I wrote a brief post shortly before I left on our sabbatical listing some habits that I was hoping to reincorporate back into my life during those four weeks.  And with most of them, I’m doing pretty well.  I’m jogging 3-4 times/week, I’m eating much better, I’ve been reading some good books, so in that regard, the sabbatical was a major benefit!

At the same time, Liz & I have decided that there are some other changes we need to make in order to a) care for our family, b) stay healthy, c) stay sane.  So here are a few of the changes we’ve made that we are really enjoying:

1) Saturday Sabbath –  While I switched my day off to Saturday a couple years ago, it wasn’t really functioning as a full Sabbath.  This past weekend we tried it for the first time & it was great!  We flew kites with the kids, got some free coffee from some church on the commons:-), and just had a good day together.  Do to some prior scheduling, we do have a couple of Saturdays planned with some work stuff in the next month, but once those are over, the Saturday Sabbath will be a regular par of our lives!

2) Getting to Bed Early: Although it hasn’t worked every night, on most nights we have been in bed by 9:30 and a sleep shortly after.  The biggest benefit of this, besides getting a full night sleep every night is…

3) No Alarm Clocks: One of the most radical ideas I heard when we were at the Pastors’ Sabbath Retreat was that for millennia, people woke up, not at a set time, but rather when they had had enough sleep.  And of course with the earlier bed time, we are still waking up between 5:30 & 6:30 most mornings.  It has been pretty nice waking  up feeling fully rested rather than hitting the snooze alarm several times, hoping to stretch out another 30 minutes of so of sleep.

4) Dinner together by 5:30: In general, we have always been good at eating dinner together as a family most nights…although we might be wrapping things up at 9:15 on occasion:-)  So one of our goals is to have dinner on the table as close to 5:00 each night.  (the hungries start to have a very negative impact on many in our family if they haven’t eaten by about 5:20 pm.)

5) Prayer:  We have also been incorporating Fixed Hour Prayer and Lectio Divina more into our daily lives. Although we’ll talk more about these over the next several Sunday mornings.

As you might guess, each of these changes, as well as some others we’ll talk about later have a cost associated with them, but at this point in time, we are really enjoying the benefits!  One of the nice things is how each of these have built upon each other.  So, that’s the journey we are on as a family, we’ll keep you posted!