Sabbatical 2014: Week 2 highlights

Week 2 of #sabbatical2014 was so full that I hardly had time for any naps.  Just sayin’!  Let’s see … I’m sure I’ll count them out for you… in the meantime, here are some of the highlights.


But first let me say… the morning hours are my favorite time of the day when I have a day off and I’m at home.  The house is quiet and cool and I can spend creative time in the studio before the sun warms up the back of the house.  This phrase goes through my head… daily I’m grateful that He loves me this much.


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#ablessedmess #mylifeaslori


Friday through Sunday

Friday afternoon I picked up my wacky g’friend debi (love this girl!) and we headed up into the nearby hills to meet up with the rest of these gals.  These special ladies are a group of dedicated souls who love ministering to the women of our church.  The weekend was dedicated to learning more about each other (and we had a blast doing exactly that), cooking together and cleaning up together, freaking out about mice together, playing a little and learning A LOT about ministry … I love each of these gals as if they were my own sister…

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Karen, Nancy, Victoria, debi, Bette, Dawn, Vickie and Katherine – Hidden Meadows, Ca (I’m not in this picture – Instagram cropped me out)


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We studied leadership, dysfunctions of a ministry team (Patrick Lencioni principles, by way of Nancy Ortberg), various materials from Carson Pue, the topic of Conflict (recognizing, avoiding and resolving) and we learned about our love languages (Dr Gary Chapman)
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Our Team Retreat was about 10 minutes outside of town, in Hidden Meadows. We rented a home-turned-retreat-center. It was quiet out here…
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We even made sure we scheduled time to play. This is the view of the pool area from the kitchen window.
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Our ministry director, Dawn, breaking her “alabaster jar” in front of the cross… as part of our very meaningful communion time.


Gone from Friday through Sunday I returned home and proceeded to nap.  Emotionally spent and sleep deprived… I think I actually took 2 naps.  (I still felt the exhaustion the next day – good thing I’m on sabbatical!  The rest of these gals had to resume normal work/volunteer commitments on Monday morning.)

Nap count: 2



Late on Monday it started to bother me that I was struggling to focus on any one thing… I felt this way last week too.  At first, I chalked it up to sleep deprivation from the weekend.  I was easily distracted, and more so than usual.  At first I didn’t think too much about it.  After all, I reminded myself that I know I want to get some things accomplished during this time off… but I’ve got 3 more weeks to do them… so take it easy!


For the record, I’ve become very fond of our afternoon walks.  They are turning into a great way to unwind … we head out with the dog on the leash and meander around our neighborhood.  We live in a beautiful historic district … and this sight is just around the corner from the strange alley we live in.

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as seen on our afternoon walk, on Monday #ablessedmess #mylifeaslori


Yes, I said “alley”.  I live in an alley.  Now THAT sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?  It’s hard to explain.  But let’s see if this helps… we live on a split lot.  The house in front of us sits on the street.  And our house is directly behind it… and accessed only through the alley, with a tandem driveway next to the house.   That’s actually rather common here in these historic districts.  Two of the things I love about where we are located is that 1) no solicitors EVER find us, and 2) our house is perched on a hill above the house in front of ours… and we look right over her rooftop.  In fact, the view from my studio is of the tree tops and house tops in this amazing community.  We are blessed… we truly are.



Today brought another bike ride, with my riding partner Sandy… and hopefully we’ll get another ride in this week as well.


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Mule Hill Trail, as part of the San Dieguito River Trail.  I simply LOVE starting the days this way! #ablessedmess #mylifeaslori


On Tuesday night my hubby took me on a date… to one of his favorite places, the San Diego Velodrome.  It’s a place he spends a lot of his time racing his fixed gear bicycle.  And I rarely get down to San Diego during the week.  You see, it’s a “school night”… and since I’m at work by 5:30 am I’m not typically worth anything on “school nights” (and typically in bed by 8 pm).  That doesn’t mix well with staying up late and being an hour away from home.  So… I welcome THIS chance to hang out with him, enjoy some tamales and remember a fellow racer, Jackie Price Dunn. The evening was dedicated to her memory, sponsored by her husband Durward Dunn IV.

