The BEMA Podcast

Love God. Love others. Become people of the Text.

Checking the Notes

It’s been a while since I looked back at where we began two fall seasons ago. What did I set out to accomplish, and am I still on track? It’s time to go back to this original post, check in, and reflect on the intentions.

ACCOUNTABILITY: The organizational accountability structure continues not only to be in place, but has routinely saved the experience. Some of the personnel involved have changed, but the fact that I have coworkers frequently checking in and suggesting changes is very helpful and effective. Just recently, they asked me to submit my “closing sabbatical schedule” to the Board of Directors, who serve as my official supervisor. This is the kind of helpful push that my accountability helps me with, when I would not do so on my own.

FAMILY RENEWAL: This is one of my biggest successes of this sabbatical — and boy, am I glad! I just finished up a season that was at home and focused on family, rest, and recreation together. As you read this, I am actually on a (routine) family vacation for the holidays. It’s been a very life-giving thing for our family. When so many families in ministry struggle with burnout, resentment from children, and other struggles, this experience was well-timed.

PERSONAL RENEWAL: Hebrew class has been going well and the experience has been a fun and renewing experience. My retooled schedule continues to be helpful, and I’m about to the place where I actually want to go back to some of those things.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: I’ve been spending this last year establishing relationships with Xavier University and some of the staff and faculty to help create a plan for learning and development in the future; there is a lot in the Ignatian spiritual tradition that I want to learn from. After a year of counseling, I transitioned to a spiritual director (trained in Ignatian Spirituality, among other things). I am looking to start pursuing a class or two — maybe a certificate, maybe a graduate degree — at Xavier over the next few years.

All in all, when you’re in the middle of everything, it can seem like nothing is really happening. But creating a plan and executing it has led to a lot of beautiful things in the last 15 months.