Refreshment · Sabbatical

Our Sabbatical Weeks and How You can Create a Period of Rest for Yourself

My sweet husband made this breakfast feast for me on the first day of our sabbatical!

You may never have a sabbatical, but at the end of this post I’m going to share how you can create your own times of rest on a weekly basis, so keep reading!

As of yesterday, July 1, my husband and I completed our month-long Sabbatical. Wow. Our hearts are so full of all the things the Lord has done during those precious 30 days! You can be sure that I kept a journal each day to recount what was happening, what we were doing, and how the Lord was speaking to my heart.

I thought perhaps you would be interested to see how we spent some of our days. I mean, what do you do with 30 days of no ministry when it normally fills every day of the year?

We got outside. We got to choose the month for our sabbatical, and we chose June for a couple of reasons – one being that we love summertime and being outdoors. We took opportunities for drives to beautiful spots where we saw the hand of God. Here it is beautifully displayed in this double rainbow at Watauga Lake!

We enjoyed celebrations. The first day of June was Tennessee’s birthday. Jonesborough is the oldest city in the state, so the governor here came to speak briefly to the large crowd that gathered. The Oak Ridge Boys were there to sing the anthem and a couple of their oldies. It was the perfect beginning event! They were really popular in 1981, the year we were married, so their songs were pretty nostalgic. Anyone remember Elvira?!

So patriotic and fun to enjoy Tennessee’s birthday at an outdoor event!

We rested and read. We spent about five wonderful and quiet days at a lake cottage friends of ours graciously loaned to us. There’s no Internet; that in itself makes it a vacation! The beauty surrounding the cottage is always breathtaking and so relaxing!

One thing I prayed about were the books I should read. The Lord clearly led me to each one – even the fictional book about a pastor who takes an interim pastorate at an island church. There were so many parallels in our lives. But just having time to read was so wonderful!

We invested in our marriage. My husband chose a month-long devotional for couples that he found on-line and we read it together each day. It was on the love languages. You would think that at 40 years, we would each know the other’s love language, but this was a real learning time for both of us! Just having time to talk as a couple with no distractions, to read this devotional and pray together was another huge blessing.

We visited churches. Each Sunday we visited a new church in the area where we were. That was a blessing and also a time of learning. When you’re always in your own church, you don’t see your blind spots. As we visited other churches, it made us aware of things that might need change or adjusting in our own church. The preaching and worship (in most cases) were a true joy.

Now, how can YOU create your own regular period of rest in order to refresh yourself and be ready for the work ahead? Remember that we rest so we can work. It’s easy to think “I’ve worked hard; I deserve a rest!” But God’s directives to His people were that they would rest on the Sabbath so they could work the rest of the week. I began taking a “Sabbath rest” early last spring. Here’s my formula for refreshing myself each week:

  1. Choose one day a week for your Sabbath. For ministry families, Sunday is generally the busiest day of the week, so my day is Friday. It doesn’t have to be Sunday. Choose the day when you can really rest.
  2. Determine to spend quality time in God’s Word and prayer.
  3. Keep your busyness and chatter to a minimum.
  4. Decide what kind of things will fill your time. This doesn’t mean filling your day with busy things, but if you normally are doing work with your hands, then choose things that would work you mind. Read, work a puzzle, memorize a passage of Scripture. If you are normally working with your mind, do work with your hands. Work in the yard, organize or clean, work on a project.
  5. Rest. Allow yourself time to sleep in and/or take a nap.
  6. Get outside. Take a walk, ride bikes, go swimming. Sit outside and read.
  7. Spend time with those that will aid your rest.This isn’t the day for planning events or giving counsel. Spend time with others who will refresh you and you them.
  8. Plan ahead so your meals will be “easy” meals. Either prep a meal ahead and have it ready for the oven, or go out or pick up carry-out.

Does this Sabbath rest appeal to you? Does it seem do-able? I’d encourage you to pray about it and ask the Lord to help you come up with the best plan for you and then implement it as soon as possible!

Refresh yourself with a Sabbath rest!

Refreshment · Spiritual Refreshment

A Time For Rest

I doubt I’ll ever forget the frightening experience of the accident. While we were dating, my husband and I both lived a couple hours from the ocean and we drove to the beach for the day in a borrowed vehicle. It was a sport Jeep – the convertible kind, perfect for the outing we were taking! However, all our fun turned sour when, in the middle of the day, my fiance’ ran into the car that stopped in front of us.

