Sabbatical

Our sabbatical was filled with a lot of fun memories and it would be impossible to list them all, but here are a few of the highlights.

In June, Jessica and I took a trip to Huntington Beach, California without the kids. With three kids 5 and under and one due at the end of August we knew that we needed some time together, just the two of us. We were there for a week and did some sightseeing in LA, San Diego, and Huntington Beach. It was unbelievably relaxing. We spent a good amount of time in the car while we were there and were able to reconnect on our drives up and down the coast.

In July, we took the kids to Branson. We stayed in a condo close to Silver Dollar City. We spent a lot of time in the condo pool because it was HOT. We went to Silver Dollar City two days and we went to see Moses at the Sight & Sound Theatre. The kids loved all of the animals and music in the show. I celebrated my 30th birthday on the trip as well. Another highlight for me was that I took the girls go-carting, and they loved it. In fact, they loved it so much that we “had” to go back the next day before we left for home.

The whole summer was filled with laughter and a lot of time outside and in the pool. We are so grateful for the time we were able to have together and are thankful to work at a place that allows us the time to rest. So once again, thank you.

Over the past few months God has shown me a lot of things but I just wanted to share two with you.

The first two weeks off were really strange for me. I felt myself wandering, not really knowing what to do. I didn’t have anywhere to go or anybody to meet with, and I was finding it hard to just rest. So I organized my garage, built some new shelves and a workbench, and pretty much became a carpenter for a week or so. Now this wasn’t a bad thing and, quite frankly they were projects that I had put off doing. What I didn’t realize was that I was using these projects to fill a void that I felt. A void that could only be filled by working. I was having an identity crisis of sorts. After some conversations with my wife and with the Lord. I began to see that I was finding my identity in who I was as a worker and what I did for the church, and now that that was gone I felt empty and a little purposeless. God reminded me that my identity is in him and who He has called me to be.

A second thing I discovered near the end of the sabbatical was that I really undervalued being home. To be honest, I thought that it would be hard to be home for three months, but it wasn’t. What I found was that being a part of the everyday routine with my wife and kids was in fact really restful. To be able to sit there and play games, read books, and run around with my kids was something that my heart really needed. I was able to deepen my relationship with my kids and that never could have happened without me being home. My wife and I were able to spend a lot of intentional time just doing life together. I realized how much of the little things I miss by not being home everyday. God revealed to me what is most important and I understand that more today than I ever have.

One of the first things I learned as a kid was to always say thank you. But when you’re little, thank you’s don’t really hold much weight because, let’s face it, you only say it when Mom or Dad tell you to say it. As we get older we start to understand the value of saying thank you is more than just about being polite, it is about showing appreciation to those who served you in some capacity. And I am so thankful. So, from the bottom of my heart,

THANK YOU!

Thank you for serving me and my family by allowing us these past three months to rest. It has been an amazing time for us and I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful we are. So, thank you to everybody who stepped up while I was away. Thank you to the staff and church body for allowing my family this time. Thank you to those of you who gave to us financially to help this summer be memorable for me and Jessica. We are beyond thankful for these past few months, so thank you for allowing us to rest not only physically but in Christ. If I had one encouragement to offer it would be to find time to really rest. Make time to spend some intentional quality time with your family and to find joy by resting in the perfect work of Jesus.

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