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




  1. I love everything about this!!! Well…except the fact that I won’t see you regularly. 🙂 Excited to see and hear all that the Lord does through this sabbatical.

  2. Carol Bayless says:

    Bravo, Leslie and Craig, for entering this Brave New World leaning on the Holy Spirit for guidance! He will never lead you astray. His promptings will be gentle and quiet, but you will know them. What an exciting time! Love, Bee

  3. Bellisimo!

    I LOVED this. “Everything’s on the table.”

  4. Praying for you and Craig and your new adventure! I am so encouraged by this…especially to stop and take time asking the Lord, what do you have for me? What’s next? How can I trust you more? Live by faith? Sometimes I just get in the routine of life and don’t even think about those things! Have a wonderful trip and can’t wait to see what God does through this time!

    • Hey gal, thanks for the words of encouragement. I like all those questions…we should all be answering those all the time. Let’s live life with no routines…or at least very little! Ha, can we do that?

  5. Erin Deatherage says:

    Wow! How exciting to step out and trust The Lord when it could be so easy to continue to do the same thing. You guys are awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. What an encouragement to those of us walking behind you. 🙂

    • Thanks, gal! I am glad it encouraged you. We are so, so excited about it all. Will be posting when we get back from Italia!

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