Crash!

A dented fender was the only damage, but there was damage to a vehicle that didn’t belong to us! You know that sick feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when something like that happens? It led us to head home where my boyfriend worked hard at fixing the car the best he could before he had to return it and “fess up.”

That situation would have been sad if it was our own car, but because it belonged to someone else, we felt twice as bad about it being damaged. When you’re caring for someone else’s property, I think there’s a greater feeling of responsibility.

That’s how I feel about caring for my body. It doesn’t belong to me! I just read in my Bible reading this week ~

What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you and which ye have from God, and that ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. I Corinthians 6:19, 20

When I read those verses, I was reminded about the responsibility that I have to care for this body that doesn’t belong to me. I feel a responsibility to the Lord to care for it in the best way I can (without going overboard!). I want this body to take me through all the years the Lord will give me with strength and health. I can’t control everything, but there are some things that are in my charge. So, I…

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain my weight so I can function without huffing and puffing
  • Get regular exercise
  • Get eight hours of sleep each night
  • Take a weekly rest from responsibilities

During the month of June my husband will be officially on Sabbatical (period of rest) from all his responsibilities at our church. I’m not on staff at our church, but I do many ministry tasks each week and am praying that I will be able to also rest with him. We will be close to home during this time. We love our home and find it the best place to rest, but we will take a few excursions not too far away. I will be blogging during this time, but I may be reposting some things from years past. I have serious doubts that most will even remember seeing these things before, so please stick around and check in Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I may even share a few pictures from our times of rest!

What are YOU doing to care for the body God has entrusted to you? Remember, you’re given the responsibility to care for it so it will enable you to serve the Lord well.

Which of the bullets I mentioned do you need to put into play in your life?

Refresh yourself as you care for your body,

Refreshment · The Scenic Route · Winter

Beating the Winter Blues

The winter blues are a real thing and I find it crucial in the middle of these winter months to make special effort to stay encouraged. Simple pleasures can go a long way in perking up my dreary spirits. Here’s a sampling of some of my recent winter day activities that helped beat the blues.

The best way to defeat being down is to have my heart lifted up through the Truths of God’s Word. This year I’m reading through the Bible using a chronological plan. Already I’ve seen new truths, been comforted about God’s care and presence, and have been reminded that God always has a plan for every person in every situation. That means right now in 2021, during a pandemic, on a dreary winter day, He is at work!

My husband and I played a round of Rummikub on Sunday evening. It was a cold night, so we set up a small table in front of the fireplace and enjoyed the warmth of the fire while we played. It was warm, it was fun, and we had time together!

We had a sunny day this week and I was determined to make the most of it. This was my radio recording day, so I headed out early so I could get my Jeep washed and also do a little shopping beforehand. It was a needed morning out!

I’ve been working on redoing our family room since September and the last piece of furniture I need for that room is a love seat. I’ve been looking for months and just couldn’t find what I wanted. We took a drive to Greeneville, TN to Robert’s Furniture Store and I found this lovely piece that is going to be perfect in my newly decorated space! It will be delivered later this week and I can’t wait. I am going to paint a wall, then I’ll be anxious to make a reveal here on my blog!
If you’re in East Tennessee, you need to visit Robert’s. It’s a locally owned business with the sweetest people and quality furniture. I can’t say enough about our experience with them!

Doing what we love, my husband and I took the scenic route through the country to go to the furniture store. The views are so pretty and the drive just made my heart smile! The sky on the way home was gorgeous…

I also spent some time in the kitchen this week. I’ve made several new recipes for supper, baked some bread, made more Rice Krispy Treats (for our small group) and also some Chicken broth in my crock pot. It feels good to be productive in the kitchen!

I pray that your winter days are being filled with blessings that you recognize as gifts from God’s hands. He’s the giver of them all.

P.S. I mentioned my radio recording – in case you don’t know, I do a daily broadcast on a local radio station. My church has all the recordings on their website. I linked it earlier and I’ll link it again, here, in case you’re interested. There’s a plethora of subjects from character traits to homemaking advice. Each broadcast is 15 minutes long. It is aired each week day on WHCB at 2:30 (recently changed) and on Saturday at 3:45. This is a ministry that the Lord placed in my lap, and I feel like the most unlikely person to be on the raido! There are days I wonder if anyone hears it, but I j ust know that I’m obeying the Lord in His direction in my life. So there you have it. If it can encourage you, than I’ll rejoice!

