to do is STOP.
She offers that as the only "rule" for Sabbath rest..."just stop". Further than that, she offers not rules, but "guidelines for stopping" as she invites us to "consider receiving the gift of God's rest." I especially appreciated her discussion of the body's need to alternate periods of being "fully engaged" with periods of being "fully at rest". It provided food for thought on the issue of God's promise of "rest" and a "light yoke" and "easy burden", versus the physical, mental, and emotional sacrifices we often seem called to in following Him. Is part of the burn-out so many of us experience directly related to the lack of true Sabbath rest in our lives? Is there a way to reconcile that in the modern world? Kent says that there is.
I was a little concerned that a book on "keeping the Sabbath" might lead to feeling a bit overwhelmed or guilty at what I "should" be doing. Instead, I was inspired and motivated with changes I can make...some immediate and some more gradual...to make our Sundays more restful and more God-honoring, without being legalistic or just plain lazy. I also became aware...again...that celebrating and honoring the Sabbath doesn't just involve a single day in the week. It involves a change in our hearts and attitudes to give Him *all* of our time in order that we can accept the gift of rest He offers.
Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity, by Keri Wyatt Kent, is publised by Zondervan and available at this site. For links to others on this week's blog tour, visit The Blog Tour Spot.