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Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Much Appreciated Sabbatical

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women

by Pam Roth
Just about this time, several years ago, my husband and I took off for a week-long working sabbatical.  The cabin we stayed in was nestled in the woods near a lake.  Not far from the front porch of the cabin, you could see the lake on this beautiful piece of property.  So one day, we took a pair of Adirondack chairs down to the shoreline to rest and watched the sunlight dancing on the lake.  It was a picture perfect afternoon, and a great beginning to our little get away. 

Have you ever felt the need to get off of the “carousel of life?”  Does it seem like your life is spinning out of control?  Or maybe you feel like you are just walking around in circles, not accomplishing anything.  Perhaps you are exactly where we were.  Nothing was really wrong – life had just been pulling us in so many different directions that it had been hard to stay focused on any one particular project.  Specifically for me, the most important aspect of my life – my continued relationship with the Lord needed a time of renewal and both of us just need to find a quiet place to retreat.

A retreat from life is a great way to get centered again…to get a new perspective, and to align priorities; but, with that comes the discipline to quiet our minds and to embrace the solitude.  For many of us, this is no small feat because we are so used to being busy with our jam-packed schedules.

All too often, it is the interruptions from external sources that we have no control over.  Let me give you an example.  Early one morning, while we were sound asleep, the smoke alarm went off in our room.  What could have been the beginning of a quiet, peaceful day was interrupted by the annoying sound of a smoke alarm and the smell of smoke in our room.  Abruptly, we jumped up and out of bed as we began to survey the situation.  Thankfully, it wasn’t anything serious.  Nonetheless, it was a distraction that took us off course for the first hour of our day.

This one thing is for sure…distractions will always be a part of our life, so the question is how do we find those moments of solitude that we so desperately need?  What steps do we need to take to intentionally carve away the time to assess our life and realign our direction?

Without a break from the daily routine, life will just keep happening and it won’t take long before you will find yourself adrift, wondering how you got off course.  Let me encourage you to stop right now to determine when you can take a couple hours, a day or week off for your own retreat.  Write the date on the calendar, make the necessary arrangements to get away, and don’t let anything else cause you to delay.

Here’s a good word from Mother Teresa to contemplate:
“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.  See how nature…trees, flowers, grass grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.  We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

May I encourage you to find time to retreat…even if it is just retreating a few hours from your daily routine?

When you draw away…spend some time in your Bible and journal the following questions:

  1. How do I see God (Trinity) in the verse? 
  2. What is God saying about himself?
  3. What is God saying about mankind?
  4. What is God saying to me, personally?
  5. What am I to do about what God is saying? 
  6. How will I follow through with what God has asked of me?
For more about Relevant Women -


  1. Thank you for writing this. This is very much my life right now. Thank you for the suggestions on how and what to do with some quiet time with The Lord.

    1. Heather...Appreciate you sharing your heart. It's so nice to know that we are not on this journey alone. Finding those quiet moments with God truly are a gift.


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