Browsing the blog archives for August, 2011.

Cared for by a pile of fruit

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Upon our return from Texas in May, we were greeted by this lovely pile of fruit.

I’ve been thinking alot lately about how to care for people.  When a friend is struggling, do I do something kind for them simply to make myself feel good?  Do I “care” for people so I know I’ve done my part?  Or do people really appreciate when I care?  Does it feel valuable to them.

I know I felt cared for by a simple pile of fruit.  So I’m checking my motives in caring for people.  If it’s just about me doing my Christian duty, I’m totally missing the mark.

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Summer Vacation

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I’m so intrigued by that phrase – “Summer vacation”.  I guess what intrigues me is the discovery that quite a few “cultures” of people believe they are entitled to a summer vacation.  If they don’t take a summer vacation, their life just isn’t as good as the next persons.

It was a few years ago when I first realized that “summer vacations” are a big deal.  I had started a new job and summer vacations were a big deal to my co-workers.  I remember the first time I was asked the question of what I was doing for vacation.  I remember thinking, “I didn’t know that I have to plan one.”  I realized pretty quickly, that everyone I worked with had a “vacation” planned for sometime that summer.  I didn’t realize that it was normal to talk about vacation and that EVERYONE had one.

See, growing up “vacation” happened anytime of the year for us.  Oh, there were a number of years that we’d go camping in the summer, but vacation to me was anytime we took a work related trip across the country, staying in motels, eating out, chilling in the back of the cube van on a matress as my dad put miles behind us, stopping at little touristy places along the way.  And those trips happened anytime of the year and for some reason, I remember mostly winter trips.  I didn’t know that summer was synonomous with vacation.

Welcoming the kids to camp

I think over the years, my co-workers have realized that summer vacations are not something I absolutely MUST do, because the question this year was worded more like this:  “do you have any vacations planned this summer?”  My summer plans went like this:

-Seven days spent in classes at the School of Spiritual Direction in North Carolina in June
-Five days spent directing a summer camp for urban kids last week

Vacation?  Neither of them really were vacations.  Trememdous time of learning?  Yes, yes.  Encouraging time?  Yes, yes, again.

I honestly have to say, I’ve never stood at the brink of summer and contemplated the question “what will we do for summer vacation?”  I have stood at the brink of summer and said, “Oh, I’d love to go the beach sometime this summer.”  I’ve stood at the brink of summer and said, “I hope to be able to get together with friends sometime this summer.”

As an adult, vacations happen whenever they fit the calendar.  Texas vacations usually happen at Christmas.  Family cabin usually happens in the spring.  Anniversary weekends in the spring are fun little vacations.  Family camping happens in September (I think it might still be summer, though) this year.  Our dream vacation to Belize will probably take place in the winter.  And we’re going to the cabin with friends in the fall.

So how important is SUMMER vacation to you?  Do vacations have to happen in the summer for you, or are you ok with anytime of the year.

And with all that said, why do we even think we’re entitled to vacations at all?  Hmm, have to think about that one a bit.

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