Much of the last six weeks of my life have consisted of preparing for my sabbatical. This includes: training people to lead while I am out, having meetings that need to be had, creating teams to function in my absence, eating lunch with rad people, more meetings and more preparation. To be honest I am shocked that I get to take a sabbatical and so ready at the same time and so thankful to my church!
As I have been preparing for my sabbatical I have been also preparing my soul for what God wants to teach me through this time. As I have been praying I have come up with three things that I really want to focus on during this time. I am sure that the wording could use some massaging on these but here is the basics on this:
God: Refreshing my relationship with the Lord
This is going to be the most important aspect of my sabbatical (and the main reason sabbaticals are granted to pastors). I want to get some amazing times with God in places that I connect well with God. For me this is going to mean getting up to the mountains every chance I get! I want to get up to Duck Creek for a spiritual retreat, spend some time in Big Bear, maybe stop by Hume Lake and hopefully get to Lake Tahoe towards the end to connect with God.
Marriage: Learn to love my wife in a way she feels loved
My wife helped me craft this statement since I was having a difficult time figuring out how to word it. For the last seven years I have helped to build the church and worked hard on seminary. With the time that has taken there have been situations where I have neglected my wife. My hope is that on sabbatical we will get some times that refresh our marriage and help me learn how to be a better husband (than I already am).
Family: Effectively co-parent our children
I originally wanted to say: "love my kids more" but Charity was quick to let me know that I am a great dad. We both agree that taking a sabbatical will give us time to figure out how to get on the same page with parenting. I don't want to say that I am absent dad but Charity definitely takes the lead on parenting right now and that has to change.
If you are curious how you can pray for me on sabbatical; here are three major ways!