Why I’m taking a Sabbatical

fear-of-laying-it-downI had a great conversation with my friend Marlita Hill several weeks back. The first thing I said to her, when I saw her that day was, “I’m feeling thwarted.”

On that sunny Thursday morning, I had left the house with grand plans: I would drop my boys off at the co-op where they take classes (I teach there on other days, but Thursday is my day off). After that, I would relish a couple of hours in reflection and post to my blog before meeting Marlita for coffee.

Instead, I was faced with a minor but urgent crisis at the co-op along with a couple of, “While you’re here, can I ask you about….” conversations that came up on my way out the door. When I arrived at our meeting spot, I had spent no time in reflection or writing and had acquired several new tasks on my todo list.

Proverb 20:5 says, “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Marlita is one of those “(wo)men of understanding.” As we talked, I confessed to her how torn I feel this year: I’ve taken on leadership at this beloved co-op where my children take classes. My husband and I have felt called to plant a church in our city. And I have this love for dance and passion for equipping others. The three so often feel like they are in competition for my time.

We talked about laying any one of them down and what the Lord might have to say about that. My response was, “I’m not sure I want to know.” And then the tears came. Our conversation revealed my fear about what the Lord would have me lay down, that it would be what I cherish most.

Marlita’s next words lifted a weight I’ve been carrying as I’ve felt torn between these three ministries. She said, “Jesus said, ‘He who lays his life down for my sake will find it.’ What do you think ‘it’ is? It is your life. If you lay down your life, you will find your life. You have to remember who it is that you are in relationship with. The One who sometimes calls us to lay things down is the one who put those desires on our heart in the first place. If he calls us to lay them down for a season, it’s because He has a reason, and His reasons include our welfare and factor in the desires of our heart. Sometimes He asks us to lay something down so that we can hear what His purposes really are for that thing and so that we can come back to do that later with greater clarity or preparedness.”

lay-it-down-to-find-itI left that conversation feeling like a window had been opened for my soul, allowing fresh air to blow through my mind and emotions and allowing me to look at my dilemma with hope instead of fear.

In light of this conversation, I’ve realized I need to create more space to hear from God. I cannot leave my husband to plant this church without support, and I have not felt released from the call to home school my boys and help lead their co-op. But I felt a lightness when I considered laying down my blog and email community for a season.

So, I have decided to take a sabbatical from posting to my blog and sending out regular email updates. I’m doing this so that I can better hear from God about His purposes for my dance and for my life.

But I don’t want to abandon the community of worship dancers that have allowed me to be part of their life and ministry. You have been a gift and an encouragement to me, and I feel like I have more to give to you. So, here is my plan:

  1. I’m posting links to my 10 favorite blog posts here, so you can access them here at any time: 10 of My Favorite Posts
  2. I’m hoping to set up automated monthly or bi-monthly emails giving you access to archived resources on my blog. This is my way of staying connected and continuing to give, even as I rest.
  3. I’ll still check my mail and will continue to pray for you. In fact, if you have a specific prayer request, please do respond with it to this email.
  4. I’m planning on meeting monthly with a dear friend who lives locally to pray, worship through dance, and consider where God would lead us in local ministry in 2017.

I would appreciate your prayer and look forward to reaching out afresh at the end of January 2017.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this long post. I’m grateful to be part of your life.

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