Sabbatical is one of the healthiest things that has happened in our life in a long time. We’re so blessed to be able to slow down for several months after 9 years of full-time campus ministry. Everyone keeps asking, “How is Sabbatical going?” So, here’s our response:
Its been busier than we expected.
- Imagining Sabbatical, I think we envisioned some mix of checking off long-overdue items on our to-do list and sitting on the dock at the river sipping iced tea. However, life doesn’t stop when you’re caring for a 3-year old, starting a DJ/audio/lighting business, and traveling for seminary.
- It took a few months for us to find a rhythm, learn to not over-fill our schedules, and overall get used to having space in our days to talk walks, watch movies, or just sit.
God has provided deep rest.
- Time-wise: Our schedule has slowed down considerably. Living at a slower pace has opened our eyes to how overly-busy we were. We’ve set new goals for our calendar and commitment-level for the fall, that we hope will mean a healthier balance of work and Sabbath for our family.
- Spiritually: Having extended time to study, read, journal, and pray in a disciplined way has been life-changing. God has really sorted through our hearts and helped us process our time in ministry through the lens of His Word. We’ve transitioned from burn-out to refreshed as the Lord sorted through identity-issues, fear, pain, pride, shame and more in our hearts.
- Family: We’ve been able to spend quality time together as a family, taking local outings and sharing parenting responsibilities in new ways. We’ve been able to catch up on house-hold projects and enjoy visiting with extended family.
- Health: We joined a local farm co-op that delivers fresh produce weekly and have been cooking new foods and new recipes. We’ve been able to make it to the gym regularly. Beth had the time she needed for weekly doctor’s visits, physical therapy, etc. as she struggled with another bout of ill health in February & March. April and May have been much better, with very few migraines, praise God!
Our life will be different when we return to campus.
- Increased trust in God: Being able to step back and see our lives and ministry at a distance has showed us a lot about our strengths and weaknesses, and God’s faithfulness. We feel more willing to “let go” of certain things we’ve always done and try new things to see what blesses the campus.
- Increased trust in our students: Our leaders did a fantastic job of running the chapter this spring. They ran large groups, small group Bible studies, and put on an auction to raise money for our Downtown Ministry. With the guidance of our area director, they selected a new leadership team for the 2014-2015 school year. When camp scholarship money ran out, they worked as a team to raise $2000 in chapter funds to help bring 50+ students to Rockbridge in early May.
Thank you for being such faithful supporters of our ministry and such a great encouragement to us, as we learn what it means to live as local missionaries.
We’re grateful for your prayers as Beth returns to part-time work in mid-June, and Eric returns to full-time work at the beginning of August. We’re excited to enter a new school year resting in God’s peace that surpasses understanding.