Welcome to the Cafe…

sab-bath /ˈsabəTH/noun;  a day of rest.

Hi there, thanks for stopping by.  I started writing as a way to process my spiritual journey.  During that time, I was drawn to the idea of rest.  That’s when the title, “Sabbath Cafe,” came to me.  As sabbath is meant to be a time for rest and restoration, I hope this blog will bring peace and vitality to all who visit.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

Your spiritual barista,
Michele

Reconnecting with God – (Podcast #111 script)

Lately, I’ve been focusing more on making podcasts. Here is the transcript of Podcast #111 for those that prefer to read it in blog format.
(Click here for podcast #111)

During Covid lock down, I reconnected with many friends online.  We talked a lot about how they’re doing with the changes. And as time went on, I noticed a common theme.  Because they couldn’t go to church, and couldn’t meet up with friends, they felt pretty spiritually isolated. 

I can understand that.   Especially when you’ve been in a spiritual community for a long time.  You have a worship team or a choir that brought beautiful music, and pastors and teachers who gave great messages.   Everyone brings their talents, and the whole experience is just wonderful.  But when you’re suddenly cut off from that, it throws you off balance.

And this happens at a time when we feel like we need spiritual guidance and encouragements the most. Suddenly, we feel like we’re cut off from our spiritual support.

So someone asked me how I was dealing with changes now that church has gone virtual. And I realized that God has been transitioning me and my husband for a while.  In the last few years, I’ve been mainly working on my own personal connection with God, and I’ve moved away from a community based spirituality.  

It’s not that having a spiritual community is bad, but I think for most of us, we have been so blessed with our friends and christian community that we kind of forgot how to connect with God on our own. 

Actually, our Christian faith is immensely personal.  The essence of the Christian faith is that we don’t need any more rituals. We don’t need a middle person either like a pastor or priest. We don’t need any more sacrifices or intermediaries…The real good news as Christians is that we can connect with God directly… simply as who we are.  Any time.  Any place.  We don’t need to wait for Sundays.  We don’t even need to go to a building or a temple. Jesus has done all of the work so we have the privilege to get access to God 24/7, anywhere, any time.  Not only that, He even gives us the Holy Spirit as our personal spiritual assistant. 

And this is awesome! We now have an all-access pass to God. The veil is torn, the gate is opened. There’s nothing blocking us from God anymore.  

But even though we know this in our mind, often, we can still feel intimidated approaching God by ourselves.  And that’s what many of my friends were feeling. 

So if you also feel like you don’t quite know how to talk to God on your own right now, I have a few tips and activities to help you and God get reacquainted. And I’ll be sharing that in the next few podcasts.

And the first tip I want to share with you today is to write a letter to God.  Sometimes, when you haven’t talked with a friend for a while, it can be very intimidating to call them up out of the blue.  And you feel like… it’s going to be awkward… What do I say? I feel bad I haven’t been in touch…  All of these things run through your mind. But when you write a letter, you take that pressure off. Take time to write out your thoughts.  You can also go back and delete sections you don’t like.  In a sense, you have a safe space, and you can still communicate sincerely. 

So I want to invite you to write a letter to God and share what’s been on your heart lately. The key of this exercise is to help you get comfortable in opening your heart and sharing with God again. 

In the beginning, you may feel like you don’t know what to say.  And that’s fine.  You don’t have to put pressure on yourself.  If you don’t know what to say, just write that down. You can write something like “I don’t really know what to say, but I’m taking this first step…” Just start with that and write what’s on your heart. You’ll be surprised.

So the first step I have is to write God a letter.  You can write about your frustrations or fears… Do you have any questions for God?  And even who do you want God to be for you in this season.

You can use any piece of paper to do this… but I would recommend that you start writing in a spare notebook.  Any notebook will do; just something designated as your letters to God. And that can be your private space… a private dialog between you and God.  Any time you feel spiritually disconnected, just start writing in that notebook. And see how things go.

That’s all I have for this session. Thanks for listening and enjoy your letter writing!

Podcast #111 Reconnecting with God (5:41)

Many of us feel spiritually isolated lately. In this new podcast series, I’ll be sharing some ideas to help you jumpstart your personal dialog with God. I share my first quick tip in this short episode.

Mini-podcast: Any advice for yourself during quarantine? (Covid Reflections #3)

In this last part of our Covid Reflections minicasts, let’s think about what we’ve learned and see what wisdom or advice you’d like to share with yourself during quarantine.

This finishes up the Covid Reflection series. I will be starting a new series in the next episode. Stay tuned!

Mini-podcast: What did you learn during quarantine? (Covid Reflections #2)

For part 2 of the Covid Reflections series, I’ll share a surprising lesson I learned from a simple grocery store run. This podcast was originally recorded for Jifcast. Enjoy!

Mini-podcast: How did you change during quarantine? (Covid Reflections #1)

Through all the ups and downs, many of our communities are slowly transitioning out of quarantine. It’s a great time to reflect on the past few months, and process through this unprecedented event. Here’s my mini-cast (3 min) to help with the process.

Bob, The Grasshopper

A friend shared something that brought a smile to my face today. I hope it encourages you too.

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I hope everyone is doing okay, amidst everything that’s going on around the world right now.  I think the goal for me this year is just to survive through all this chaos.

I want to share a little encouragement to remind myself to keep going.  I hope it’ll remind you too.

Bob, the grasshopper

I want to tell you a story of a grasshopper; let’s call him “Bob”.  I found him on my windshield one morning when I got in the car.  My husband told me to just drive and he’ll leave.  So I drove, and Bob realize the wind was getting big as I saw his antenna fly like crazy.  I thought he would jump off the next time I came to a stop sign or traffic light, but nope; he held on.

When I got onto the highway, I worried he’d get blown off if he doesn’t fly…

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Podcast #107 Connecting with God in times of crisis

Like the rest of the world, we’ve been sheltering in place for over a week now. I felt tossed about in the storm, and overrun with fear. Where do I go from here?

Embracing Solitude – the art of being alone

I started thinking about this topic during the holiday season. The holidays are all about folks gathering and celebrating together. Ironically, I think that’s why it can make people more aware of being alone. In this social media age, “being alone” gets a bad reputation. I see many books and conferences about how to develop and find community, but not many books that explore the other side of reality – of being alone. Being alone and feeling alone are different. One can be physically alone, and still feel content. On the other hand, even when surrounded by family and friends, one can still feel isolated and disconnected.

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Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
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Podcast #106 My Experience in Replacing Anxiety with Peace

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I started a simple 10 day program last year on learning to rest in God. A year later, I’m still working through the lessons. 😀 Decided to share some of my experiences here in podcast 6. Enjoy!

I’ve put together a simple Peace meditation scripture worksheet. You can download here: Peace meditation worksheet.

If you’re curious about the free “Rest Immersion” program I joined, you can visit here: “The Life-Changing Power of Rest: A 12 Day Immersion” by Brilliant TV*.

*Please note that I’m not affiliated with nor sponsored by Brilliant TV. My opinions are my own; for information purposes only. Please visit Brilliant TV with discretion. Thank you!

Podcast #105 How my anxiety affected my perspectives

Pod-logo-aqua-square-3000x3000-medium-qtyThe title sounds really serious… but this podcast is really just about my latest silly, *facepalm* / “Homer Simpson” moment… I promise, it’ll make you feel much better about your day. 😉