Refreshment · Sabbatical

Sabbatical Fun!

Busy lives don’t lend themselves for time to pursue hobbies. However, our recent sabbatical offered the time to refresh a favorite pasttime.

When I was in high school I took two years of art – not because I was gifted – but because I wanted to learn how to paint. It has been years since I’ve painted anything, but recently I had an itch to try my hand at watercolors. I’ve had so much fun! Here’s my first painting using the cheap watercolors I had on hand from Target! I did purchase watercolor paper so I could blend the colors.

We have so many beautiful barns around us. I decided to snap photos and paint some of them. Here’s the barn that is on my daily walk…

Wow, time painting has been such a blessing. I have a weekly plan to work on my watercolor techniques. I’ve found some great tutorials online that I’m planning on watching. I’m trying to remember that we can each create sabbatical moments! What hobby to do you love that you haven’t taken time for?

We also had the fun of time with my family. We hired a photographer to come and take pictures at my parent’s home. We had never had professional photos taken together. It was a fun and very special evening! I especially love the picture of the back of my parents. Isn’t that sweet?! My mom made the quilt that is in the background (it’s one of MANY she’s made!). Which photo is your favorite?

When we left Kentucky and headed home to Tennessee, we decided to stop for the night in Berea and enjoy the Boone Tavern. I’ve mentioned it before, but this is a super-special place. It is very southern, very elegant, and very restful! Also, their dining room serves amazing meals. If you ever visit, be sure to try their Kentucky Hot Brown! We always leave refreshed and wanting to return! Do you have a special hotel you return to over and over again?

We love sitting outside in the front porch rocking chairs or on the side yard in the shaded garden area. We enjoyed having our morning Quiet Time out there the day we left.

It seems we are always looking for the outdoor spots wherever we are. We love the sunshine and the fresh air!

That’s a wrap for the second week of sabbatical. I hope you’re getting the idea of our time away. Restful, fun, refreshing, and restorative! How we needed it and how thankful we are for that time!

Again, let me remind you that though you many never have a 30-Day sabbatical, we each need to create sabbatical moments. Our minds, hearts and bodies need it so we can press on and serve with strength, energy and a full heart of love for God!

I’d love to hear your answers to the questions I posed in the post!

Refresh your own heart with some fun!

ministry · Uncategorized


It was a typical Apples of Gold morning – I was getting dressed while listening to my Bible app on my phone.  I was also receiving texts from friends who were praying for our upcoming mentoring class that would happen in a couple of hours.  Just as I was sending a message my phone STOPPED in mid-sentence.  It wouldn’t type or go back to the home screen. Then it went black.  The sickening feeling in my heart lived out to be true – my phone (less than a year old) died.

The kind Verizon rep at the store told me later that afternoon that there was some glitch in the phone and they would replace it, but my replacement wouldn’t be here until at least two or three days from now.  I became UNPLUGGED.


It’s ironic that it happened when it did, because in another area of my life, as of today, I’m becoming “unplugged.”  It’s ministry.  You see, my husband and I have been given an extraordinary gift from our church – a 31-day sabbatical!  

Sabbatical is just a period of absence.  The goal for ours is to rest, refocus and reload – those are my terms. This is what I’m praying these 31 days will accomplish in my life:

  • Rest – This is pretty obvious.  We have had an exteremely busy spring and summer.  Our minds and bodies are tired.  We need to shut down and rest.  Sleep, leisure and a slower pace is our goal.
  • Refocus – It’s easy to be so busy doing that you lose the sight of where you’re headed – of what you really want to accomplish and why.  I long to take a step back and consider the days ahead carefully and then make plans that support those choices.
  • Reload – I need some time to fill up.  Time to pray, study and be alone with the Lord.  More than anything I’m praying this will be a spiritual retreat for us both.

That being said, I’m not really sure what my blog will look like in these 31 days.  I’m not planning on abandoning it, but maybe to just cool it a bit.  I might just write to give you a look into our sabbatical.  It might just be a picture or a quote – I’ll let the Lord dictate the content, as I do every day.

So, here we go – 31 days of being UNPLUGGED.

With love,

Denise Signature 150 px