Recipe for how to keep the Sabbath at home: intention, exercise, silence, and tea. You don’t have to go to a retreat to have the benefits of going to a retreat. You can have this at home.
I like to go to the YMCA first and exercise. I suspect any exercise would be good, anywhere. Admiring God’s creation while walking around your neighborhood is a good option. Get some sunlight and fresh air, and strengthen the temple that is your body. As for me, I like going to the YMCA because it is one of the few public places where I can discuss God with like-minded people. I get to strengthen my faith as well as my body.
When I get home, commit to using no electronic devices – no TV, computers, tablets, Kindle, smartphone – you get the picture. The idea is that you are only communicating with God, so silence of all sorts is optimum.
Pick an amount of time that works for you. Several hours is ideal. If that feels like too much, aim for thirty minutes. You are visiting with a good friend, so don’t rush it.
Read sacred literature. This is essential. It is your choice as to how you interpret that.
Having a scented candle burning while you read can be useful to help you focus and remember that this is holy time.
Choose some non-reading activity for part of the time. You can garden, paint, sew, or draw for instance. Just don’t do anything that is a “have-to” or an assignment. Do stuff that kind of distracts you enough to let God get a word in edgewise.
God can speak to us through anything. The trick is to give God space to talk to us. We spend so much time talking to God, we forget to pause long enough to listen. It is just like talking to a friend. You have to make space for your friend to answer.
It is nice to have tea and cookies as part of it. Consider it a simple Communion.
At the end, give thanks to God for the time that you were able to spend, and for any answers to prayers that you received.