The Jewish Sabbath, Shabbos, is an "oasis in time."  It is the day when the world stops, we turn off the distractions, and we turn ourselves inward-- focusing on our families, our spiritual well being, our real priorities.  After a hectic week filled with work, laundry, dishes, cooking, carpool, homework, whatever keeps you from sleeping, Shabbos comes in like a sigh of relief.    We don't do any "work" on Shabbos-- no cooking, no cleaning, no homework.  Everything is done before hand so that we truly have a day off. Really, it is a day when Hashem says, "Don't worry.  I've got your back.  Relax. Enjoy a nice, big meal with your family!  Make it special!"

But, wait!  The big special meal doesn't descend from heaven?  The angels don't come down and magically clean the house?  That is for us?  What?!? But... but... but... WHEN?!? 

In our fast-paced world, we are pulled in 100 different directions all of the time.  As I write this, I have no fewer than ten other windows open on my computer.  We constantly feel the pressure to take on more, do more, be more.  Often, our lives are so overly scheduled, that we don't have time to breath!  This hectic pace seeps into Shabbos preparations for most people. 

"I have to set the table!  I have to bathe the baby! No!  Don't take out the Lego's!  I just cleaned in there! OH NO!  I FORGOT TO PUT THE CHICKEN IN THE OVEN!"  Who hasn't had one of those moments the hour before Shabbos candlelighting?

Enter chatzos.  I recently heard about a group of woman that make it a point to have all of their preparations for Shabbos done by mid-day on Friday.  They prepare all week for Shabbos and, in return, they say that a little piece of Shabbos seeps into every day of the week.  Sign me up