Sabbatical Sursees :: The Italian Adventure

A note from Sursee Gal

Dear friend,

A good friend recommended that I write a little note to tell you what I will be doing the next month.  I will not be blogging.  Even writing that makes me feel a little anxious.  Am I the real deal if I take time off?

Yes, I think so, and here is what I will be doing.

I will be in Italy with Craig, Sabbatical Dad. AKA Sursee Guy.

We will be:  Living.  Eating. Walking. Praying. Napping.  Being.  Drinking in God’s beauty and goodness.

Taking a break from computers, Instagram, blogging.

I want to try to be present and with Craig.  A good friend emailed me and said,

”Don’t worry about what you are missing,  Celebrate what you are experiencing.”

Ahh, good friends.  They know you. The above is so true for me. There is nothing worse than being one place and wishing you were another place.

She also encouraged me to take less photos with my camera and let my “eyes and heart remember”.  I have already thought about that, and we are going to have a little contest.  I get to take as many pictures as I want to every day, but, at the end of the day, we have to cull through them and delete down to 10 photos…ack. Can I do it?  I think so.  I have even thought of culling down to my top 5!  How many pictures do I really need? How many do you want to really see when I get back.  300? or 150? Hahah.

I am not going to get all twisted and never check email or texts or take an IG photo.  I am going to try to unplug and BE more.  I am bringing a new journal and my favorite pen to write everyday.

I want to blog everyday and let you see all that I am seeing, but I understand that I can’t do that in real time.  Can you wait till November to see and hear all the details?

In October a whole slew of bloggers try a 31Days where they blog everyday on a topic and practice the discipline of writing every, every day. No skipping days.  I have heard that it brings out new stuff you have swirling around in you and is a great experience.  But I am not going to do that this October.

My friend, Jacki at The Jesse Tree Project told me her great idea for 31Days.  She is going to write every day and not post it.  I think that is what I will do.  Then I will have loads of good stuff when I get back.  It will be a good discipline for me to sit and write every, every day. Thanks for the great tip, gal.

Terri over at White Pitchers is writing about the tending of our souls.  If you haven’t read her musings yet, I recommend checking in with her this next month.  She is a beautiful wordsmith and paints gorgeous pictures with her eloquent prose. Please check her out in October as she explores making white space for our souls.

I think that is all.  I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do in our lives.  I will be checking in on IG so follow me over there if you are not already-  @SurseeGal

Ciao and xoxo


Sabbatical Sursees :: The Beginning

Fall flowers Sabbatical Sursees

Long ago when I first learned about blogs, I followed the cutest gal who wrote so beautifully and honestly; I felt like I knew her.   One of her adventures that she wrote about was when she and her husband decided to go live in Italy for a time, to give him a break from the long, long  years of working.  I can’t remember how many years that was, but I am pretty sure it was less than 15.  I can remember reading that to my husband and our response was, “What the heck! You’ve been working way longer than that.  We are the ones that need a Sabbatical.”

Thus the seed was planted for a break, a sabbatical of sorts.

Over the years we sought counsel from good friends and business associates.  We prayed and had many, many conversations on our walks and drives and during meals.  Every year it was a New Year’s Resolution, until one year when we brought it up as this new idea, a dear friend pointed out that we had talked about Craig switching jobs for years.

Uh,oh. Busted.

So this year was different.  We, in earnest, started planning and scheming for our Sabbatical and in August the deal was done and IT began.  Goodbyes were said.  The art from the office walls was taken down and desks cleaned out.  I remember on his last day, after I kissed him on his way out the door, I had a panicky feeling in my gut.  “What are we doing?” I thought.  Then I remembered that The Lord was in control, and we were not doing something rash and foolish.

One issue that popped up though.  We didn’t really know what to call this break of sorts. Craig has not retired. He resigned and is redesigning, taking a break.  We think of our break like a Reset for this second half of our life.  A Sabbatical of Sorts, really for both of us.  I looked up the definition of a Sabbatical and found this:

a period of paid leave granted to a college teacher for study or travel, traditionally every seventh year.

I liked the idea that a Sabbatical was for study or travel, both of which we hope to do.

Fall Hollyhocks

Another definition is:

any extended period of leave from one’s customary work especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.

Yes, we are taking an extended leave from Craig working full time to rest and reset.  I love this word picture of acquiring new skills or training.  

