Summer Break or Summer Broken?

3 more sleeps.

That’s the discussion in the Gush household. 1 day closer to our holiday away. The last few weeks of term can be quite a marathon. Final choir shows, dance shows, swim shows, productions and many more things to do. And then multiply that by the amount of kids you have and it’s a full full diary. This year is a bit strange, as we also have the added fact that our oldest is off to high school in September, so there are quite a lot of emotions going around as well. In effect, it is becoming a countdown to the holiday.

I was asked whether my holiday was an escape, or a refuelling? At the moment it feels a bit like an escape, however, I know it will be a time of refuelling and spending time with family, God, and lack of mobile phone reception for the most part... Many of us struggle with the balance of life - pushing harder and harder, with a focus on the next holiday or break. The classic response of 'so tired' or 'so busy' is the standard response, and it’s yuck. We so often forget to stop and rest in between. I have struggled with this in the past and these 3 things keep getting me thinking.

1) The Sabbath is a blessing, not a curse.

If we stop looking at the commandments as orders and see them as promises, it changes our view not only of God, but also of the purpose behind them - to provide freedom, joy and hope. We should not see these as being a means to restrict us, but - at least in my experience - they are a means to uplift and free us. The Sabbath is there for a reason, yes, most of us can’t take a day off, but are we even taking an evening or afternoon off a week?

2) The Law of Vacuum states: "The Law of The Vacuum states that all material forces of the universe abhor the vacuum and rush to fill each hole, opening, void, blank page, field of clarity or empty moment with image, garbage, sound and fury, often signifying nothing so precious as the original voidness."

I am convinced that this law was written on reflection of my diary. Always. Without fail. If there is an empty spot in the diary, it gets filled, and half the time it’s got nothing to do with me, it just, as if by magic, happens. For this reason, I really try get in there early to prioritise the 'unimportant' - and I use that term, as when I'm in diary mode, I am ashamed to say, but that’s how I think. However, missing these out, silently kills me - ice-creams with the girls, walks in the park, just keeping an afternoon free for last minute invites for friends to pop around. If we avoid and push out the spaces where we rest and recoup, were we heal and grow, there is a point that comes where there is nothing left to give. Thankfully I still have control of my private calendar, but my work calendar is different. With the advancement in computer type stuff, my colleagues can now fill my diary with things, thereby saving me the time of having to fill my diary... Something will break.

I was reminded at our leader’s conference this past January that God has given us enough time in the day to do the things we need to do. By

focussing on that, we just get rid of the time wasting stuff. It makes a big difference.

3) The third one is just that we need to occasionally make a bit of extra space to be able to properly rest and relax - for me, this is the summer holidays. As I get 10 days away with my family in 3 days (not that I am counting) I am trying to prepare myself for the break and the rest.

My prayer is that whoever you are, wherever you are, that you might find real and true rest and hopefully have a bit of a break this summer.

See you in September!

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