It started with 90. Every day we would count down. Every night, when we fell exhausted into bed, one of us would ask the other, "Do you know what tomorrow is?" And the other would answer with an ever smaller number. "86" "77" "51". The closer that number approached zero, the more panicked we became, because - while 'tomorrow' was a smaller number, the to-do-list for 'today' was not.
We were counting down to our SOAL. This is what I've affectionally titled our 'Summer Of A Lifetime.' Today, we officially begin that journey - 12 weeks away from my daily responsibility at the church. Today, begins my Sabbatical. A Sabbatical is NOT a vacation. It's a time of study, bigger picture strategy formation for the church, and replenishment for my spiritual life. Yes, I'm going to have a LOT of fun. Some of it will be work related, as I figure out how we get PCC to the next place. Some of it will be pure fun with Susan and my family. (You can find out more about the Sabbatical by clicking here and you can see a special message from PCC's Steering Team by clicking here)
So, we started counting down at 90. When we got to 20, I wasn't sure I'd make it. At 14, I went into full panic mode and quit sleeping (seriously). At 7, I started eating only when I had to, and then only just a little. Nerves were shot. Mind was in overdrive. Body operating on pure adrenelin.
And then, the strangest thing happened. At 1pm on Sunday, after all the items on the to-do list were checked off, church was over, and I was ready to pull out of the parking lot, I sat in my car and checked email and facebook for one last time - just to be sure nothing had been missed. I read new messages from the prior several days from folks talking about the massive, life altering difference PCC has made in their lives. I sat in my car and cried. Truth be told, I sobbed. The weight of the past week finally off of my shoulders, the joy of knowing that I still matter. But more than that, the satisfaction of knowing that I don't carry it alone anymore, because of the people at PCC who also believe in what we do.
I'm not counting anymore. There were no numbers exchanged last night as we fell asleep. I'm going to find a new normal now. A more healthy normal.
For the next 3 months, my blog will take on a little different form. More soul (or SOAL) searching and the fleshing out of thoughts, ideas and feelings. There WILL be some informational posts, as some members of the staff have access to post about the good things happening at PCC. But from me, it will feel different. I hope you follow along my journey. We can stay connected this way.
I'll be back tomorrow, but tomorrow has no number!