One of the things that I’m most looking forward to this year is that we’re taking a short sabbatical. I almost feel guilty saying that word out loud. We live in a society where we live at top speed most of the time, there is little down time, rest can seem like a naughty word (that often evokes guilt if you actually do it), and we feel a greater sense of worth if we’re busy. And let’s face it, in ministry the work is never done so it feels like I shouldn’t rest or take time off.
Almost all the Christmas cards I got this year started out with the words “It’s been a very busy year……” and I use that word all the time when I tell people how I am, “busy”. In reality life is busy. It just is and that’s why it’s so important to guard our rest and take time to be refreshed. As I get older I think I’m learning more and more the importance of this lesson. God did give us one day a week to rest after all, so I’m thinking that it’s a big deal to him as well.
Every seven years we’re supposed to take a sabbatical. I feel like I rarely see people take them and after 12 years of ministry we are well overdo to take one. We found ourselves in a place this fall where burnout had definitely settled in for us. Not because we’re not called to this ministry but because we are long overdo for a real break. So, we have put a 30 day sabbatical on the calendar in March. We’re not sure exactly what that time will look like and we’re trying to get some things nailed down now. It’s a little more challenging with kids in school but we know that we want to be out of Portland for part of it so we can totally unplug from our usual lives. I’m hoping that at the end of the 30 days Matt and I, and the family as a whole, will feel more refreshed, rested and connected with the Lord.
One of the things that brings life and restoration to my soul is time in the sun and warm weather. We have no idea how the Lord is going to provide for that to happen on such a small budget but we’re praying that God would provide a place we can go. So if any of you readers and friends know of a warm, sunny location that might be available in March could you pass it on to us? If you don’t know of any could you pray that God would open a door and provide one for us? I know that God knows what we need in those 30 days so I’m trying to trust Him with all the details. In work, life, family and rest it all takes trusting Him to provide for our needs.
If you’ve ever taken a sabbatical what was the most helpful things you did, read, processed, etc? We’d love your advice.