I think this is a Sabbatical (personal musing)

You can figure your life may have been a little out of balance if working 40-45 hours per week seems like a sabbatical.  Been figuring that one out the last couple of months, as responsibilities have changed in some areas.  Finding out how many uncompleted tasks I had stacked up, dusting them off and starting to catch up.  Instead of aiming for burn out, blow out or freak out, accepting the gentle hands of God putting me in time out for six months before I compulsively engage in taking on any new projects (even good ones).  This is a new discipline for me.  It seems I’ve spent the last six years trying to gobble up all of life I can possibly participate in, and while it has been incredibly meaningful, it hasn’t necessarily been the most effective.

While I sometimes miss my friends and the community I came from, I am also incredibly grateful for the new community here that has enfolded me and made me a part of their lives.  The past few years of over-active living has been richly peopled with some of those who are effective in making a difference in people’s lives and providing practical help in a variety of ways to those in some dire circumstances. I have been privileged to listen to the stories and learn from the lives of those who have lived meaningful and well and demonstrated their faith in practical action.

As I approach the end of month 2 of my time-out, I find my life has still been very full.  For example:

  • Spending time some weekends with much loved adult children
  • Sometimes helping with major carpooling of refugee community to church in Kent
  • Going to hear friends from other parts of the world speak in different churches in the area while they’re home on Sabbatical
  • Hanging out with new young friends (thoroughly enjoying being unofficially            adopted as a grandparent)
  • Watching God work even in the midst of the Intensive Care Unit in my Mom’s life and giving thanks for the angels that work in hospitals with the desperately ill
  • Parenting parents, through a variety of crises
  • Finishing up previous privilege of being a non-profit bookkeeper for 6 years and attempting to hand it off to the upgraded version (a retired CPA)
  • Learning new techy skills to finish some long neglected projects for my kids
  • Working on getting the rest of my songs together for home-recording another CD for kids/family (before I’m too old to remember what I wrote)
  • Handling paperwork for parents through changing circumstances, challenges, insurances and learning more about Medicare/Medicaid and the American medical nightmare than I ever wanted to know
  • Giving thanks for the buyer of my parent’s condo (two year project finally finished!) and our amazing friend/realtor (Shellie) who got it done
  • Participating in major software upgrade/transition at work with related stress, and liking it:)
  • Finishing several whole books without falling asleep just ’cause I sat down (the latest: Little Daughter by Zoya Phanhighly recommended)
  • Giving a few piano lessons to new little friends
  • Exercising more, drinking coffee less
  • Catching up on bookkeeping for our business
  • Doing things “almost grandmas” are supposed to do:) (crocheting baby blanket, etc.)
  • Visiting a major event in our old community and spending time with people I haven’t seen in quite a while
  • Trying to recognize those moments when you hold someone’s heart in your hands and praying for the grace to respond in a way that brings hope to them
  • Spending time listening to those around me, and trying to be present in that moment instead of reaching towards the next one
  • Missing Rich and counting the days til he comes home from Alaska (5 to go!)

So….nothing profound, just trying to reorient the compass to measure my life not just by the tasks completed but by the relationships nurtured and formed-taking the time to try to notice, give thanks, and pray for those who come across my path each day….remembering to breathe….and literally, stopping to smell the roses, (or pet the kitties) when I’m out for a walk.

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