Even though I know that preparing for the Sabbath is important, it often becomes the last thing I do on Saturday night. Having our food planned and ready (assembled or cooked) for the Sabbath allows me to do less on our day of rest. Having the laundry finished and put away (for one day!) is another of my goals so that no one needs anything that isn't clean on the Sabbath.
As I head to bed, the children are clean with their clothes laid out for church (especially things like belts and tights!). There are warm oatmeal bars covered and cooling. Bread is in the bread machine. Pancakes are soaking. Lentil soup is in the fridge. The house is picked up and my Bible and "Jesus Calling" wait on my bed.
So, the first born, perfectionist, rule-maker in me makes rules for the Sabbath and tries to make the Sabbath restful even as I acknowledge that I cannot keep the Sabbath; I cannot make anything holy. Even as I break the Lord's command I create new "laws" for myself. It's such folly.
Here I am, trying earnestly to prepare for the Sabbath for all the right reasons (to rest, to seek the Lord with an undivided, undistracted heart, to give my family space to rest). Yet my wicked heart still yearns to make a law apart from the law that I maybe, perhaps could sometimes keep. (But if I don't, I'll be angry on the Sabbath.)
Oh, turn with me to the Lord of the Sabbath! He bears with us in our weakness and makes holy a people for himself. Only in Him can we find rest for our souls.