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date night with hubby at the San Diego Velodrome



Thankful for another day… coffee and catching up with a girlfriend, chiropractic adjustment and various errands.  No naps.  Hmph…

And the lack of focus continues.  Why is my head fuzzy?  Is it a fatigue thing?  Do I need a nap?  Is something else going on inside my body?  Where has my drive gone that typically pushes me from task to task, powering through that TO DO list?  There is so much I want to accomplish on this time off, that I don’t typically have time to do.  I guess I still have 2 1/2 weeks.  ::: don’t beat yourself up, Lori :::


But, now let me tell you about the BIGGEST highlight (and honor) of the week!!!  Background: A few weeks ago I posted about the firestorm that ripped through north San Diego County … and during those fires it was determined that several of the fires were considered “suspicious”.  One of those fires burned down a church several blocks from my home.  The Calvary Assembly church of Escondido was a complete loss.  Several of the walls are still standing, but only because they are being held up by large posts.

2 days after the fire I was awakened by a nudge from the Holy Spirit…  at the top of my priority list that day was a stop at the site of the church fire to inquire as to what they needed and how I could help.  One girl… I was being directed to ask how I could help.    I stopped by and introduced myself to the Associate Pastor Mario Soto… and immediately he thanked me and said they want to buy chairs for their services, so that they can still have a place for their congregation to sit when they met in the parking lot on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

And that day a Go Fund Me account was setup.  And the word was spread …

To donate to the Fire Fund:


Calvary Assembly | Firestorm May 2014
Calvary Assembly | Firestorm May 2014
Calvary Assembly |Firestorm May 2014

So, this is all bad news.  Why is this a highlight?  Because my Pastor, Chico Goff, had contacted me last week to say that our church would be making a donation to their Fire Fund.  And he asked that I be there to help deliver the check.  For the gracious gift, for the servant-like attitude our church has always had towards helping hurting people…   I read that email and sat at my computer and bawled… like a baby, bawled.

On Wednesday, my Pastor met me at Calvary Assembly and promptly handed me the check!!!  Humbled, I had the distinct honor of delivering a $1,000 check to Pastor Floyd Freeman and Associate Pastor Mario Soto … which met 50% of their goal for funds for the chairs.

The Pastor of Calvary Assembly took the check and said nothing.  He stood there and looked at the check.  And just kept looking at the check.  And I wanted him to say something… so badly I wanted him to say something.  Anything.  Instead he quietly walked away and got to the business of starting their midweek service.

And driving home… I knew that IF he had said something it would have diminished what our Heavenly Father was doing in that moment.  It broke my heart… and I bawled again… all the way home.

This highlight will be one of the highlights of my entire year… and it happened this week.   I am wary to share it… because I’m a big believer in being obedient in helping others (without bragging about it or patting myself on the back).  (In fact, my first draft of this post did not include any of this information.)

But to share the good news that GOD IS GOOD and HE knows our needs and knows how to meet our needs… that is what this is about.  It’s not about our church, my Pastor or me… it’s about paying attention to the heavenly tap on the shoulder and being obedient to act on it.  That’s why I share this…

again, bawling…   #wheresthetissue




Many more errands…  but I stopped in the middle of the day to use a local gelato shop as my office, to answer emails, update my TO DO List and get a sweet treat!  Ahem…


my office away from the office, EscoGelato.


oh… and THIS is happening in our backyard today.

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Yay!  Time for another bike ride!

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It’s hard to see in this picture, but the traffic on the freeway above me is at a dead stop. So glad I’m on this bike trail instead!


And I think there may have been a nap on the docket for the day… I can’t remember at the time of writing this post.  And the nap didn’t quite make it on to the calendar.  HA!  So, let’s just give me the benefit of the doubt, sound ok?

