Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Sabbatical Rest

God is really sneaky. But I knew that for along time already.

So my plan for my sabbatical-- three months long, a miracle in itself!-- was to write my book, maybe two, and to set up a day shelter for the folks in Gresham.

First thing, these plans were fulfilled. I'm still working on cleaning up my book, and we still need to get at least one more church to get the day shelter going, but the tough work is done.

But the other thing about my sabbatical is to get rest so I'd be rejuvenated to get back to work. To not be so overwhelmed with weariness. That was a trickier project, because other than rest-- a very difficult thing for me to do-- I had no idea. Maybe a week long retreat away from everything.

The beginning of my sabbatical didn't go well on that last part. The day shelter was requiring some connecting-with-people work (my most tiring work) and the book was starting slowly. I was just so tired.

And then money ran out. That was awful. Bills were piling up and I had no way of paying them. And we couldn't pay for my medicine, due to my lack of testosterone. And I didn't have it for two months in the midst of my sabbatical. That meant my muscles started atrophying, I had to take naps in the afternoon, I had to watch what I ate because diabetes kicked in and other exciting prospects. And I had high anxiety, which was only increased by not having money to pay bills! My phone switched off, and all was not good.

Some folks helped us out in our need-- thank you David and Duncan! Just to keep electrcity on and food handy.

But, a week into December, we got our tax refund. It was less than we thought, but still, our bills were paid and we got my medicine and Diane's (who was on the edge of being out). After I got my testosterone shot, it takes about a week of adjustment. I get funny pains all over my body and my temper goes wacky and stuff. Then I took the time to get to a retreat center-- a Trappist Monastery, actually.

I just got back. Wow. I mean, wow. I feel so much better. My eyes are bright and my mind is back and I am reading again and I feel compelled to write again. I feel like myself.

I guess it was God's plan to not have me have my medicine. I've often said the only way I rest is if I'm sick, so God conveniently planned for me to be sick for a couple months. Then the money came just as things were coming to a head. Then I took the retreat which the final item snapped into place to give me my mind back.

Well, it's nice to be back. Can't say how it's permanent. That's up to God. But He is always faithful.


andy said...

It's great to have you "back" Steve! It is amazing how out of whack out bodies can get - but then God reminds me in those times that it's just a reflection of my spiritual state! There is indeed a rhythm to God's grace, a dance for us to join. But "kicking against the goads" we resist. The "trick" is to discover how to dance with God in every area of our life and ministry. Not that I've figured that out yet - I'm still stomping on toes! I pray for a healthy rhythm for you and family as you re-enter the chaos of life! Shalom,

LeeAnn said...

i'm nonplussed that you did not somehow let it be known that you had needs under these pretty serious conditions. (deadpan stare) really: the worker is work his wages & don't muzzle the ox while it's working, etc. although maybe i'm to blame for not asking. unsure. but for sure not happy that you went through this without your people knowing.
you seemed very energized and happy on Christmas! :-)

LeeAnn said...

addendum: oops. wasn't subscribed to this specific blog: you did mention your needs. geez. don't wait so long though, k?!