And here we are again… yes, I’m on week 3 of sabbatical and as I type this I’ve just realized that means I only have one week left. Actually, LESS than one week left. But, hey… it’s been a killer time off! I’m as happy as happy can be… and rested… and blessed… and happy!
The last highlight reel left off on Sunday morning… I’ll finish up Sunday by saying I got to spend some time with friends who are just as passionate about a new interest of mine as I am, essential oils. We got the gang together to hear about the highlights from the FUEL San Diego conference (put on by the amazing Lemon Dropper team for Young Living Essential Oils) and chatted about oils and shared lemon recipes and discussed the ins/outs of the oily business with each other for a couple of hours. I love our inspiring times together…
On Sunday, near the end of hanging with the gang, I noticed that I had a voice mail from a high school friend who also attends our church. She was distraught and calling for help. I prayed, seeking guidance from our Heavenly Father, about how best to help and returned her call. She was asking for some practical help on Monday morning.. but I recognized that we could also offer some emotional and spiritual help as well.
On Monday morning I was accompanied by two servant-minded women friends …. we arrived at the home of our sister-in-Christ who needed some support and prayed over how best to provide this help. We started the morning off by praying and asking for guidance and wisdom through the situation our friend had not asked to be put in. There in the parking lot we sought God’s direction in how to best help our friend and her daughter and further His kingdom.
For several hours we ministered to this family unit, in practical/emotional ways and prayed with her over their family needs… and when the three of us drove away from her house we knew we were the ones who had blessed…
I’m telling you… flat.out.blessed. Humbled. Blessed beyond words.
“And now, through Christ, all the kindness of God has been poured out upon us undeserving sinners; and now he is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them, so that they, too, will believe and obey him.” Romans 1:5
And I followed up this time by meeting another friend for coffee… who, NOT coincidentally was sharing with me about her innate desire to get out into our community and just “DO”… to be the example that Christ calls us to be to our community. We talked through ideas, caught up and laughed with each other, learned about some similarities we weren’t aware of … and overall just had a really enriching time visiting together.
Why am I constantly amazed at these providential occurrences? I should know by now… that’s just how our Heavenly Father operates.
I stole away for lunch with my crafty partner-in-crime Debbie, to a local haunt by the name of Swami’s Grill… again. This was the first time to lunch w/ Debbie in years. I say “again”, because they’re getting to know me over at Swami’s. I’ve been a regular there over the past couple of weeks. ::: ahem ::: I am not ashamed. It’s so darn yummy! They’re so darn helpful. And I’m just comfortable there. (Plus, I spilled a whole cup of water on the floor today… and I find that when I make a mess somewhere I just feel a bit more at home….. what?!) ::: wink ::
Lunch was later followed by our normal walk with the dog, Callie. As usual, we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the neighborhood…
Following our inspiring afternoon walk I headed out to meet my friend Jessica for dinner. We had been craving sushi… so, sushi we got. She needed “adult time” (aka ‘time away from the kids’) and I just needed sushi. And I have to tell you, even though I’ve known Jessica for almost 20 years (WHAT?!) I learn new things about her every time we hang. And the more I get to know this quirky, lively, grounded, creative, wise woman the more time I wish I could spend with her. We have a lot of life happenings in common… and I just love her. When can we do sushi again?! seriously!
And before I knew it, we’re already in the middle of the week. I had some last minute things to take care of before leaving town the next day… and then it occurred to me “Why do I have to wait until tomorrow to go? Why can’t we just go today?!”
So “GO!” we did! We
Several months ago debi and I started talking about going away for a writing retreat during my sabbatical, especially since her time off coincided. We searched out a place to stay, talked about the food plans while we were away… and the only other thing we really knew was that we were going to write. There was no set agenda for the time away. There was no real concern over what to wear or what to bring or what we were doing while we were gone. We were bringing a book to read, our laptops and our bathing suits.
So, why wait until tomorrow morning to leave? I mean really… let’s just go!
Let me take this opportunity to explain some things about my friend debi. Yes, she spells her first name with a lowercase “d”, just deal with with. She’s hilarious. She gets me. We have a blast together… and I love that we’re still getting to know each other. Years ago we bonded, at our church women’s retreat, over a plate of snickerdoodle cookies. So, naturally, our nicknames for each other are “Snicker” (me) and “doodle” (debi).
Yeah, just deal with it. ::: wink :::
And so since we left the San Diego area after dinner time, we got to Palm Desert well after dark. But we found our place in no time flat and quickly unpacked. Then we found our way to the back patio even quicker while we waited for the air conditioning unit to do it’s thing inside the hot house. It was 85 degrees inside the house at 9 pm… and 80 degrees on the back patio, with a nice breeze.
We put our feet up and stared into the darkness… and chatted and laughed until well past midnight. This is the life…
We got up early to hit up Starbucks and the grocery. And then we were set.
We had a quick breakfast, found our places and set to the business of writing … and simply dove right in…
It wasn’t until the late afternoon that I realized, and verbalized to debi, that I finally felt relaxed. While writing and editing is a bit of a task… it felt phenomenal to be doing what I really wanted to be doing. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for months… and I had purposefully “cleared the desk” so to speak so that I could focus on the purpose of the weekend.
The lack of a TO DO List was freeing. The open laptop was permission to write and research and pursue something I rarely get time to do. Usually it’s rushed and a bit frenzied… and I rarely get to spend as much time writing as I wish I could.
I was in heaven, in Palm Desert… even though this was happening…
Due to the windy mornings and nights, we didn’t get to go in the pool today. It was just too filthy (thank you, nasty palm trees for making it difficult for us – first world problems). So, we called the pool guy to see when he might be there … hmph, not until tomorrow? OK, getting back to the business of writing…
Today consisted of more of the same. More coffee and food. More chatting and belly-laughs and getting to know each other, and learning from each other… and more of us just being us. I was still editing, the last few chapters (of debi’s book). And this statement, randomly tucked away in a paragraph jumped right off the page at me: I think we just found her book’s sub-title.
We talked further about her audience: age range, place in life, their faith, purpose of her book, why she wrote it, etc… and then we talked briefly about branding, the cover of her book, and her next steps.
It’s crazy to think that she entrusted me with these pages and actually wants my editing advice!!!
And then the pool guys arrived… and within 20 minutes the pool was all sparkly clean … and we were waiting by the back door to go out and play!!!
We floated around for a while, swam around for a while, got all pruned up… and then sat on the back patio and kept reading for a while. This is SERIOUSLY the life! (Until I realized how badly sun-burned I had become… and was sorely regretting not reapplying that sunscreen. However, I do NOT regret all that floating.
Up early. House packed. Checklist of things to do to “turn off the house” … check! And it was time to get back on the road. It was just the perfect amount of time. Two full days of focusing on what our hearts desired. And now it’s time to get back to reality… it was a blast! Let’s do it again!
It was nap time… because later on Saturday night I had more big plans! I was given the opportunity to meet (for the very first time) one of my internet-world blogger/writer friends, Renee Fisher. She was throwing her 32nd birthday party, and I received an invite! I couldn’t wait … to go back to Cordiano Winery AND to meet new friends!!!
The night was beautiful! Simply beautiful. New friendships were formed. Bonds were created. Good food was enjoyed, and there was lots of laughter. What fun it was to meet Renee in person, and her friends as well. Truly an enjoyable evening … at a stunning location.
And with that I wrap up the Week 3 highlights… and wait for one last, and final, week of rest. I have fewer things planned this week with the hopes of spending that time at home and continuing on with the writing focus. Once again, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to take this time off of work and either vacation or pursue wherever you wan owith them.