On Friday, I started this post… but again, became very distracted by the shelf I wanted to finish painting, the silverware project I wanted to test out, the basket of goods I needed to deliver to a friend… point is, it didn’t get done due to the distractions and lack of focus.  And I’m starting to get very worried about my weird predicament…  maybe I need to quit doing so much during my sabbatical and just REST.  Hmm… good thing the writing retreat I have planned isn’t until the end of next week.   There’s no way I would have been able to stay focused enough.


Friday’s afternoon walk took us to downtown Escondido.  We live just a few blocks south of downtown, so it makes for a nice walk with the fur kid.  And on Friday nights the majority of the city attends or participates in Cruisin’ Grand.  It’s truly a unique community event that always draws a an impressive crowd.


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Cruisin’ Grand is the place to be on Friday nights, from April through September. Car enthusiasts with vehicles older than 1960s come on down to park in front of the stores. The rest of us walk up and down the sidewalks enjoying the atmosphere, smell of gasoline and sounds of loud rock ‘n roll (and loud engines). #ablessedmess #mylifeaslori



On Saturday morning I hopped on the bike again and this time rode downtown…  and I spent the morning at the Escondido Saturday Market.  I pulled up a chair and sat and chatted it up with some friends, took some pictures, stuck around for lunch and got home in time for a nap.  Nap count: 3 (?)  See, I had to scroll up to count naps.  Focus, Lori, focus.

As seen at the Escondido Saturday Market, 9 am - 1 pm
As seen at the Escondido Saturday Market, 9 am – 1 pm



This morning I woke up early… determined to finish up this blog.  I opened up the laptop and sat down on the couch next to the fur kid… and happened upon this image and quote by Billy Joel.



And like a slap across the face I realized why I’ve lacked focus.  I have had very little music on for the past two weeks!!!  WHAT?!?!  I always have music on!

And I was reminded of something I learned a long time ago about myself… having music on helps me focus!  It works while I’m studying, while I’m at work analyzing, while I’m processing emotions… it’s like a meditation of sorts.  Sometimes the music is just on… and I’m not paying attention to it.  Sometimes I’m singing along and dancing to it…


My brain is activated by music… and I know there’s some science behind this.  I mean there has to be.  But it’s like my mind is unconsciously distracted by the processing of the noise and I can better focus on the task at hand.  Is that weird?  It kinda sounds weird when I type it out.  But this would be on the top 10 things I would need with me on a deserted island.  So, how did I go so long without my normal shot of music?  So strange…

Anyway… at this point the music is back on… and I’ve powered through this post.  I’ve only been distracted enough to stop twice… to make myself a cup of coffee and update my TO DO list for this morning.  It’s going to be a full day… and I can’t wait to tell you all about it next week!!!


Let me leave you with this beautiful drawing.  It so beautifully depicts my thoughts and feelings on music.  This is how my soul sees music.




And with that, I wrap up Week 2 of #sabbatical2014.  There are a few things on the calendar for this next week… but towards the middle of this week I’m high-tailing it out of town again… off to a quiet retreat with a dear friend.  And I will bring my music and my laptop… the focus of the getaway is to write.  And I’m so glad the musical epiphany hit today… it will help with my focus.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for music and the unique talents you’ve given your creation in regards to creating music.  I love music…


4 thoughts on “Sabbatical 2014: Week 2 highlights

  1. Yay, you found the missing link! Music is a wonderful thing…..the air behind my breath 🙂 It’s with me on my deserted island as well. Love reading about how your spending this time, love you! Can’t wait for our writing get away……Cue the music!


    • Seriously, debi… that ah, ha moment of “it’s music! i’m missing my music!” was like 100 light bulbs turning on at the same time (without the electricity bill to go along with it!) ha!!!


  2. May you and debi play music loudly, dance a bit, have fun in the pool, laugh a lot, imbibe a little and write from your heart! Love you both so much. Can’t wait to read what God has placed on your heart to write.


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