Tuesday, June 30, 2009


REST -- Living in Sabbath Simplicity
Keri Wyatt Kent

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 She uses Bible verses and historical references to help demonstrate the ways our forefathers legalized or ignored the value of a day of rest.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.


Is it possible to learn how to rest so that we have the energy and focus needed to live a meaningful and joyful life? Keri Wyatt Kent invites us to rediscover the ancient practice of Sabbath, whose rhythms of work and rest renew our energy, boost our joy, and heighten our impact on the people around us. Living a sanely paced, God-focused life -- a life of Sabbath Simplicity -- is the antidote to our restlessness, workaholism, isolation, and self-absorption. Far from legalistic, Sabbath Simplicity leads us to the freedom and grace, joy and connection.
Rest guides us as we explore six aspects of Sabbath as a spiritual practice: resting, reconnecting, revisiting, pausing, playing, and praying, all of which help us to slow down and find joy and meaning in the midst of our hectic lives.


Keri worked as a reporter for 8 years before writing her first book and is the author of several books, including Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life (Revell) and Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life (Jossey-Bass). When she’s not busy traveling around the country to speak and lead retreats, she’s writing. She’s a regular contributor to several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman, MomSense and Outreach magazine, as well as several websites and blogs. She’s a member of Willow Creek Community Church, where she has taught, led groups and volunteered in a variety of ministries over the last 21 years.

Learn more about Keri at http://www.keriwyattkent.com.

Where did you get the idea for the book? What compelled you to write it?
Rest is a practical guide to living in Sabbath Simplicity. It answers questions like “what did Jesus teach about Sabbath?” and “How can I implement a Sabbath day into my life?” I have seen that the pace of our lives blocks us from spiritual growth, and I wanted help people who are overwhelmed by that. I wanted to share the blessing of keeping Sabbath with other people who feel frazzled because they are too busy. No spiritual practice has formed me more deeply than taking a weekly Sabbath day to focus on loving God and loving others. It’s an amazing gift and I really want to share it with others.

What are the major themes of the book?
The book explores six themes: resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing, praying. These are all aspects of a Sabbath Simplicity lifestyle, which is a sanely-paced, God-focused life. It also looks at what Jesus taught about Sabbath. The main take-away, though, is that anyone can begin to live a life of Sabbath Simplicity. It’s a non-legalistic, guilt-free look at how to order your life in a way that brings freedom and joy.

What kind of research did you have to do for the book?
I’ve been practicing Sabbath myself for almost twenty years, so I drew from my own experiences. But I also interviewed dozens of men and women about how they’ve implemented this spiritual practice in their own life—everyone from parents of young children to grandparents. Many of those people’s stories are in the book. I also read just about every book & website out there on Sabbath, and did in depth studies of Exodus and Leviticus which talk about Sabbath and the closely related topics of Tabernacle and Jubilee.

Why do you think people find rest and Sabbath to be difficult to implement?
Well, I think they are not very motivated to practice Sabbath because they expect that it will be heavy with rules and legalistic lists of things you can’t do. But really, Sabbath is just the opposite—it’s freedom. You set yourself free from the tyranny of your work and chores for a day. The other reason we don’t rest is because we believe a little too much in our own competence. We think the world will stop spinning, if we stop running. We have not learned the word that is the key to a life of Sabbath Simplicity: enough. So we say yes to far too many activities, obligations and things. We think we need more, when really, we have enough. It’s a profound realization, a truth that will set you free.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
If you read Rest, you will realize that anyone can start a Sabbath Simplicity journey, and you can do it today. It’s a process, building a practice and a lifestyle, and it will take you a while. It will look slightly different in different people’s lives. But you can begin it immediately, and it will bring you joy, freedom and spiritual growth.

You can purchase the book at Amazon

Check out other reviews of the book:
Be Your Best Mom
Blog Tour Spot
Book Nook Club
Bound to His Heart
Cindy’s Stamping and Reviews
Drive Home Productions
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
i don’t believe in grammar
In God’s Image
In the Dailies
Life is one daily adventure
Lighthouse Academy
Llama Momma
Mary’s World
Refresh My Soul
Scraps and Snippets
The Law, Books and Life
The Writing Road
Thoughts by Mrs. Rachel


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Keri Wyatt Kent said...

Susan, thanks for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed the book!