Genesis 2:1-3 "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done."
Exodus 20:8-11 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
SABBATH (Collins Dictionary definition) -- "The Sabbath is the day of worship and rest for the members of some religious groups, especially Jews and Christians."
SABBATICAL according to Vocabulary.com -- "A sabbatical is an extended period of time away from work." And, according to Dictionary.com, a sabbatical is "any extended period of leave from one's customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc."
This post will not be a theological or expository treatment of the meaning of the Sabbath or the concept of taking a sabbatical, but I experienced some great benefits recently from pushing "pause" on my blog posts for a time in order to reset, refresh, and to rest from my bone-deep fatigue.
Since my book launched at the end of March, I have had 21 signing and/or speaking events. I've participated in 3 podcasts and taken 4 travel-writing-related trips. Steve and I hosted TWO Cousins Camps (one for 8 older grands and another for 4 "Skittles"). I met deadlines for numerous travel websites to which I contribute AND tried to keep up with 2 posts each week on ThereGoesConnie.com. Have I mentioned lately that I'm 72 years old? I praise God for my good health, but I was extremely tired.
Lots of great things happened while I was allowing myself the time to stop and spend more time savoring each day.
My aunt June and I flew to North Myrtle Beach for a few days with our Cousin Ginger in her beautiful condo. All we did was eat, sleep, and TALK. It was marvelous.
Steve and I had friends over for dinner, did some sprucing up here at the house, tried some new-to-us restaurants, and spent time with children and grands we don't see nearly often enough. We enjoyed worship and fellowship times through our church. We took a 12-day trip to Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and upstate New York. After landing in Boston, we rented a car and explored on our own, soaking up the amazing scenery and sampling great food. (Yes, you'll read the details and see more photos in the weeks to come).
As you can imagine, I've had lots of thoughts over the past couple of months, and I'm ready to begin sharing again. To add to the merriment, I just signed a contract for ANOTHER book that is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2023. Stay tuned for more about that in the days ahead.
(The fall colors beginning to show off in New England).
(Whitehall, our inn in Camden, Maine)
(Sailboats in Penobscot Bay)
(Great lunch in Kennebunkport, ME)
But, back to the Sabbath idea. I understand. God had just finished creating the universe out of a space that was "formless and empty." He had spent 6 days at His creative best. Everything had been done in an orderly, purposeful way, but then God knew it was time to step back and stop for a bit, to take stock and plenty of deep breaths. It's a very wise idea.
So many of us live our days at a frenetic pace. We try our best to do good things, to fill the requirements of our jobs, and to meet the needs of our loved ones. All of that is admirable, but it is difficult to maintain that pace AND be mindful of our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. If God thought it was a good idea to rest, then it's best for us to follow His example.
It's good to be back.