Deep breaths and a glass of red wine

I planned the first weekend of sabbatical for months. Months. I knew exactly how I wanted to spend those first 24-48 hours and nothing was going to force me to deviate from the plan.  I had a wedding to perform the Saturday before I didn’t have to go to work on Sunday, but as soon as the wedding party was gone from the church I was going to set my sabbatical message on my email, shut the lights out, and consider myself “off.” Dinner and games with friends that night, brunch the next morning complete with fancy crêpes (and maybe a mimosa).  It was all lined up well in advance, and the plan was carried out without a hitch.IMG_0646

It never occurred to me, however, to plan the last night of sabbatical. So here I sit taking deep breaths and drinking a glass of wine. Continue reading

We have time

While my daughters and I were on the drive for a spontaneous strawberry-picking trip we passed through Afton, MN, home of Selma’s Ice Cream Parlor and a perfect playground across the street. I was asked from the backseat, “Can we stop there on the way home?”

My answer was my default, “If we have time.” I don’t like to default to “No,” but often we are running on a tight schedule. Our kids aren’t so overly programmed that we can’t do any trips to parks, playgrounds, or berry farms. But at the same time, with five of us, each with our own activity or work schedules, our trips aren’t exactly spontaneous. They have to be carefully coordinated to fit into the right empty spot on the numerous Google calendars we maintain.

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Counting down to sabbatical

To Do Before I LeaveIn just over two weeks I will begin a sabbatical from my pastoral ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Hudson.  The sermon countdown has begun (two more to write).  The “To Do Before I Leave” list at the left is constantly being updated.  I’m getting excited as I imagine what it will be like to have a summer full of weekends with my family instead of trying to squeeze our fun into the 12 hours we’re all awake on Saturday.  At the same time nerves are starting to mount a little, too.  Will the kids and I get along (enough) most days?  Will I know what to do with myself when I’m not being a pastor?  Will I miss the relationships in my life that are disrupted by this time away? Continue reading