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In Praise of Sabbaticals

Aug 31, 2011

Hi Ya’ll! It’s Rachel…….it’s been awhile since I’ve posted on the Going Beyond blog: one month to be exact! I’ve missed being here each day, but I’ve got to tell you something. I DIDN’T miss what God has been teaching me over these past weeks while I’ve been away.

You see, I not only took a break from this blog, but I also took a break from my other blog, Home Sanctuary, and most all things online: Facebook, Twitter and the random surfing, which I love to do. The funny thing is, I didn’t really set out to make this into an official sabbatical, I just knew I had a super busy month coming up and decided to step away from the computer so I could focus on the projects I needed to get done.

For once, I didn’t keep adding MORE activity to my plate. I reduced it.

And what a blessing this “Sabbath Space” has been.

I found that stepping back from the constant checking of emails, comments, tweets and blog posts gave my mind a chance to rest. To focus. To think some big thoughts. Or simply be at peace.

It’s made me realize how much we cram into our days – as if work and family responsibilities aren’t enough, we add ministry, volunteer work, sports, and church….all good things. But if we never eliminate anything or at least take a sabbatical, we become overloaded and burdened. It’s hard to find joy when there is the constant pressure of responsibility.

Maybe we should take another look at some of those activities and responsibilities and see where we can carve out some space to simply “BE.”

I found out something else. I found out that the world didn’t stop turning just because I didn’t update my Facebook status. I didn’t die because my other blog was in hibernation for a month. People actually lived without my tweets. And I actually lived without seeing everyone elses’ tweets! I think I’ve become so accustomed to checking on these things throughout the day that I never really stopped to consider how distracting it had become.


My month of big work projects is wrapping up and life will go back to its “normal” routine once again. But I want to continue carrying the Sabbath spaces into the rest of my life because I have a feeling that it’s something that gives God the opportunity to work. Not only does it give rest to the weary soul, it gives Him some elbow room to make good things happen. And I want that so desperately.

How about you? Have you ever dared to step away from the online world? What did you discover when you did? Have you looked for ways that you can create Sabbath spaces in other areas of your life?

What advice would you give me as I resume my normal routines?