Salt air. Seagulls calling. No television. Ocean breezes. Sand in my toes. Playing in the waves until I’m exhausted. Watching my kids collect seashells. No demands or deadlines.
My family works. Hard. Ministry, management, leadership, community service, speaking engagements, and pastoring a fabulous church requires much attention, and we relish every minute of it. But, no one can keep up a demanding pace all the time. We definitely work hard, but we know how to play hard, too. My husband and I are very strategic about protecting time for our family to pull back from life’s demands to simply relax, refresh, and rejuvenate. And, if you think that it’s only my husband and I who need the break, think again. Our kids do, too. They need a break from their routines and expectations just like us. And, maybe more importantly, they need to be taught that rest is as important to success as work ethic is.
My family sets aside time each week to spend together, and we certainly guard our schedules so we don’t burn the candle at both ends for too long, but short spurts of rest aren’t enough. Our life is full of commitments and burdens for people, and we simply can’t shelve all of it to get true rest most of the time. We actually know our pattern of work and have realized that August through May is our busiest time in ministry, so we take full advantage of June and July. In those months, we vacation, visit family, and pull back to center. We also spend time working ON ministry, rather than working IN ministry. In other words, we get out of the details so we can set the course for our over-all ministry.
The season of rest is almost here for us. And, although we certainly don’t quit work altogether, we will run at a different pace. I need it. I crave it. I need God to re-energize me. My husband certainly does. So, I have thoughts of vacation running through my head today. My countdown clock has begun.
What about you? How do you rejuvenate? Do you have busy season and a season of rest? Do you carve out time each week to kick off your shoes and relax? We need it. For sure.