Life is unpredictable. I started sabbatical with thoughts of long unstructured days that would be pretty much at my disposal to do whatever I wanted. Ha! If only……
Don’t get me wrong, it has been wonderful to take a step away from my usual life and enjoy the slower pace of living in the country. Just the environment has caused me to relax. But, God does have a way of de-railing my plans.
My Dad, who has been struggling with dementia for the better part of at least 15 years, took a sudden turn for the worse a few weeks ago and after a little over a week, he passed away peacefully. My two brothers and I were there with my mom, and I am so thankful that I was close by through his hospitalization and then transfer to hospice care. God knew the timing, and He was so obviously present all during the weeks before and since Dad’s death, even in the fact that my blood glucose numbers were better during the week of the funeral than they have been in months. That was a huge blessing, and a total surprise considering how little exercise I was getting and how badly we were eating.
And now we are back home in Cincinnati, catching up on work here, and preparing for a postponed wedding shower we were to have had the week of the funeral. Two months of sabbatical are gone, only 4 left to go. I am having to adjust my expectations so that I do not set myself up for disappointment. I would like to think that I am prepared for this and will just accept that whatever I am able to accomplish during sabbatical will be enough. That needs to be true. But expectations are powerful and can set me up for regret. I need to remember that my ultimate satisfaction comes from being in Christ, and that the rest is gravy. When we return to Illinois, I am praying that it will be with renewed appreciation for the time we have left there, rather than panic at looking at all that I had hoped to accomplish.
And, not for nothing, but a new, fun haircut has given me a happy boost. It’s the little things that lighten the days!