This journey began almost a year ago. Well, if we’re going to be technical, it began 15 years ago when I took my first youth ministry position. However, this particular journey of exhaustion, frustration, sadness, and longing began about a year ago. After several conversations with trusted friends and a few meetings with my spiritual director, it was clear that I needed some time off – time to reflect, rest and renew. So I asked for a sabbatical. It wasn’t easy. Asking for an extended period of paid time off seemed selfish, a bit privileged even. I couldn’t ignore it though. I was getting signs from every direction that it was necessary, mandatory even.
One day as I was walking, I hit play on a newly discovered podcast. Lacy concluded with a blessing from John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us.
Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone. (page 125)
I could have fallen to the ground in that very moment and sobbed. Weary, so weary. Everything I was giving to my job wore me out. I was still creating and making new opportunities for my youth and yet… and yet, I was so tired. I began to wonder if youth ministry was no longer my calling. I started questioning everything. I needed space to breath, to be. So, I’ve let go of the words selfish and privileged. I’ve taken on life-giving and sustaining. I relish in rest and beauty. I do not take this time for granted. I am grateful.
And now here I am on day one. Now what?
I listen to podcasts while walking and quilting. I read almost daily. I watch lots of interesting shows. I engage in insightful conversations with friends. I’ve worked in the church for 13 years. In other words, I have a lot to say about a lot of things. I want to use part of my time away for writing and it seems that a blog is a good way to do that. Some of my writing will be related to creation, others about quilts, some about travel, others about God. Whatever the topic, I hope you will find a connection – an insight – that might stir something up in you. Thank you for joining me on this journey.