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Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family's Experiment with Holy Time (The Young Clergy Women Project) Paperback – September 30, 2012
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From Presbyterian Outlook:
From Englewood Review of Books: Readers of MaryAnn McKibben Dana's Sabbath in the Suburbs will find the practice of Sabbath keeping less foreign and ritualistic and be encouraged to embark on their own Sabbath experiment. Small groups, book clubs, Sunday School classes, or even entire churches, may find this a useful book to read and practice together, thus finding strength in numbers.
Dana, a Presbyterian pastor, brings a fresh voice and energy to the familiar topic of time management as understood by people who would describe themselves as either religious, or spiritual but not religious. Dana writes in a distinct voice about making a traditional religious practice meaningful to contemporary families.</span><br \><br \><div>"</div><br \><br \><span>From Presbyterian Outlook:</span><div><span>MaryAnn McKibben Dana makes a persuasive case for Sabbath-keeping. She writes eloquently about the excuses that so many of us make for NOT practicing Sabbath, or for practicing it in a haphazard and slapdash way when it is convenient for us. With gentle humor and without harsh judgment, she points out the ways so many of us overfunction, and how we think that we are letting the world down if we take time on a regular basis for renewal, reconnection and recreation. We make idols of our "to do" lists rather than savoring the gift of life.</span></div> --Publishers Weekly, 09/03/2012
One of the most helpful and well-conceived books on spirituality I've ever read... Dana contends that 'we can act ourselves into a different way of being.' Her family's brilliantly narrated experiment with holy time proves her point as they grow and change together, learning to love each other and the world more fully through spiritual practice. --Christian Century
Readers of MaryAnn McKibben Dana's Sabbath in the Suburbs will find the practice of Sabbath keeping less foreign and ritualistic and be encouraged to embark on their own Sabbath experiment. Small groups, book clubs, Sunday School classes, or even entire churches, may find this a useful book to read and practice together, thus finding strength in numbers. --Englewood Review of Books
From the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The book traces the Dana's one year experiment in keeping the Sabbath. MaryAnn McKibben Dana writes about the very real challenge of carving out time each week for this busy family of five and the things they tried that worked and didn't work. This is not just a treatise on the value of the Sabbath but a rubber meets the rode report of what worked for them and what didn't. Written almost like a journal, it feels less like reading and more like a conversation with a wise neighbor. But all along Dana also discusses her family's growing understanding of Sabbath, what it means for them, and their growing appreciation for the choices and sacrifices they've made to keep Sabbath.
The takeaway for me was making explicit time for what is important to you. Dana points out the many ways that our lives revolve around the next thing we have to do. Whether externally imposed (jobs, family) or internally mandated (I should be more productive, what am I missing out on) we are often over committed and focussed on getting it all done. For the Danas, Sabbath was a time to slow down, to be with family, to do the restorative, contemplative, and spiritual things that were important to their family. Whether you are a person of faith or not, there are things important to each of us that we are likely not taking time for. MaryAnn makes the case that while not easy, taking that time brings rewards greater than what is given up.
So many of us complain/suffer/find ourselves in the fetal position dealing with our lives. We are too busy. We are exhausted. We are overwhelmed.
Especially in the fall, especially if we have school-aged children, just one glance at the calendar can make our hearts pound -and not in the good way.
MaryAnn is a very gifted writer and you will love the way she describes even the most mundane activity. Clearly she is a deep spiritual thinker with much humor and grace.
Her prose is direct, easy to read, and well written. I found her stories to be engaging, funny, and thought provoking. And lest you believe this is only a book for parents with young children or people in the Suburbs, it is not! Dana's experience is, of course, specific and contextual. However, she does a masterful job of making the concepts both broad and flexible, applicable beyond her own experience. I could see this book finding a home in a high school book group/Bible Study, a college small group, a weekly gathering of elderly men and women, or with a Mothers of Preschoolers group. It's fresh and engaging enough to reach anyone with a heart for a good story!
Do yourself a favor, go read this book right now. The 3-5 hours you invest in it will be well worth it!
The book details a year in the life of the Danas and their three small children experimenting in how one day a week can be set aside to observe "Sabbath." In other words, a day when the usual hustle and bustle of daily battles with duties ranging from housework to homework to meetings can be put aside. A day when one can take a brief but psychologically important time to reflect, to engage in activities that refresh rather than doing out of necessity, to sense what it really means to live in God's world. Not easy by far, and Dana cheerfully or sometimes ruefully details the failures.
Although there is a deep sense and feeling for how people, Christians and non-Christians alike, should live their lives, it is not a book filled with Scriptural references, or verses to read. In other words, it is not a book with a Biblical outline of what God's wants us to do--the theme of so many books by various pastors and authors. Rather, it is a sip of refreshing sanity in a world increasingly tied to the wheel of 24/7 regimens.
Note: MaryAnn was for several years the associate pastor of the church which my late wife and I were members.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was looking forward to this book. I have been looking for a Sabbath book and this was recommended in other reviews on some books on Amazon. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Seh
This book made me shout "YES!" out loud several times! So practical and real--even when this seems impossible, there is a way and it is worth it!Published 7 months ago by KWL
A must reading for all of us who think sports and other activities have taken away our Sabbath Day.Published 8 months ago by Roberta Bell
This Lenten season seems to have been given a theme for me. That theme is Sabbath. I read "The Sabbath" by Abraham Joshua Heschel as my inspirational introduction. Read morePublished 16 months ago by MelodyE.
It was okay,but nothing really new. This stuff has been around for about 20 years all she did was put it together and personalize it. Read morePublished 23 months ago by L. Lee
Even if you are not religious, this book provides lots of ideas and wisdom for creating some family shared time once a week. This is difficult for all of us, but so important. Read morePublished on June 26, 2014 by GCG
This is a great read for families who are serious about keeping the Sabbath and who have young children they wish to impart some life long values to. Read morePublished on June 16, 2014 by M. L. Bourque
This book gave very practical information about observing a Sabbath. While it was mainly about the authors family with young children, there were many relevant things about the... Read morePublished on April 18, 2014 by Kathy Ellis