Preparing for Vacation

Vacation is not easy, at least the planning part.

Actually, what I am going for is more than just vacation, it is an extended vacation, or, more like a sabbatical. Two months.

First there is the question of location. Where should I go? Usually in down-time, I really look forward to and need solitude time. I savour lots of time alone, reading and journalling. Yet it is also a blessing to be with people, and perhaps unhealthy to be too solo for too long. This time I thought of a few old, good and faithful friends in the next province that I can pop in on. They are the kind of people with whom I can just be me. They will love me as I am, and yet not let me stay that way. In the end, I will only visit one.

After that, I am so thankful to have a one-month booking at a retreat place on a beach by the ocean--a place specifically set up to offer low-cost accomodation for those working in the area who need vacation and/or soul-refreshment. Meals are included in the price. That is convenient. Perhaps there will be a sense of 'family time' at meals, but then lots of opportunity for quiet and rest. I'm longing to be in a quiet setting where I can drink in the beauty of God's creation--ocean...that fits the bill.

Of course the purpose is what led to the choosing of locations, but now that all bookings have been made, I am thinking about if and how I will achieve the purpose. Mark Batterson's thoughts from his post resonate with me: "Ultimately, I want to do more than unplug for a month. I need to reprioritize and reinvent how I'm doing life and ministry. I need to make a few tweaks that will help me maintain my sanity and sanctification! Praying for revelation!" I need to get away, rest, not be so distracted, but I really need to hear from God.

I am down to about 1 week from when I leave. There is still much to do here--work, making sure staff are all set up well to take care of their responsbilities and get vacation while I'm gone. And I need to pack.

Yet am also thinking about my going, and what preparation might be needed.  Of course I think about which books to take. Yes, BOOKS are often the most important part of my vacations!! Books--the ideas, the learning, the thoughts triggered.  Books, and then pondering, in God's presence.
I am also thinking about how my heart should be prepared...which questions should I be asking, or, which questions has God been asking of me? It seems there are a lot of things laying under the surface--a tangled web of uncertainties, root issues behind my lack of love and patience--what might the Lord want to do with these? And this one area that has been so painful this past year? What do I do with it? Why the pain? Is this a leading into a new focus and direction? But it is so big, and I am so small. All these I will bring before Him, and let Him be Lord. Maybe I don't need to "prepare" my heart, other than to just listen.

Honestly, sometimes I'm a little afraid of the quiet and solitude coming. I wonder what might be revealed, and how painful it might be. But it will be good. I need to see, I need to be changed. However painful it might be, it is more painful to stay the same.

Ah, I am looking forward to this time away. So needed. I am looking forward to a better me coming back.

Thank You Lord, for times of rest and refreshing. And...please help me to keep pressing on this week...I find myself already checking out, heading for vacation...

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails