I love my job. I guess I technically have two jobs–and my business, but my “job” job, the one I work 40hrs a week at, is as a minister at Sandals Church and I love it. Lindy and I have been a part of the church for nearly 20 years, and I’ve been on staff for just over eight. This year our leadership has given me the gift of a month-long sabbatical and I tacked on a week of vacation to extend it a bit. I’m smack in the middle of Week 1 and so far it’s been awesome.
I realize the concept of a sabbatical is fairly unusual, so I wanted to share what I’m up to this month.
Humility Through Pain
I’ve chosen the goal of humility through pain as the the theme for my sabbatical. This plays out in lots of ways, but ultimately it means I’m looking for ways to intentionally think of other people as more important than me.
- I’m getting up daily at 5am and doing “my stuff”, which is everything from reading to managing our finances, from 6-7:30am so that the rest of my days are free for my family.
- Unless we’re doing something special I’m sticking to a diet of mostly Lindy’s green smoothies as a way of saying no to what I want (and getting that tight body for our 10th anniversary!).
- After several months off, I’m now back in the Jiu Jitsu game. This basically means I’m getting painfully humbled for an hour twice a week.
Shouldering the Load
I was doing the laundry last Sunday and Cosette was literally pulling every piece of clothing out of the baskets I’d sorted them into. I thought that was a perfect analogy for what it is like to be a parent of little kids: do something, and then right as you’re done undo it all and start over.
Because I work so much Lindy basically never stops working either. And while I get to accomplish things and see projects come to life in my professional life, she’s constantly marching a slow and consistent trudge caring for our kids.
I want to give the gift of rest to her this month. We actually mapped my entire time off on a printed calendar and intentionally blocked out times for her to do the stuff that’s is important to her. We’ve also blocked out time for her to just get away and by herself for 2-3 hours twice a week and catch her breath mentally.
She’s wrapping up work on six canvas art project this morning, our back yard is getting a little succulent corner, the boy’s bathroom and laundry rooms are getting a makeover, and whatever else she wants to do we’re going to make happen.
Switching Out Success
As much as I love teaching and my other work, it’s completely unfair of me to work seven days a week. I’m honestly really good at it so it’s easy for me to feel successful when I’m in that zone. It makes me feel great about myself because I can point to my calendar and our budget and highlight the exact ways I’m loving my family.
But I’m currently going through a process of redefining success. I want to give my best to my family, and the most valuable thing I have is time. So I’m dedicating as much of my time as possible to investing in the success of Home As Art and the vision we have for this blog.
I work for a church and we’ve chosen for Lindy to stay at home with our kids. I’m always going to have to work a lot, but what if all of my extra work could be with Lindy instead of on my own?
That’s some of what we’re laying a foundation for this month.
Praying the Hours
Here’s probably the most important decision I’ve made. Because I’m basically never going to be in meeting for the next month, I’ve got compete control over every minute of my day and I’ve scheduled six alarms to remind me to pray toward my goals:
- 6am: Pray for Humility
- 9am: Pray for Wisdom
- 12pm: Pray for Our Marriage
- 3pm: Pray for Wisdom
- 6pm: Pray for Humility
- 9pm: Pray with Thanks
Each morning I’m praying for humility and wisdom as a way of intentionally disciplining my thoughts and feelings. Humility is about the willingness to do hard things and wisdom is about the ability to see those things. Lindy and I are praying together at noon and then I’m repeating the whole thing in the afternoon and evening. Each night I want to be intentional about reflecting on the day and thanking God for what was good.
So there’s my sabbatical. What do you think? What would you do if you were able to take this much time off work?
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