The Fertile Soil of Rest

blog replenish rest sabbatical soil vacation Jun 23, 2022

A Bonus Blog by Alan and Gem Fadling

The best work grows in the fertile soil of deep rest - and we're not talking about La-Z-Boy recliners or Tempur-Pedic mattresses (although we do love our pair of La-Z-Boy recliners in our living room).  The deep rest that God especially invites us to is rest for our souls.  Inner rest. Freedom from anxiety, from rage, from harshness.  A soul at rest.


So, in about a week, we will be pausing our regular work at Unhurried Living to take a mini-sabbatical through the month of July. Why? Like many, we are feeling a deep need for profound rest.


Everyone’s job is unique. We’ve chosen work that involves an immense amount of creative production. We are working on three different book projects. We each maintain a weekly podcast. We write a weekly blog post. And we coach dozens of leaders on a regular basis.


The tank from which we draw needs replenishing. To continue to write and coach at the level we want to, we must acknowledge the wisdom of dormancy. A season of dormancy is when a plant is not focused on producing foliage or fruit but instead is renewing its own inner life.


So what’s the difference between sabbatical and vacation? The main difference for us is the matter of rest. Vacations are often wonderfully recreational and even active. So it’s no surprise that I’ve often returned from a vacation at least as tired as when I left.


Sabbatical will be a season in which we focus on receptivity more than activity. We’ll have many fun activities during sabbatical: traveling, hiking, exploring museums, trips to the coast, visiting with family and friends. But our primary focus is to rest, to allow God to replenish us, to let our creative souls cease production for a season.


We are building a few protective barriers around our sabbatical to help us rest:

  • We will completely disengage from all elements of our work. Our assistant will manage Unhurried Living in our absence.

  • We will cease checking all work email and even our usual personal email. (We both have an email address that we’ll use for emergencies and travel communication.)

  • We will put a vacation hold message on our phone voicemails.

  • We will not go back to the pile of emails or messages that collected in July. They will be deleted. Our vacation hold message will indicate this.

  • We will refrain from social media and other forms of escapist media involvement.

  • As much as possible, we’ll avoid spending time on devices.


I’ve been reading my journal from last year’s July sabbatical. I could see my weariness in the first couple of weeks, and my entries were terse. By weeks three and four, I could see my soul starting to breathe. I was feeling more creative without even trying to be. My drained soul was filling. Overflow was emerging.


We are hopeful that such replenishment will be the gift of this year’s sabbatical. We would be deeply grateful if you would prayerfully remember us during the month of July. Pray especially that we’ll have discernment to receive every good thing God is extending to us.


We send this email along with our prayer that God’s Spirit will be bringing rest and refreshment your way as well.



Photo by Do Nhu on Unsplash