An Intro to Sabbatical (and Why We're Taking One)


Romance & Adventure is a life-long pursuit, and I'm always evolving my thoughts on what it means for our family to live a true and meaningful version of R&A in each unique season we enter into. Lately, I've been inspired to look at a life of romance and adventure as an intentional pursuit of rest, renewal and delight.


Last week I shared with you "my travel secret" and where my passion to see the world comes from.  Every summer for years and years my parents would take us somewhere new in the world, and we all would spend 4-6 weeks on sabbatical from normal life.

 "Sabbatical" isn't a term my family used, but looking back on those months spent abroad as a family, my parents blessedly free of the regular obligation to work, that is exactly what those trips were. 

The idea of “sabbatical” comes from the the Biblical idea of the “Sabbath year,” which refers to the practice of letting farmland lie fallow once every seven years so it can be restored and replenished and bear fruit again. Sabbaticals do something similar for our souls-- they give us time away from work demands to rest so that our mental, emotional and creative reserves can be replenished and refreshed.  

The practice of Shabbat, or Sabbath, is designed to specifically to restore us, a gift of time in which we allow the cares and concerns of the marketplace to fall away. We set aside time to delight in being alive, to savor the gifts of creation, and to give thanks for the blessings we may have missed in our necessary preoccupation with our work. Ancient texts suggest we light candles, sing songs, pray, tell stories, worship, eat, nap and make love. It is a day of delight, a sanctuary in time. Within this sanctuary, we make ourselves available to the insights and blessings that arise only in stillness and time.
— Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in a Busy Life

For all the wonders Europe contains, and for all my love of travel and seeing new places, when I think about our upcoming trip, what I find myself fantasizing about most often are the slow meals we'll cook together, the long afternoons driving through sunflower fields and lavender fields, the evening walks around our campground, the lighting of fire, the telling of stories, and the singing of songs. 

We are packing light, but bringing candles, slippers and essentials oils. We plan on making our motorhome comfy. and dare even try making our tiny adult corner of it romantic. 

On a 2 hour city hike this morning Ronnie and I talked about our trip and some simple goals we have for our time away. This is another special attribute of sabbatical. Unlike a vacation, a sabbatical has a purposeful, mindful quality to it. For ours, we'd like to explore our relationship with parenting, food, and time itself. 

The reason we are taking a sabbatical with our family isn't because we've run ourselves into the ground with work and we're desperately in need of a time-out.

Thankfully, that's not it at all.  

We're talking a sabbatical simply because we value rest.

Over the years, through our pursuit of the true and meaningful kinds of romance and adventure, we've gravitated toward a sabbath lifestyle-- A day filled with lighting candles, telling stories, walking, singing, eating, napping, praying and making love sounds like a pretty a great day.

Once upon a time we chased after exciting things that kept us up late and numbed us from our own life. Now we crave experiences that reawaken our sense of curiosity, wonder, whimsy and engagement, and get us into bed before nine.

Ronnie and I value getting plenty of sleep, we relish in an abundance of downtime, and we encourage one another to spend time on own self-care practices. We're like 76 year olds in 36 year olds' bodies. It's one area of life we feel like we're getting right, and the confidence and delight we enjoy in this sabbath lifestyle is what gives us the courage to spend a good chunk of our savings on a 3 month sabbatical instead of invest those savings into a house. 

We are eager to pass on the joy of rest and the gifts of sabbath to our kids.

In our culture of consumption it's scandalous to think that shared rest could be worth more to a family than home ownership. We're unconventional, but we see this as another kind of investment, equally as valuable as four walls and a roof.  

Just as Wayne Muller talks about sabbath as a "sanctuary in time", we see our sabbatical as an investment in time itself.

Ronnie and I have felt how the Spirit ministers to us through presence, and we have witnessed in one another how love exponentially grows in the simple act of slowing down. Just as Wayne Muller suggests, we have found it to be true in our life that there are certain blessings that only arise in stillness and time....and we want more of that.

Unlike a traditional sabbatical, we will be doing a bit of work as we travel. The good thing is our work feels a lot like play, and even so we are going to be very sensitive not to do too much.  We plan on semi-regular social media updates for those of you who want to follow along our journey, 1/week posts on this blog to tell you what we are learning, and new podcasts for SEXY TUXEDO JESUS. I'm bringing my yoga mat and look forward to recording a few yoga classes for Christian Yogi, too. 

We are so grateful for the adventure ahead and the ability to share it with you. We pray to be filled up so that what we bring this blog and the R&A community inspires you to pursue more rest, renewal and delight in your life, too. 

One thing that is really important to us is that you feel inspired to live your own story of true romance & meaningful adventure.  It won't look like ours and it doesn't have to.  

You don't have to wait for a 3 month window out of your life to start enjoying the fruits of rest. You don't need to lay down your dream of owning your own home either. All you need is one day of the week, or one hour of a day, and you can create your own "sanctuary in time."  

If you are interested in this, the first thing I recommend is getting your hands on a book called Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal & Delight in Our Busy Lives, by Wayne Muller

Listen to Wayne preach:

Sabbath challenges the theology of progress by reminding us that we are already and always on sacred ground. The gifts of grace and delight are present and abundant; the time to live and love and give thanks and rest and delight is now, this moment, this day.
— Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in a Busy Life


Create Community with Us:

What questions do you have about sabbatical or sabbath? How do you make room for rest, renewal and delight in your life? We would love to hear you share.

morgan cecil

Morgan Day Cecil is a Feminine Wholeness coach and creator of Sophia Retreats.