Sabbatical | Day 1

A Sabbath, in it’s simplest terms, is a time of rest.  I am fortunate to be on staff at a church that puts a high value on personal health.  We are encouraged to take an additional day each month (or 3 days per quarter) for personal Spiritual rest and rejuvenation.  This is the first church in 23 years of ministry where I’ve experienced anything like this.

relaxing_nature

Every time I am on a Sabbatical experience I like to journal my thoughts.  It keeps me focused.  It’s a form of meditation for me.

So, I’m out of town for 3 days.  Mostly, I try to catch up on sleep and enjoy some much needed solitude.  But I do have a few areas of focus for those 3 days.

Reading | A significant part of my reading plan does include the Bible and a couple different devotional resources.  Additionally, I am reading ‘No Other Gods: Confronting Our Modern Day Idols‘ by Kelly Minter.

Prayer | I am very intentional to pray over my family.  This is always first.  I am also praying for the next 6 months of our new multisite church campus.  Prayer for specific families, continued healthy growth, and renewed vision are key focal points this week.

Entertainment | I like to eat at places I usually don’t get a chance to eat at where I live.  I will also try to watch 1 or 2 movies on Netflix, since I don’t normally have time to watch many movies during a regular work week.  And adult coloring (a form of art therapy) is something new I’m trying this week in an effort to clear my thoughts.  Looking forward to this.

Planning | This will include looking ahead at the next few months.  Strategically making initial plans and doing a little self-evaluation as well.  I will normally try to schedule my next 3-day Sabbatical during this time.  If I don’t it will likely not happen when it should.

Have you had any kind of a Sabbatical experience before?  What did you do?  And if not, what part of this post sounds intriguing to you personally?

Join the discussion, leave a comment below.

 

Photo credit:  pixshark.com 

3 Keys to Staying ‘On Track’ During the Holidays

photo credit: library.austintexas.gov

If you are reading this post right now you are probably feeling very similar to how I’ve been feeling over the past three weeks.

‘Off Track’

Maybe you know someone who is inundated with life stressors.  Pass this post on to them.  Here are 3 keys to staying ‘on track’ during the holidays.

1)  Stop – When I am feeling like everything is in disarray, the absolute worst thing I can do is accelerate forward with the hope of hitting a few big ‘to-dos’ on my way.  When you recognize that life and/or work are getting cluttered, slam on the brakes!  Trust me, stopping everything for a few hours (or even a whole day) will not cause a calamitous event in the universe.  Zebras will not lose their stripes.  The IRS will not deposit $1,000,000 to your bank account. And yes, you will still be willing to pay $5 for a cup of coffee.  Take time to pray, go for a walk, get a needed nap,

2)  Focus – Use Evernote (or an actual note pad) to jot down everything you feel has been dropped.  Those work tasks you haven’t touched in about a month.  The family dinner you still need to make happen.  The reading you need/want to do because……dang it, that material simply doesn’t pop into your head when you wake up in the morning.  Next, prioritize this list and put it in your calendar (I learned this from Jim Wideman).  This is the planning phase.  Don’t….I repeat…..don’t make this too difficult!  Keep it small and clear.

3)  Restart – Now, take a big breath and let it out s l o w l y.  Set yourself DOABLE goals each day and pace yourself.  Celebrate the little victories, and give yourself some grace when you drop the ball…..it happens!

Now, when things begin to get ‘off track’ again…..revisit #1 above.