Our Sabbatical Year

We’ve been praying about something for quite a while. We have wrestled with this, and I can tell you, it was truly a wrestling match. We have spent many hours in conversation, and in prayer, but I can honestly say, confirmation from the Lord grants a kind of peace that no one can take away.
Like many of you, we live a busy life. We are not as busy as some of the people we know, but we are busy. We live in a big city with lots of people, lots of traffic, lots of noise, and lots and lots of choices and distractions. Even short vacations aren’t always enough to recharge the battery—especially when children are on the vacation.
I’m the first to admit that when my children were toddlers, I was counting down the days until I could send them to school. I couldn’t wait to buy new monogrammed backpacks and lunch boxes and shop for back-to-school supplies. I looked forward to school plays and sports events. But after twelve years of back-to-school days, my lens has slowly changed. As much as I wanted my toddlers to go to school so I could have a break, I now quickly realize that I don’t have much time left with my children before they all leave for college and move on to their adult lives.
And so, as back-to-school sales geared up, and moms and dads posted back-to-school photos on social media, we’ve decided this year to take a sabbatical year. Thanks to the advances in technology now extending to school-aged children, not just college students, our children will be doing school virtually. We are blessed that our private Christian school offers the option of a virtual academy
​Homeschooling is not for everyone. I’m not even sure it is entirely for our whole family, but we will see. I’ve homeschooled my oldest child for a couple of his school-aged years, and it works very well for him. I’ve dreamt of homeschooling all three but just haven’t done it because well, all my children are very different. Some love school, some not so much. Some love the socialness of school, some not so much. Over the years, I’ve learned that when we have so many schooling options, making one option fit for all three kiddos is not always easy.
With this virtual option, we are hoping to decompress and experience life a little more this year. The hustle and bustle of busy crowded weekends make enjoying downtime a little hard. It seems we strive to survive from school break to school break barely living in the moments in between. I really want my children to learn now that life doesn’t have to always run at one hundred miles per hour. We shouldn’t race through life just to arrive at death. If we do, we miss so much in between.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).
Our desolate place is our home. It’s the place where we can laugh together (we seem to have had a lot more of that lately since making this decision), grow together, and really get to know one another.
​We are taking one day at a time. I am praying this year will draw us closer to one another, but also allow each one of us to have more quiet time alone with God really seeking Him for our days ahead. We’ll still be involved with activities, and I also hope to be able to find more opportunities for us to serve others. Our plan is not to hole up in our home shut off from the rest of the world, but to experience more of the world.
Since we aren’t completely taking the school year off and entirely going off the grid, it’s a sabbatical year with a twist. I may occasionally post about our year, so I hope you’ll keep checking in to see what adventure we are up to next. And of course, please pray for this momma who needs her quiet, alone time. If you find me in my closet from time to time, you’ll know why!

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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Cecilia - August 16th, 2016 at 1:40pm