Hello friends! Did you think I fell off the face of the earth? Well, I guess I did a bit – work, and writing projects, and kid raising and getting a senior into college have pretty much eaten up the last month or so – but I wanted to pop back in and fill you in on a project that I shared about on The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast this week.
You may not know this, but part of my job is working with our youth at our church, and every year we have them all out to our farmstead for a holiday celebration (and before you attack me with candy canes for saying Holiday instead of Christmas, just remember that “holidays” is the modern version of “holy days” and that the Christmas season does not actually begin until Christmas day itself, but that the season of Advent is FULL of Holy Days! Okay, Liturgical PSA over..) Anyway, back to our holiday celebration…We have the kids out, set up an extreme hot chocolate bar, a bonfire (if the weather allows) and lots of outside fun.
This year I wanted to add a little something meaningful to the event give all the kids a small gift and a challenge for their Winter Break. So, inspired by these bags that the Hogwarts Chaplain told me about, I decided to make each kid a Sabbath Sleeping Bag for their cell phones. You see, instead of asking the kids to practice a Sabbath – something that seems unfamiliar and maybe archaic and strange to most of them- I thought I would ask them to allow their phones to take a Sabbath, which would in effect help them to unplug and experience a type of Sabbath themselves.
When Wylie was little the only way to effective punish him was to put whatever toy was currently his favorite in “time-out.” Putting Wylie in time-out did no good, but putting Elmo or his cowboy hat or his pirate ship in timeout? Now that was another matter. Removing Wyllie from the action didn’t help, but removing the thing that he loved most worked every time. Which is why I thought the Cell Phone Sabbath Sleeping Bag just be what our kids needed…
Working with teens requires a healthy mixture of snark and Jesus, so this is the letter I included with the bag:
I made the bags using $1 deal letter stamps, black pigment ink pads, and muslin bags I ordered from Amazon.
I printed the letters on regular paper, tied them up with red and white bakers twine and put them inside each of the bags.
Then I challenged the kids to practice a cell phone Sabbath for a minimum of thirty minutes a day, hopefully building up over the two weeks, to Sabbath’s that last one – four hours (and no, sleeping hours don’t count!) As you can imagine there was some moaning, some exclamations proclaiming this an impossible task, and all sorts of protest, But some, maybe a few, seemed intrigued. Some even asked for extra bags to take home to their siblings with intentions of offering the challenge to their older siblings or parents. And you better believe that my kids (and me!) are going to practice Cell Phone Sabbath’s each and every day of the break. Hard as it may be.
If you make your own Sabbath bags make sure to post a pic on Instagram or my Facebook page and let us all cheer you on! I believe in us and our kids!
Happy Holidays my loves!