The Gift of Sabbatical

I want to share more about this mysterious sabbatical that I mentioned briefly about a week ago in my post about Hawaii.

For the last 10 years, Steve and I have worked as college ministers for a Christian organization at the University of Southern California. Recently, we applied and were granted a 6-month paid sabbatical from our organization.

Based on the biblical value of sabbath or “ceasing from work,” we are going to spend the next half year taking a hiatus from our work as ministers. Our primary hope for the sabbatical is that we would experience spiritual renewal and restoration. It will be a time for us to connect more deeply with God, each other, and family.

Unto that end, we will be leaving Los Angeles, and spending the sabbatical in Hawaii. We chose Hawaii because of its slower, more restful environment, and also because we want to have extended time with family (namely, my parents and extended family). While we are there, we hope to cultivate healthy rhythms of physical rest, exercise, and spiritual formation. We each have specific activities that we want to do – Steve wants to go hiking, I’d like to do some writing, we both have some books to read, Aaron will be in a great preschool program. As we transition to being a family of four with a newborn (yes, Alexandra will be born in Hawaii during the sabbatical!), we’re also anticipating it being a special time for our relationships within our family.

As we prepare for our sabbatical, I am very aware of many things to be grateful to God for. I’m grateful to be a part of an organization that generously gives sabbaticals and values the nurturing of our spiritual health. I’m grateful for our ministry partners at USC who will take on more primary leadership roles while Steve and I are away. I’m grateful for the chance to spend time at home in Hawaii, where we can have lots of time for the outdoors, great weather, and time with ohana. I’m grateful for the gift of rest.

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