Every Sabbath is a New Beginning.

But we don’t always take the gift it offers.

Today can be different.

My New Beginning today is to do no blogging. In fact, I am not going to check email, Facebook, or my blog all day. I’ve written this post in advance so that I could try a day of complete screen freedom. I will post it on Facebook so you can see it yourself on the sabbath (unless you too are abstaining :-)). But the computer goes off after I do that.

Here’s something to contemplate for your own Sabbath, another little snippet from Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets the Glittering World. From the Chapter called “Getting Saved.”

At home, after church, we would listen to The Mennonite Hour on the radio. Now you can listen to them also. The third verse that I love so much is sung as a tenor solo.


Happy Sabbath!

P. S. Don’t forget to chart your New Beginning here.





Shirley Showalter


  1. Barbra Graber on June 9, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Oh my oh my. Thank you, Shirley. What a gift —
    when a writer expresses our very own experience
    to a T. I so identified with all you say here.
    I too teared up as a child (and still do today)
    at this song, this verse. And the “ricochet”
    I also knew well. Indeed beneath, above
    and around the conflict, pain and fear, LOVE is.
    I also like your screen-free Sabbath idea!
    Note: auto return doesn’t seem to be
    working so not sure how this will format.

  2. WarmGinger on June 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    We have a screen free day every weekend. Our boys are still young so it’s mainly for me and my husband!
    I’m really enjoying the memoir excerpt, especially as I know nothing about the Mennonite church.:)

    • shirleyhs on June 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

      WarmGinger, what a lovely name. Thanks for setting a wonderful example.

      And thanks for your comment about the excerpt. One of my greatest challenges was to tell my story in such a way that you are invited into it even if you know nothing about Mennonites and don’t feel disparaged if you are a Mennonite. All that while telling the truth as I have witnessed it.

      There will be more excerpts in the future. So you are welcome to return.

  3. Richard Gilbert on June 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    What a lovely post and sentiment—love the image of you singing, transported. Screen time really does creep us on us, a growing addiction, which can eclipse our true priorities.

    • shirleyhs on June 10, 2013 at 8:16 am

      Thank you, Richard. The human voice is an amazing thing.

      Poet Julia Kasdorf described Mennonite singing this way:

      We do not drink; we sing. Unaccompanied on Sundays,
      those hymns in four parts, our voices lift with such force
      that we lift, as chaff lifts toward God.

  4. Sherrey Meyer on June 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Shirley, somehow I missed this post in the busyness of life. I have been trying to keep my Sundays screen-free for a while now but today I am here catching up because of a day this past weekend when a medical emergency for my husband kept us both away from our daily to do’s. I’m going to try to start this up again next week — no screen time, no matter the work at hand. You’ve set a good example by setting up your posts, if necessary, ahead of time.

    • shirleyhs on June 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Sherrey, I hope the medical emergency has subsided.

      And I wish you a sabbath in your daily life as well next Sunday.

      Sometimes we have to assess how best to rest. It might be a whole day on Sunday. It might be every seven hours or even every seven minutes. It might be breathing deeply for seven seconds.

      Thanks for leaving tracks here, and blessings on your rest.

  5. […] This love of music started early in my life. I wrote about learning to sing a cappella music in my memoir Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World. You can read an excerpt here. […]

  6. Kathleen Pooler on August 21, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Shirley, I’m a little late to the party but am so happy I stopped by to catch this timely reminder to take “screen-free days.” The video is precious. Singing really is like praying twice.And thank you for sharing your excerpt. It leaves me feeling connected to your story and wanting more.

  7. shirleyhs on August 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you, Kathy. It’s never too late to come to this party. May you find your own forms of prayer. Once, twice, or how ever many you need today!

    And I’m so glad you feel connected to my story. That connection, too, is a form of prayer.

  8. Jessica Burde on August 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I haven’t managed truly screen-free day, but Friday night the internet connection gets unplugged and stays unplugged until sundown Saturday. I find I don’t need a break from writing (which I get relatively little time to do anyway, while taking care of a disabled partner and young child), but I very much need a break from the social media whirl. One day when the world at large can go on with out me, and I can take care of my own life.

    • shirleyhs on August 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Hi, Jessica, I love your last sentence. “One day when the world at large can go on with out me, and I can take care of my own life.” Congrats on unplugging from the internet one day a week.

      The feeling that we somehow have to prop up the world with our tweets and updates and searches is a little crazy.

      May more people follow your sane example. And thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again.

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