It’s hard to believe that in eight days I’ll begin a year long sabbatical from my regular job with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship! After seven years IVCF grants up to a year for academic sabbaticals, an amazing gift! I’m actually in my ninth year of ministry and during this year, I plan to finish my M.A. through Wheaton Grad school. I was talking with my friend Gracee the other day about helpful things to consider before beginning a sabbatical- I’d love some advice from any other people that have done/are doing one!
Since my degree is modular and my first class doesn’t start until March, I’ll actually have a decent amount of time for other things besides writing papers and reading for class. I’ve been mentally compiling a list of things I’d like to do, so I thought I’d just blog it out and stop driving myself batty with all my dreams for the next year.
Here is what I actually plan to do:
- Finish my M.A. through Wheaton. Read like crazy. Learn some rad stuff about evangelism and leadership. Write a lot of papers.
- Begin writing a book on “women in witness” based on the seminar I’m leading at Urbana- I’m so stoked about this and still can’t believe I have a meeting with an editor in a few days to discuss it!
- Invest awesome mom time with Reuben and wife time with Dave. I’m hoping to take a mom/toddler swim class with Reuben and a dance class with Dave.
- Spend time with girlfriends. I always have ideas for parties but often am gone so much or am so tired that I don’t have energy to follow through on my ideas. My latest party idea: “souper saturday”; have a couple girlfriends over with ingredients for soup that we’ll chop, cook and then each take a portion home to eat/freeze having multiple soups already prepared! I’d also just love to be able to do more normal mom stuff- playdates with kids, library reading hours, things I normally don’t get to do on a regular basis because of my travel schedule.
- Spend some awesome time with Jesus. I’m looking forward to taking a silent retreat in January or February at my favorite place, The Hermitage. I’m also hoping to be more involved with the moms group at my church and to possibly plan a women’s retreat!
Here is what I’d do if there were no limits to my sabbatical (time, $, family committments, etc.) in addition to what I’m already planning:
- Take the “fantasy bake-cation” through Zingerman’s bakery in Ann Arbor. A full weekend of learning how to bake world-famous bread or pastries. I would so LOVE to do this! Perhaps I will be able to swing taking one of the classes. I’d love to learn how to make english muffins at home. I’m a glutton for breakfast breads.
- Travel: to Kenya- to visit my brother and sister-in-law while they take sabbatical/work there for six months. To Ireland to visit one of my college girlfriends Katie and her husband Rob. Anywhere warm with Dave during the months of January and February when I get cabin fever living in Michigan.
- Create and sell artwork, like the peacock prints I made awhile ago. I’ve had a lot more ideas for those types of things but alas- it takes a lot of time to do that sort of thing! I’ve always found I both think and feel better when I have an outlet for creativity.
- Do a triathlon this summer. I wanted to do the Reed’s Lake run here in Grand Rapids this past summer, but again, that takes time and money- not to mention a lot of discipline! I think I probably will end up doing a 5K this spring with Dave, but a triathlon would be pretty cool too.
- Reorganize my kitchen pantry. This is the kind of stuff I tell myself that I’d like to do because it makes me feel like a better person but when it comes down to it, I really don’t enjoy it.
If you had a year to pursue your dreams, what would you do? Help me reorganize my pantry? 😉