Photo Friday: Vacation


Good morning friends!

I've had some big plans for the series at the J-Blog over the years, but I almost never seem to be able to keep up with them. Hopefully, this new schedule I'm working on will help to keep me on track. So here's how this one works:

At the end of each week, I'm going to find a photograph either that I've taken, or I'll do what I almost always do and steal from Google, that represents what we've learned this week here at the J-Blog. It might be a serious photo, goofy photo, or even the occasional photo caption contest. Who knows. But the main idea is that each Friday's blog post will center around a photograph of some sort. 

Like this one above! Last night, my aunt Beth arrived at the beach house to begin her vacation along with us. If there's been a theme in Sarah and my life this last week, it is that we have the single best family in the world (though we mean no disrespect to your uncle Tom or aunt Suzy). Some people actively avoid their family because they're annoying or distressing or something like that. Sarah and I seek our family out. They're good people.

After Beth shared THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD with us, we went on a quick bike ride along the beach, and then ended up at the bay at a restaurant on the beach. We sat around having conversation and watching the sea gulls dive bomb the fish in the bay. You can see Manhattan from a distance across the bay, and so we just sat and watched the birds and relaxed. And while we were sitting there, I took this picture of my toes in the sand. 

Vacation is such an important thing. I've grown concerned over our cultures need to DO more, to work longer hours, to make more money, to have nicer things, to use our business as a merit badge of accomplishment. And just because I've grown concerned over these things doesn't mean I haven't played right into their hands and done the exact same thing myself. I am too busy. I work too much. I am away from my wife for long periods of time in the summer. And so every now and again, the rest button must be pushed. Relaxation must be allowed to take a hold of me. 

We got to the beach house on Sunday after I was the guest preacher at Hillcrest Church. This photograph was taken on Thursday evening. I truly believe friends that it took me all four days to recover and begin to relax. It took all four days to shake the dust off, to allow myself to let things go and to just BE. This moment with my toes in the sand represents the end of the struggle, of allowing myself to vacation, and frankly to listen to what God had to say to me: 

"Six days you will gather, but one the seventh day, on the Sabbath, there will not be any." [Exodus 16:26]

Sabbath is important. Rest is important. Vacation is important. It gives everything that isn't Sabbath meaning, and purpose, and context. And yet all too often we (or at least I) feel guilty for taking the time off. Perhaps if we did a better job of recognizing that our breaks and Sabbaths aren't for us, they're for God. He designed us flawlessly, and he designed us to need rest. 

So perhaps you aren't near an area where you can dig your toes in the sand. That's ok. As we head into the weekend, make sure to take some time for a Sabbath. Make sure to rest, relax, and shake the dust off your feet of the work week before. But if you are near an area with ample toe digging sand, there's truly nothing better!

See you Monday!