Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sabbatical Starts

Andy and I have been given our 2nd sabbatical since being at month every three years is just amazing. It comes at a good time for us. The spring and summer have been jam packed ~ full of good and productive and fun things, but we are a bit weary and in need of a break. Thru the winter and spring we had some amazing help finishing up the Upper Room project here at Cedarly. It is a beautiful room and several groups are already committed to using the space, some on a regular basis. We are grateful it is finished. We are praying that God will provide the last $4000.00 to dig a well and put in a pump for a water supply (ie bathroom) out there. The dedication was on Sunday, June 22. We would not have been ready if our wonderful small group hadn't helped us clean the garage, the stairwell, and the room with us They also helped with food after the ceremony. We hope to have some pictures up on the blog before, actually after the sabbatical.

Right after the dedication Faith and Avery came, then Aimee, Gary, Sarah and Joel joined them, then the Hagen clan arrived, and then we had the Ekedahls here one afternoon, too. It was a whirlwind of activity and a very good time of good eating, lots of laughs, fun activities, catching up...

The year at Cedarly started out slowly as far as attendance goes, but since Easter we have been full just about every week...and we will be full until at least Thanksgiving. God continues to encourage us as we see Him at work in pastor's (and spouses) hearts and minds. It is truly amazing what He can do in just 5 days. It's a great ride, but a long stretch.

Unfortunately Andy and I haven't had a lot of time or energy to prepare for this sabbatical. We have some good ideas ~ where to go, things to talk about, books to read together, ideas to consider ~ so that is a start. We'll head out and go for 10-12 days on our sailboat, the WHITE IRIS. We hope to go across the pond from Manitowoc, WI to Manistee, MI. It takes a full day ~ about 65 miles. We are trusting God that the winds and the waves will co-operate. From there we will head north along the coast to the small fishing villages of Frankfort, Leland, Northport and possibly Charlevoix.

Then we plan to take a road trip, ultimately ending up in Colorado just after the arrival of Baby J. Joel is going to take a few days off from work when the baby arrives so they can enjoy some special time bonding as a new family together. So, we will take off, traveling thru southern Minnesota, across South Dakota, and around Wyoming, enjoying the natural wonders along the way. When we get the word that Baby J has arrived, we will still have a few days to make our way to meet him. We are trusting God to work out the details, the safe arrival, and the timing.

I have just finished reading a little book called GIFT FROM THE SEA by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Have you read it? It was originally published in 1955 and was a "ground-breaking, best-selling work". Now fifty some years later, it is still helpful and insightful. Lindbergh spent two weeks alone in a little cottage on Captiva Island on Florida's Gulf Coast. She shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment ~ things she thought about and wrote about during her time on the beach picking up shells and reflecting on life. Much of it strikes a cord with me because she talks a lot of time and space for contemplation, quiet, simplicity, and we do here at Cedarly.

I do not have any desire to write a book while on this Sabbatical, but I am taking a Journal with me. I hope to reflect on my where I have been and where I am going...consider how I want to grow in my relationships...pursue getting to know God in new and deeper ways. I do not know where else the Spirit will take me. I will have to share that when Sabbatical Ends.

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