At the start of October I returned from a two month sabbatical. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to take this time. So for my first blog upon my return I wanted to share a little about what I did and what I learned.
Rest . . . is what I hoped to find during my sabbatical
Reinvigorated . . . is how I hoped to return to my work
What I discovered was that for me rest does not happen simply because I took something off of my schedule and invigoration is an ongoing, intentional process.
As early as my first or second day I realized that I could quite easily fill up my newly emptied schedule with projects, appointments and to-do lists (I love me a good to-do list). Most of the things that wanted to crowd in were good. People I wanted to see, things I wanted to get done and some minutia that really needed managing. What helped me stop and refuse to do what seemed to come naturally (be busy regardless) was my desire to really honor the gift I had been given. I recognize that few people are afforded the opportunity to pull away from work and reset and refocus themselves.
As I said I wanted to return to BFJN rested and reinvigorated, to more effectively and enthusiastically lead us forward in our God-given call. But also, as my study and contemplation of sabbath has revealed, conceiving of this beautiful principle of rest as only a way to do more afterwards misses much of the point. We sabbath because we depend on God, we trust him to be the ultimate provider and rest relying solely on him. Translating that to my sabbatical I focused not only on rest to energize me for future endeavors but rest to draw close to Jesus and to just cease the constant motion for its own sake. I hoped not only to practice this during these two months but also to develop new habits (and shed old ones)I could take into life when it filled up again.
Trips to the beach, lunch dates with my daughters, long walks, reading books for fun, yoga routines and home-cooked meals were a regular part of my sabbatical. I returned to some things I love that I had felt I didn’t have time for and discovered new things I enjoyed. In the coming months I will share more specific lessons I have gleaned and am still growing in, but for now let me simply say I am so grateful to my associate director Ivy, our community and BFJN’s board whose support allowed me to take this time and I am excited to be back and to continue to pursue the vision of calling and equipping Christians to live generously and do justice.