Tell me about one of your activities that helped you beat the winter blues!

Stay refreshed this winter,

Refreshment · refreshment at home

Maybe It’s Time for Change

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If you’re a regular reader of Refreshher, you’re noticing a big change in the way my blog looks today!  I felt it was looking tired and needed to be refreshed.  So, with a bit of a nervous stomach (would I lose everything on my blog?!), I set out to change its appearance.  I’ve been wanting to do this for some time, and I finally took the plunge.

I have to admit that I had help! Whitney, my daughter from Come Home for Comfort was here visiting and helped walk me through the process.  She made it much easier to click the tabs that would bring about the change!

This blog is committed to helping others refresh their hearts, homes and lives..  With a brand new year before us, maybe it’s time to stop and look carefully around you and see what needs to be refreshed in your life. I’m not just talking about updating a blog’s appearance, but at the things that are at the very core of your life – your surroundings, your routines, the presentation of your home, for starters.

I remember that even the simple task of reorganizing tools in a drawer in my kitchen last year made baking so much easier! Sometimes just a small change can turn even the most simple things into pleasures! How could change in these three areas specifically help you in this new year?

  • Heart – Was last year as spiritually deep as you wanted it to be?  Did you find yourself more spiritually mature because of the steps you took to walk closely to God?  Or does your heart need to be more engaged with the things of God’s Word, prayer and spiritual growth?  If so, I encourage you to find a “Whitney” to help you.  Get a godly friend/leader at church/mentor to be your accountability partner to gently and lovingly prod you to move forward and to help you make the changes you need to make to allow this year to be spiritually fruitful.
  • Home – Is there an area in your house that you don’t love?  Is there a space that isn’t being used adequately?  A mess that needs attention?  Ask a decorating savvy friend to come over and give a hand in rearranging the furniture, organizing a messy closet or redecorating a space that’s drab!  Not only will they give you some inspiration, you’ll also have fun doing it with a friend!
  • Life – Are there relationships that need work?  Is your schedule so busy that you’re missing out on the simple joys God gives every day like cooking a meal for your family, enjoying a quiet evening at home, or reading a book just for the pleasure of reading?  Do you have goals that you can’t seem to reach?  Talk to a friend that manages their time well.  See if they can help you get some balance in your world.I remember last year talking to two people about desiring to carve out time to write.  I talked to both my husband and a close friend.  They both gave some great input.  I put their counsel into practice, and was able to accomplish so much!

Ask the Lord to bring godly, wise people into your path, and then glean from their wisdom so you can bring the changes that are necessary in 2018!

I get excited now when I open up my blog home page and see the new, fresh look!  What changes are you ready to make?

Denise Signature 150 px

P.S. Thanks for your help Whitney!!  You always inspire me!

Uncategorized

Make Time to Refresh Yourself

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After time, doors need oiling, shoes need polishing, cars need refueling, pantries need restocking and

women need refreshing!

You’ve probably already accomplished much this week – perhaps taking care of children, encouraging your husband during a difficult time, mentoring a younger woman, washing 100 loads of laundry (or it seemed like it!), cooking meals, encouraging a friend and dealing with your own needs – physical, emotional and spiritual.  That can be draining day after day.
This would be a good day to find time to refresh yourself, and there are lots of ways to do that.  It doesn’t have to take the whole day, but just a part of it, or part of the evening to do something that will get you ready to face tomorrow.
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 Is there something that you love to do, but you’ve stuffed it away, waiting for time to get to do it?  Is it a
  • scrapbook
  • a quilt
  • a painting
  • a garden
  • a plan to walk
  • a craft
  • a decorating idea you want to do in your home?How about just a simple thing like
  • polishing your nails
  • sitting out on the swing outside with a glass of tea?

Take time today to do it – or make plans for it in the next day or two. Women don’t often allow themselves the time to do something just for themselves, but taking the opportunity to do something you love will refresh your heart and help you be ready to give to your family again.  It will benefit you and your family!

What would you love to have time for?  Pray and ask the Lord how and when, and then do it!

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