I've been holding back for awhile about a BIG event happening in our lives. No, not baby related :) but almost as exciting!
We have been anxiously anticipating this week for awhile now, waiting to get excited until we got some things wrapped up and it became more public, therefore "real!" But alas, it's here!
Today is Trav's last day of work at Church (not forever) but tomorrow we begin a leadership-given "Sabbatical" that gives him weeks off to rest and rejuvenate. Yes, week(S) as in we won't be back til April! What?? Amazing. We are so grateful and so very blessed to have time gifted to our Pastors after years of serving. The grind of ministry is intense, exhausting, draining, and never-ending. However, it's also rewarding, laden with joy and blessing, faith building and a high privilege to serve in the power of Jesus. We wouldn't walk away or trade professions if we had it to do all over again.
We have been at our Church for 7 years already and I can honestly say it has FLOWN by. I'm so thankful that we are able to take this Sabbatical and enjoy the blessing it is without feeling burned out or "sick of" ministry. We definitely aren't in that place and we aren't contemplating any major decisions. We are simply able to rest, refresh and reconnect with the Lord, with each other and the kids. We're going to see some family, we're going to do some traveling, we're going to play with our kids, we're each going to do some writing...and we can't wait! I have a feeling once we are unplugged (Trav esp) and away from everything for an extended time, we'll probably realize how soul-weary we actually are. It becomes such a busy existence going from one activity, one crisis, one season after another, and every year the schedule seems to just get heavier as our kids get older. And I know we're not alone, that's life, right?? Especially in the United States where we do not know or practice the discipline of rest very well.
But here we are, given the incredible chance to stop and pause and reflect...For the last two weeks we have been sitting under our Pastor's teaching in Matthew 11 and 12, where Jesus instructs us to come to Him, all who are weary and heavy laden, so we can be yoked with him and enjoy the blessing of an easy yoke that allows us to rest in his strength and power. In chapter 12, He gives us the Sabbath principle of work/rest/worship, intended to bless us and refresh us, not burden us. Seriously, it feels so weird not to have "work" looming ahead, but after that teaching it was a great reminder that the Lord values and prioritizes rest because He knows how much we need it and how burdened and bogged down we get without it, without Him.
So, things are busy in our house today...well really, they've been extremely busy for the last week. We are making plans, getting prepared and "working hard" so that we can rest well, beginning tomorrow! It's another adventure for us, I'm laughing that we'll be embarking on yet another road trip after just returning home from one. We are quickly turning into road warriors, but as I've stated before, road-tripping with my little family has become my very favorite thing to do! Who knew?? Turns out, the Lord did and so did Travis :)
We know what a gift this is...I've had a hard time telling many people about it because it feels so indulgent and too good to be true, I almost feel little guilty even talking about it. BUT I know the Lord ordained this for us and we are choosing to accept it and ENJOY it too!! So, here's to rest and adventure and family!! Whatever your week looks like, I am praying you will have time (or make time) to carve out rest too. Most people I know are too busy, we have adopted a bad practice in general, keeping a pace that is too much to bear. "Slow down" is the truth the Lord has impressed on my heart for these last few weeks. He never intended life to be like this, the American dream of building all you can in a short amount of time, really isn't that great of a dream after all...
Praying rest for your (our) weary souls today! We know the one who gives it...
New International Version (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”