Silence and Serendipity

Church life gets very quiet after Vacation Bible School.

Two weeks ago we were gearing up for a week full of excitement as nearly 150 children, and as many volunteers, descended upon our church. Every Bible-themed VBS week provides a fun and Spirit-filled adventure, and as always, I am sad to see it end.

As you can see from the photo above, the decorations are amazing and they take a tremendous amount of time and creativity. The walls always look so drab and empty when everything is dismantled and packed away.

This annual summer event is a lot of work for all involved, but I love being a part of all the activity. I also love hearing the children laughing and singing as they pass my office each morning.

The Sound of Silence

Following such a busy week, last Monday arrived with an odd silence. Most of the staff was out, still recovering from post VBS cleanup. There were several times when I was completely alone in the church, with the exception of the mailman, the UPS guy, and a few friends who stopped by to say hello. Still, I welcomed the peace and quiet and had a fairly productive week.

As I age, I am learning to appreciate silence. It’s a rare find most days. When it does presents itself, I take full advantage of the moment.

Spiced Wine and Zinnias

Mid-week we had a visit from relatives passing through on their way home to Tennessee. I took Thursday off, and it turned out to be a perfect day to visit two local wineries (Twin Oaks Tavern Winery and Bluemont Winery), and grab lunch at Bear Chase Brewing Company. Despite the heat, we enjoyed some great food and wine and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge.

This brief, unplanned respite gave us time to catch up with family and do a bit of exploring before heading back to work on Friday. It was a great way to end the week!

Our weekend has been full of ongoing home projects and preparation for another quick family visit. I took a few minutes to rest on the patio this evening while admiring the colorful zinnias that are now in full bloom. The gladiolas won’t be far behind.

We will celebrate our nation’s birthday this week with my brother and Mom, who turns 85 on July 2nd. Every day with her is a gift from God, and we look forward to our family celebrations as a time to make special memories.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Take Care of Yourself

Thought for the day:

When was the last time you did something nice for yourself? If you are like me, you are so busy taking care of your home and everyone in it, that you are the last person to get some much-needed self care.

Self Care. Who Needs It?

You do!

Self care is necessary when you recognize the need for some time and space by yourself to decompress. Once you recognize the need, then you have to make it a priority. You need to temporarily step back and step away from your responsibilities and distractions — yes, even your phone!

It’s not necessarily a vacation, although that would be nice. It’s really just a “breather”. This can be as simple as a walk around the block, a long, hot bath, or sitting outside with a favorite book. The key is to be by yourself. It’s also a great time to have a conversation with God, read a devotion, or journal a prayer. Share your worries with Him because no one cares for you more than He does!

And as crazy as it sounds, you may need to schedule time on your calendar for this respite each week. Treat it like an appointment.

My breather today was a brief walk around the yard. My husband is the gardener in the family, and he loves trying new crops each year. I appreciate his gift for gardening,  because if left to me, we would have nothing growing but weeds!

We’re already enjoying fresh garden tomatoes in our salads, as well as Romaine lettuce, fennel, and basil too!

I’ve been watching the Delicata squash . . . one of my favorites. We have a few on the vine, and they are coming along nicely. You can see one hidden in the leaves below. It will be a while until harvest, but it’s SO worth the wait!

Now that summer is officially here, how will you enjoy some self care time? Do you have a favorite way to decompress?

However you decide spend that precious free time, make it a priority each week. Take care of yourself!