Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All Good Things...

As Loverboy sang 33 years ago, "It's over! It's over! It's over!"

My nine-week sabbatical ended yesterday and so this morning I made my way to the church office for the first official time since early June. It was almost like a "first day on the job" feeling with the mixed emotions of both excitement and anxiousness. However, soon after the day began, the staff and I had a great time sharing over doughnuts (which always seem to make any situation better) about our summer from both point of views, and we all agreed that it went by very fast!

From my perspective, that was certainly true. To those who told me I'd get bored - you know, that just didn't happen. Did I accomplish everything that I had hoped to? Not even close. I've still got lots of organizing to do (and throwing away, gasp!) of personal and professional papers and digital files, as well as some unfinished house projects and unread books.

But did I accomplish what I needed to? Or what God wanted me to? I really believe I did. At least I hope I did. Since I had never experienced this kind of break before, I really didn't know what to expect or think. I just know that I now feel less burdened by some things that used to overwhelm me, and more determined about others that I used to look right past.

I don't really want to steal my "thunder" from this coming Sunday as I plan to share about some lessons learned throughout the summer, but here's a quick snapshot of the last nine weeks by the numbers:
  • 8,000 miles traveled with family and friends (8,019.4 to be exact, or at least as exact as I can get)
  • 192 geocaches found (including the Original Stash Plaque, my first finds in British Columbia, Ontario, Washington, Oregon, and Michigan, and a whopping 80 finds on a single day with the 2McTwins as we completed the HI - Be Happy! Geo Art)
  • 150 / 4 Psalms / Gospels read
  • 21 varieties of hot dogs stomached from Sonic's "Dog Days of Summer"
  • 14 verses in John 14 memorized (and I thought I could do all 91 in John 14-16 - ha! I will continue to add to this each week...)
  • 11 church families worshiped with on Sunday mornings, including 7 local
  • 10 trips to Lowe's Hardware (it was at least 10, or enough for them to call and offer me a business credit card!)
  • days in a car, train, ferry, and on an island with my family during our memorable vacation to Mackinac Island / Ontario Canada
  • books read (but I would probably only recommend 4)
  • days in Seattle/Bellingham with my friend Scott for sightseeing and phenomenal training on Logos Bible Software 
  • 3 weddings performed, including my first 6 AM nuptials and first ceremony in which my son was the pianist
  • ?? numerous hours spent with my wife and son watching British TV, playing games, and just hanging out!
  • grateful heart for the opportunity given to me by our church family, leadership, and staff! The words seem small on the screen, but they are very large in my heart. Thank you.