It's a little more than halfway through my sabbatical. This time has been more refreshment than I imagined it would be. I've spent time with friends, time alone, time with my family, and most importantly, a great deal of time with God. Here are some things I've realized halfway through this time of rest:

1. Never underestimate the power of solid and extended times of sleep at night. I have not rested like this since before we had children. I have definitely fallen into some bad habits of random sleep habits in the past few years. I have been consistently going to bed around the same time and I'm waking up so much more refreshed.
2. Never take for granted the lifelong friendships you have in your life. I am so blessed with some tremendous friends that have taken the time to connect with me during my sabbatical. You know who you are. Thank you for pouring into me in a way that nothing else in the world can!
3. I had no idea how overextended I was before my sabbatical began. I knew that I had been working a lot the past 18 months, but I was astonished at how much I was trying to squeeze into each day.
4. Powerful creativity is directly connected to having space everyday in life to be creative. I finished a song I began five years ago last weekend. I tweaked a song that needed it so I can finally introduce it to our church. I wrote a brand new song-music and lyrics-based on things God revealed to me during this time and finished it yesterday. As any songwriter will tell you, writing can sometimes be like giving birth. We labor over every line, every word. I cannot believe how easily these came together. My mind and my heart were so clear. I'm still in shock about it.
5. My body, mind, and soul have all been reconnected. I feel as if I have hit a "reset button" in the innermost part of my soul. I definitely have not been living a life where all three were in harmony. It's a little hard to explain, but I was starting to feel numb in certain areas of my life. The numbness is gone. I have a refreshment that is deeper than just physical.
6. God and I had a lot to talk about. He had a lot to say to me and in true "Cynthia" form, I had a lot to say to Him. As in any relationship, there has to be time to just get everything out there and be as gut-level honest as you can. I feel that I've had that time and that God has shown me grace, mercy, conviction of sin, and restoration. I've been doing a prayer book journal called "Thirty Days with Wesley." It's been a wonderful guide during this time for me to record everything God is saying and what I'm learning during this sabbatical. I'm reading a lot of books and doing some "Spiritual Loitering" as Lance Witt calls it.

I know it will difficult to actually rejoin the human race and put into action the "reset" habits I know must happen. That's my greatest prayer request right now. I look forward to sharing some things at the end that I'm still in process about right now.

I'm so thankful for my team and my church for their prayers and their leadership in my absence. You know who you are and I love you all. See you soon!

Until then, back to some loitering...