Sabbatical Post #6 – God’s Perfect Plan

When our church leaders first approached my husband about giving us a sabbatical during the month of August, I immediately began praying that the Lord would give us wisdom about how to use this time.  There is so much you could do in thirty-one days; how could we decide what is best?   I knew we needed the Lord’s wisdom.

It may seem to onlookers that we have just sat around eating, and while I admit we’ve done plenty of sitting and have also enjoyed some delicious food, we have also been moving, both in body, mind and heart. However, the movement has been slower and more deliberate than when we’re in our normal routine of ministry, and each day I watched God answer that prayer of using this time wisely.  It’s reflected even in how we spent this last week.

  • We’ve both had time to read (I finished my third book of the month).  We’ve spent lengthy times in God’s Word and in prayer, both separately and together (there’s no way to speak of the value of those times!).
  • We’ve discussed future ministry days, events and changes we need to make.
  • We’ve had fun doing things we love like bike riding, driving through the countryside, finding fun little places to browse through, and…
  • spending time with family.

Our family time took us to Kentucky.  What a blessing to visit with my parents in their home, which has always been a haven for us.

We had the fun and privilege to spend Saturday with my sisters and brothers-in-law.  The day was clear and hot – perfect for riding in my brother-in-law, Tim’s boat. We anchored the boat and went swimming in Cave Run Lake, enjoyed a pasta and shrimp lunch, and visited and laughed until we cried.

That evening we had the joy of being with nearly all the rest of the family in the area as my parents hosted a homemade ice cream social.  Every time I hear of them cranking up their electric ice cream maker while I’m in Tennessee, my mouth waters and I fight a little jealousy!  But here we were, all together, people in little groups catching up, laughing and spooning the sweet cream in with the joy comparable to Christmas morning.  I think I’ll always hold the pictures of that night in my memory – Mom, the perfect hostess, offering bottles of water or Ale 8 (a local soft drink) that she’d cooled in a small copper tub of ice.  Dad, at the sink, spooning ice cream from the tall cylinder, tempting with, “have one more scoop” to all who offered their cup to him.

Nights like that don’t happen very often when you’re my age, so when they do, you press them hard into your memory where they’ll be more secure than a glued-in picture in a scrapbook.  And why am I tearing up as I write about this?  Because it has value, and because I was there, and because our church provided this time, and because my loving God allowed it all to happen in answer to my prayers to use this time wisely.  How good is my God!

After coming home, we spent the last three days close by at a place on the lake. It was the perfect completion of the rest and refreshment that our heart, minds, and bodies needed.  There was beauty, quiet, mountains, lake, cozy spots to sit and spend time with the Lord, and the ability to be apart in separate places while still being together in a lovely cottage.

Enjoy the pictures below…they’re the physical proof of all the above.  The memories in my heart are even clearer and brighter.  Enjoy!

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My heart is just so full.  It was all so perfect and it came from the hands of a perfect God.  I could never have planned it all out the way it happened; He gets the glory.

If you’ve been following our sabbatical and wished you could have a time to be refreshed, I have just the answer for you!  Our church is hosting an event for ladies next weekend that will encourage and refresh you!  It takes place on Sept 9 and 10th at our church!  If you’re in the area, I invite you to join us for our Ladies’ Event. Our Theme is “When God Writes Your Story.” Carol Trahan is our guest speaker.  Carol is a Word-filled woman whose story is not what she would have chosen, but she has allowed the Lord to take the tragedies that have touched her life to refine and mold her into the image of Christ.  She exalts her Savior with her testimony of His goodness in her times of brokenness.

Friday night begins with a fashion workshop, some fun skits, then a time in God’s Word with Carol.  Saturday will be filled with helpful workshops you can choose from, and two more sessions with Carol.  The cost is only $10 and you’ll get three main sessions with Carol, two workshops, a catered lunch, and a continental breakfast! I pray you’ll come and bring a friend!  You can go here for more details!

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Come be refreshed!

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2 thoughts on “Sabbatical Post #6 – God’s Perfect Plan”

  1. Denise,
    Although you don’t know me, I want you to know I prayed for you so much during your sabbatical. What a blessing to see your pictures and read about the refreshment God has given you and your husband. Ministry life is so demanding, what a beautiful gift from your church. I have enjoyed every post and am so thankful you both have found rest and relaxation in our Saviour over this last month. I am rejoicing with you!
    Blessings,
    Becky in Indiana

    Like

    1. Becky, thank you so much for the gift of your prayers! What a blessing to read that you’d lifted us up during our time away. God is so good to give friends and even people we don’t know to encourage us!
      May I ask how you came to read my blog? Thank you for doing that, and for your sweet message today! Praying that the Lord will bless you, too!

      Like

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