The first “ahhhh” of vacation enters my soul as my car pulls away from the parking lot at work. The further I drive from there, the lighter my soul becomes. It is a sense of peacefulness I only feel one time a year. It is a long-awaited break. It is a much-needed reprieve from responsibilities. It is a gift many never receive.

I am grateful to be working at a place that offers vacation time. I am grateful to have the opportunity to turn off my work brain and let go of the noise of the office for one week straight. I am grateful to be living in a country that puts value on work/life balance. I am grateful to have the opportunity to nap.

Sleeping in late. Naps. Rest. Rest. Rest. Watching movies. Reading books. Traveling. Rest. Visiting with friends. Watching football. Seeing sights. Kneeling and praying. Rest. Talking. Writing. Rest. Feeling God and thanking God. One more nap.

And when it is over, and it is time to go back to work, back to routine, back to the life of responsibilities, it is okay. For it is in that work, routine and responsibility that I find order. It is in that day-to-day stuff where God also resides. In fact, it is there that He strengthens the muscles of spiritual growth more than anywhere else. It is in the daily dealings with others – some who I like and some who I don’t – some who I know and others who are strangers – some who like me and some who don’t – that God breaks down the walls of my heart and increases the open spaces of my soul. It is there that He uses me to care for others, speak to others, listen to others, and carry His message.

In the rest of vacation, my soul has renewed – renewed and revived to take on the spiritual growth to come today.

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