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!

Finding Balance

My husband commented yesterday about how the weekends seem to fly by, but the work week always drags on forever. I suspect this feeling becomes more pronounced as one nears retirement.

Our weekends have been full of yard and garden work, and major home renovations. Some pesky deer are devouring our flowers and vegetable plants right down to the ground, and Neil is trying to create a barrier to keep them out. He removed the wire fence from our yard’s perimeter, and is going to attach it directly to the garden frames.

Reno Update

Most nights have been spent working on our flooring project. I realized today that I haven’t given an update on that project since March. Just to recap, we decided to replace our dingy 21-year old carpet with engineered hardwood. We have nearly completed the hallway, plus two bedrooms. There are still three rooms to go. Here’s a quick view of our progress. Not bad for a DIY project!

Soaring to New Heights

And what is life without a little relaxation? Yesterday we drove out to Front Royal, VA so that Neil could finally redeem his glider ride gift certificate, received two birthdays ago! Between our busy schedules and the rainy weekend weather, the timing never seemed right. But yesterday everything came together!

It was a beautiful day for soaring and Neil had a great time. Joe, his pilot, caught some decent thermals along the Blue Ridge, and their ride lasted a full 51 minutes! The only down side was the heat, and there is no AC in the glider. Still, it was an enjoyable ride, and after his flight we took some time to explore the area.

We drove up along the ridge overlooking the Shenandoah River and took a couple photos.

We can all agree that life is more enjoyable when we strike a healthy balance of work and leisure. Finding that balance can be challenging though, and some  days feel lopsided with the extra weight of work and family responsibilities.

It’s important to take the time that is needed to refresh and recharge to create that important balance. Sometimes just stepping away for a few hours can make a huge difference.

God has provided us with an amazing world to explore. Get outside and be a part of it!