sabbath taking

When I see people out and about, especially people from my church or the presbytery, they always ask how my sabbatical is going and what I’ve been doing (as well as comment on my tan).  They usually seem disappointed when I say something like, just hanging out – spending time with my kids (especially fellow pastors).  It’s like they expect to hear about a great pilgrimage or study.  Nope….I just need time to enjoy life with my family and friends.  That’s what’s renewing my spirit.  And it’s really hard to sum up all the greatness of this summer (so far) with just a few words.  We’ve been busy.  I’ve been spending much more time on twitter and instagram this summer than facebook because all my church peeps are on facebook and it’s hard to disconnect when you see their updates and they comment on yours.   But here’s the gist of our Sabbath seeking:

We had our annual 4th of July Cook-Out with my dad’s family on the hottest day of the year.  The kids didn’t mind.

We hosted 12 people in our house for a week.  The best week of the year:  Vacay 2012!  (more on that later)

We went to Fort Mill to spend a few days with my college roommate (and high school friend – gosh, we’ve been friends for a LONG time) and her sweet boys.  It’s amazing how good time with old friends is so good for the soul!  I even got the bonus of hanging out with four of my friends from high school one night over mimosas and wedding invitation assembling.

Caleb turned TWO (more on that later)

He also had a party with all of his crazy cousins, of whom, he is the craziest

Then he had his two year-old check-up and got rewarded with a cupcake (so did his sister who helped him be brave and who also answered all the nurses questions and accompanied him to the scale.  They didn’t really need me)

For a break from the 90+ heat EVERY.DAY in July, Taylor went to an ice skating party for her BFF

Taylor and I had a mother-daughter day at the waterpark

Caleb, Grammy, and I had a great day at the Fire Museum

Caleb, Taylor, and I got decked out for Tie-Dye Free Donut Friday at Dunkin Donuts

Taylor went to her first play.  She sat on the edge of her seat and clapped enthusiastically at the end of every scene.  SO. FUN.

Taylor and I had another mother-daughter day in which we played in the fountains downtown, went on a carriage tour of Charleston, and saw Ice Age: Continental Drift (which Taylor thought was HI-larious – she was the loud laugher the whole movie)

We have also had several beach days which were not photographed.   On Friday, Russ and I got to go to the PGA Championship at The Ocean Course with my sister and brother-in-law, but unfortunately didn’t take a single picture of that either!   The day before that, we celebrated our 9th anniversary.  It was pretty pathetic, so we are already planning our 10th anniversary celebration to make up for it.  Speaking of Russ, you’ll notice that he isn’t a part of our sabbatical shenenigans…that’s because he’s been working like a crazy person.  Residency is B-A-N-A-N-A-S (more on that later).  I have also been watching a ridiculous amount of Olympics and even watched the whole first two seasons of Downton Abbey (while Russ was on night float for a week and I had trouble sleeping).  I have also had the pleasure of church hopping and seeing some good friends do what they do so well (picking up some pointers along the way).

I remember in high school when I was voted Most Likely to Succeed, I had a mixed reaction because I knew that I would not be successful in the way that most of my classmates viewed success.  So I don’t know if most would say that my sabbatical has been successful so far, but man, has it been fun and full of good things.  I’m hoping the rest is just as fun, with hopefully a little more working out and a little less time in front of the TV now that the Olympics are over, but I’m making no promises.


I’m a week into my three-month sabbatical.  So far, it doesn’t so much feel like a sabbatical.  It’s a good thing I three months because I think it’s going to take some practice to get this Sabbath thing down.  I’ve got big BIG plans, you know, for going to the beach by myself with a chair and a book, and cashing in my nine Pilates sessions certificate and my massage certificate, and gardening, and seeing old friends, and sleeping, hanging out with the kids a lot one-on-one, etc. etc.  BIG plans.

Bus so far, it’s been not so restful.  Let’s recap:

I spent Sunday tying up all my lose ends so that I could really turn off my work brain beginning the next morning.  I stayed up until 11:00 pm sending e-mails and making notes.  Then once I turned my computer off, it stayed off until 30 minutes ago.  So much discipline.

Monday morning I got up early to head to the hospital to hang out with my parents while my dad had a heart cath and stint placed to open up an 80% blockages.  He is doing great, and we are all glad the doctors finally listened to him – he’s been telling them for two years he needed a cath.

Tuesday and Wednesday I spent helping Russ put tile in our kitchen and foyer to replace the hardwoods post moisture problems.  This is when the injuries began.  I sliced my finger on something (a tile maybe) and had sore needs and hands.

Thursday, I got the plague….some crazy stomach bug that came and went quickly, but was not pretty.  I won’t give you the details except to tell you that I lost six pounds that day.

Friday was ok.  We did a few finishing touches around the house, then had lunch with my parents after returning dad’s truck.  I don’t know if it was the company, the food (fresh shrimp right off the creek), the ambiance (sitting on the deck overlooking Shem Creek and the shrimp boats coming in being chased by pelicans and dolphins), the weather (a warm and breezy afternoon), or a combination, but it was quite possibly the BEST meal I’ve ever had.   That evening took a turn, however, with more injuries.  I sliced another finger while cleaning the glass shelves that go in our china cabinet.  Then whilst grating soap for the homemade laundry detergent (I KNOW!), I grated the side of my thumb.  Then next morning, I used hand sanitizer and nearly cried.

Saturday, we packed up and headed to Columbia for a weekend with Russ’ family, which was hectically lovely. Sunday morning, I didn’t work.  That was pretty great.  Russ was asked to teach a Sunday school class at his home church on Faith and Medicine as part of their Science and Religion summer series.  He did a pretty great job (those eight years of post-college schooling paid off, he actually sounded like he knew what he was talking about!).  Then we all worshiped together.  Taylor was glued to me the whole time.  I think she got how special it was.  Then we got back to Russ’ dad’s house and all took naps.  On a Sunday!!  It was glorious.  Taylor was the only one who didn’t sleep, but she did spend the afternoon cuddled up next to me on the couch while I slept.  Intuitive, that one.

Then Sunday night rolled around.  We had a cookout with Russ’ dad, stepmom, brother, sister-in-law, 2 nephews, 1 niece, step-sister, step-brother-in-law, and step nephew.  It was wild and crazy.  The kids were all playing on a slip and slide outside.  Taylor had to use the bathroom, but was too dirty to go inside, so Russ took her to the bushes.  Next thing I know, Caleb is holding poop in his hand that he has already smeared all over his stomach and face.  GROSSSSS!  So while Taylor is still peeing in the bushes, I am hosing Caleb down with dishsoap in the yard.  Fun times.  Then I got a beer.  A few minutes later Taylor decided she needed to go to the bathroom AGAIN (I guess it was just so fun the first time).  Her three year-old cousin followed her to the bushes and next thing we know, both girls are nekked and squealing and running into the yard.  Then I had another beer.  Then I asked my pregnant step-sister-in-law if she was excited about having two kids.

This morning we took our kids and our neice to the zoo which was super fun,




but exhausting, as exhibited by my passengers on the ride home.


And during all this time, I’m a darn USC fan, so I’ve had to stay up late to watch the College World Series many a night this week, which is what I’m doing right now.

So I’m still tired at the beginning of week two of sabbatical.  Here’s hoping this week includes more Sabbath rest.