Sabbatical -vs- Quarantine

Sabbatical -vs- Quarantine

Documenting the Days During the Coronovirus / COVID-19 Crisis

My last work day in person was Tuesday, March 17, 2020. At the end of that day, our team at Intentional Faith chose to follow the advised safety protocol.  We packed up our things and moved “business as usual” to our homes. We’re only a few days in and words like, “social distancing,” “working remotely,” and “quarantine” are now a normal part of our conversations.

How on earth did we ever get here and what on earth do we do now?

Life has been upended for all of us around the entire globe. Singing R.E.M.’s song, It’s the end of the world as we know it …and I feel fine,” doesn’t feel so fine anymore.

Little did I know, that cute little printable I had proudly displayed on my desk for 2020’s New Year’s motivation would suddenly seem focused on the words, “new lessons … new challenges.”

For an extrovert and glass-half-full kind of person like myself, I have waves of optimistic enthusiasm mixed with feelings of being trapped and isolated …unleashing a full-on panic attack!

One minute I’m determined to encourage the entire world with hopeful, healing words and the next I’m huddled in my house afraid to go out.

Desperate times. Desperate measures.


The mere mention of the word quarantine struck panic into my system. Being somewhat claustrophobic anyway, words like that have a way of making me feel like I’m trapped inside a small room with a very tiny window, no light coming through, and the door is locked… from the outside. Prison.

That’s when the word, sabbatical, came to mind.

What if I began to think of this “time out” as a sabbatical instead of a quarantine? The sound of that word is so much more positive and gives purpose to the day instead of the connotations of what I can’t do.

Sabbatical says, “I GET to do…” Quarantine says, “I  DON’T get to do …”

So each day I’m setting a personal agenda to do “those things” that I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had time to do lately. Reading more. Weeding the flower beds. Taking walks OUTSIDE (with my doTERRA On Guard in hand, of course) and sometimes with a friend –sans hugs. Longer talks in the morning with my husband. Phone calls and Skyping our kids and grands who live far away. Writing. Being creative. Working on ideas for my side gig, Meet Me in the Middle. Reorganizing that space in the house. Deep cleaning — maybe not. Let’s don’t get carried away! 🙂

The thing is, my mental attitude is the biggest challenge during this crazy time we’re facing right now. My perspective will often determine my outlook on life. If I’m feeling trapped, I’ll feel more anxious. If I’m feeling free, I’ll have more peace.

Freedom promotes creativity. Confinement promotes paralysis.

So, what are you FREE to do today?

I’m on a mission to seek out and find those things I can do …places I can encourage others, even in social distancing — phone, email, social media, etc. .

This is a time to dig down deep and unearth the true hope within us. My hope is grounded in Jesus Christ — the foundation and anchor of my soul. He’s my peace…my comfort …my Best friend.

With that, I’ll leave you with these words …

God’s word through Paul in II Corinthians has been a source of comfort for me in these uncertain times. The Message version begins this passage by painting a vivid picture we just might relate to in these times of quarantine …”It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. II Corinthians 1:9 (MSG)

Continuing, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”
II Corinthians 1:9-11 (NIV)

Sabbatical -vs- Quarantine. Which will it be for you?

And remember that motivational printable on my desk? I think I’ll  focus on that last line …

“New Opportunities.”

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Debby Smith

    You should really submit something to Perennial Gen.

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      You’re so sweet Debby ! It’s so funny, I was just thinking about that yesterday and went on their website to see how to do that. I’ll see what God brings to mind to submit. Thanks for the encouragement to do so. Love you friend!

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