Angie Sampson, the Operations Director at Covenant Pines Bible Camp, recently took a sabbatical. Employees at CPM are eligible for a sabbatical after five years of service. Below are Angie’s reflections on her time.
It’s a quiet snow filled morning on Davis Lake. The lake is frozen. It’s quiet at home and at camp. The Christmas tree is full of lights. Advent season is upon us. Mornings at home like this, Christ seems closer. Stillness and closeness bring Him closer to me.
Four months ago CPM gifted me a four week sabbatical mid August through mid September. Notice that I used the word ‘gifted’. For an organization that sees the need for all those that serve full time to receive this gift is extremely unexpected. Advent Season seems like a perfect time to reflect on the present of this time.
The most asked question leading up to my time away was, “what are you going to do?” I kept finding myself a bit taken aback by the question. Being such a ‘doer’ myself I kept thinking, I feel like I’m being called to not do. To take a break from doing. When you look up the word ‘sabbatical’ there are many definitions and plans but the one that I found most useful and defined my time is this one.
- The rest can be just that, no particular schedule or agenda.
- The renewal part can be some planned activity or experience that you know will be life-giving
In the midst of it I would say that Jesus met me and gave me two major take aways. My hope in sharing is that God has something for you too.
I left for my sabbatical at the tail end of summer youth camp season. How thankful we were to welcome youth campers back to camp for Summer 2021. It brings with it high energy, much joy and fun. Serving at camp is a fast paced fruitful experience. The first day of my sabbatical I drove away on my own for a week long retreat in Tennessee. My van felt quiet. I felt alone but as I left the driveway I was greeted with love and well wishes. Our staff had made signs all down the drive that encouraged me as I left. I felt known, seen and loved. But still the farther away I drove from home and camp the more I wondered what in the world I was doing. As I crossed into Madison, WI out loud I said, “Lord, what I am doing? I feel so alone.” Christ met me in my Honda Odyssey Van. He said, “I am here.”
Jesus and I now go for drives together all the time. I lean over and buckle him in. I look over and we talk about all the things. I have learned to feel his presence in my life more clearly and to ‘see’ him with me in the passenger seat.
PAUSE & PEACE
To continue to feel God’s presence in my life I take at least two times a day to stop, pause, and remember. I give him everything and everyone including me. There are so many great resources to help set this discipline. I’ve been using the Pause App. At set times twice a day I pause, and it helps me remember who has it all and it’s not me!
Taking the time to pause has filled my life with a renewed peace. Hear me say this is not always the case. I’m still learning and growing but a healthy Angie returned from her time away.
Following my 10 days away from home God continued to work in my times of quiet but also in my time with family and friends. Rest, fun, and peace surrounded me. I reconnected with friends outside of camp, hit the State Fair a couple of times, had a couple of over nights away, went to a Twins Game, and continued to rest in God’s presence and fun. How thankful I continue to be for this time and for the fruit! A huge thank you to the CPM Board and the staff at camp for the extra work they did to make this time possible for me!