June 21, 2012

Summer Sabbatical

But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. 

Sometimes you need to step back, breath deep and spend some time filling the tank for the next season to come.  We've been going hard for the last two years with babies, school, church, ministry, work, growing kids and all the trials that have been working on us and growing us for Him.  Demands have not even allowed for the time we typically build into our schedule for rest, refueling and family.  It has been a good run and we have been blessed to see God doing amazing things in our family, our ministry and in the lives of those we are blessed to know.

But we are tired.  In a good way.  Like the tired you feel at the end of a long day in the garden or doing some other manual labor.  So we are taking a sabbatical this summer.  God commanded the Israelites to take a year of rest every seven years.  We are not taking a whole year off, just the summer.  And we aren't technically taking a Sabbatical because, thanks to the early warm spell and lots of rain, we are enjoying some hard work in the gardens and harvesting the best crops we've seen for several years.

But  we are spending a lot of time with the Lord.  And we are spending a lot of time with each other.  We are spending much time doing fun things that have been pushed aside for more necessary endeavors.

We are celebrating... 2 baby showers... 2 bridal showers...
father's day... 
my brother Frank's birthday

Samuel's birthday... 
and Carmella's first birthday is just around the corner!
They are making movies... those wonderful and creative clowns of mine...
Carmella LOVES the pool in a super big way!
playing games 
...sewing, painting, cooking, reading, 
Behind that book, you see Emma Rose is swimming and reading

...writing (yes, I hope to write those long overdue thank you notes from my birthday) singing, knitting, visiting...
And spending some time doing nothing...
Breathing... we are just breathing for a change.  That's the way to sum it up.

But above all, our primary goal is to strengthen our roots with the Lord.  Everyone has chosen a different way to accomplish this task.

The girls are doing an intense Bible study together to challenge each other to grow and do more for the Lord in the coming year.  Allen and I are enjoying watching how much they have accomplished in just a few short weeks.  They have such a great peer relationship.  Mostly you see kids drag each other down.  One does something wrong and all the rest follow.  But these girls humble me.  One does something great and the others rise to the occasion to meet them.  And before you know the younger kids are trying to keep up, too.
Brianna pointed out she is in her PJ's and no one has makeup on... but it is summer, so there you have it.

The boys wanted a summer reading challenge.  Years ago the local library would give them a list of tasks to accomplish through reading and at the end there were rewards for a job well done.  But the last few years they were simply to log reading hours.  The kids felt this was a bum challenge because they already read all the time.  When the boys decided they were going to read through the New Testament this summer we made a game out of it.  I grabbed a calendar and filled in a challenge for each day of reading.

*If you read Mark 9-10 today tell Mama the best thing you read
*After you read Luke 8-9 write on the white board the three languages the Bible was written in
*Tell us what you learned today from John 3-4
*Find three Bible people whose names start with A
*Read Luke 18-19 in the hammock today
*Text your favorite verse from Luke 14-15 to Aunt Dawn

Etc... After finishing the New Testament each boy will receive $30 to put in the envelope where they are saving money to buy their ticket to Disney World.  (When they each save enough for their own ticket Pa agrees to pay for lodging for the family to take a trip.)

In the meantime, I am completely enjoying a very in depth study in the book of Jude.  During the month of July, I hope to tarry in 1, 2 and 3 John.  And August will be devoted to 1 and 2 Peter.  One of my favorite things about Summer is being able to sit in the garden early in the morning and hang out with the Lord.  This summer has been quite unusual because it has been so cool.  Many mornings I have carried a blanket out with me to bundle up in temps in the fifties.  Thanks to the cool weather and lots of rain everything looks amazing and it is worth the little chill to be out there.

The little guys are delighted to be going through the Jesus Story book Bible curriculum.  I know I have mentioned before how much I love this little book for kids.  It is the gift I give to all new parents and preschoolers.  Not only does it give an amazing understanding of the Gospel woven through the entire Bible, but it gives a new and clear perspective on so many things that as an adult I never caught before.

I was ordering a copy for a little friend who is turning two this summer when I saw they now have a Sunday school curriculum.  Even though Sam and Ellie know it inside and outside they are tickled to be going through their work books and enjoying the little videos that accompany each story.  This is written for a church Sunday school program and would be captivating to any young child.  And Okay, my big kids are captivated by it, too.

So there you have it.  A quick, not really, summary of the Wachter summer sabbatical.  As the fancy strikes I will stop back with photos and updates on...

*The Games of Summer
*The Food of Summer
*What We Are Reading

and  some of our favorite events as we piddle around making memories together.

1 comment :

  1. What a great idea! I hope this is a relaxing and rejuvenating time for your family!

    Just out of curiosity - are your older girls doing a particular Bible study, or just intense scripture reading? And what brought you to choose the books you are planning to study this summer?



    P.S. I love Emma's mindset with reading! I've always got a book with me and have unfortunately dropped one too many in the water :)