One more entry in the dictionary included the reference to Leviticus 25:2-7:

a year during which the land was to be left uncultivated, debts annulled, etc, supposed to be observed every seventh year by the ancient Israelites.  

Or this reference found in Exodus 23:10:

 they were told to let the land in the seventh year rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave, the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

So we decided to call this time period our Sabbatical; it will be a time where we reset our lives and spend some time resting.  We will let some fields lie fallow.  Acquire some new skills. Travel! Learn.

As we face the second half of our life, we wanted to really look at all we are doing and make sure we are doing what God has called us to do.

We are letting go of the security of a paycheck and wanting to rely on the Lord’s provision.  We are wanting to trust God in the big and small things, together.

We are on an adventure. A new twist to our lives.  We are asking God to lead us, to guide us and are listening to hear His direction. What do we need to let go of, release?  What to hold onto?

We are rethinking everything.  Everything is on the table.  Do we keep our newspaper subscription?   We are cleaning out our house and garage.  Using up, saying no, not buying, choosing wisely in all areas.  It has been exciting, scary and an adventure all rolled into one.  Ye Olde Budget is back in play and it is good to see where the money goes.  What do I really need?  What do I think I need?

We bought a ginormous white board and scribble our planning sessions on it.  It is super helpful to us to see all the possibilities written out big and then see the connections.  We brainstorm and eliminate and elaborate- then take action.

Fall road

Simple.  That is one word we keep coming back to during this Sabbatical Season.  A simple plan.  A simple vacation. A simple wardrobe, garage, meal.

Sweet.  Another word I would use to describe this time with Craig.  Like being newlyweds, really.  To slow down and rest together is sweet.

Intentional.  Thinking through this next half of life and resetting what we think it should look like.

Join me on this adventure?  I will be writing about it on and off,  from my Sabbatical Haircut to our Italian Adventure- Sursees Galore!  I hope it inspires you to do a reset in your life wherever you are.  Isn’t that what God is calling us all to when He says:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30



Saturday Sursee :: 2 Fun and Functional Sursees I Found in my Travels

Pinnochio pencil sharpener and holder

When I go on a trip, I love bringing home SURSEES!  You could have guessed that, I am sure.  The Sursee Gal  is not looking for the standard trinket or expensive museum shop purchase.  Oh, no. Over the years, I have tried to find Sursees that are … [Continue reading]

Sursee Gal’s Cure for Burns :: Pass the Mustard, Please!

Mustard bottles

Here is a super great tip that you are not going to want to forget.  Well, if you are like me and sometimes burn yourself when you are cooking, you will not want to forget this! The other day I was cooking and cooking and pulled a hot cookie tray … [Continue reading]

4 Great Podcasts to Follow

podcast pic

    Listening to podcasts is fun for me.  I listen while I put on my makeup or drive in the car or fold laundry or get the picture.  Have you ever listened to a PodCast?  It is not hard to download through the Podcast … [Continue reading]

Planning your School Year:: Some Ideas and Tips

Planning your school year

  I have been seeing the school supplies at the store and the parents scrambling to stock up on back packs and small bags of chips, and bright yellow pencils.  Oh, how I love the back to school time.  The newness of the year stretching out in … [Continue reading]

What Summer Looks Like At Sursee Gal’s House

Fairy Pool

  Ahhh, July 29th, the smack dab middle of summah?  Well, I am going to pretend it is. Ha ha. I feel like this summer has flown by on the wings of a wedding and down a red jeep ride on the mountains and then slid smack into a week of … [Continue reading]

My Summertime Goal :: 20 Minutes Everyday

My summertime goal

  A Summertime goal for me is 20 Minutes Everday. 20 Minutes of reading, of memorizing the Word, of writing, of walking, of playing the piano, of cleaning out, of stretching or lifting weights, of gardening. 20 … [Continue reading]

Stop Wearing Pants That Don’t Fit

Stop wearing pants that don't fit

Right now, I want you to stop wearing those pants you don't like.  You know the ones that are too tight, too loose, too short, too long.  The ones you have had for years, and they look like it, but you don't have another pair of white pants, so you … [Continue reading]

Saturday Sursee :: May Graduations and Seeing that Nest Empty

empty nest thoughts for pinterest

Gal, Are you there?  Are you about to enter the Empty Nest?  Are you looking at your son or daughter as they graduate and realizing this is it?  Maybe you are Wondering, What Next? I was thinking about this today as I thought of friends who are … [Continue reading]