It's that time of year again and I am seriously looking forward to vacation! My husband and I will leave on Oct. 13th for Palm Springs, and then we're also on our way to Sedona, AZ after that. We'll be gone about ten days. Last year we spent LOTS of time out and about on our vacation and I came home exhausted. My plan this year is to take some books to read, and to do a few things while we're there, but not to spend all our time running around. I need to really rest - to relax - take a walk each morning and enjoy just being. I do plan in Sedona to visit some of the "spiritual sites" - there are a few tours and I haven't decided what I want to do, but that draws me. I have a friend who has visited Sedona, so I'm going to email and ask her to give me some sense of what she thinks would be good for me to do. She and I participated in a two-year Spiritual Direction course and Sedona is an important spiritual place for her. Also, this year, I arranged vacation so I'll be home for a couple of days before heading to work and I'm not preaching on the Sunday I return! I'm so excited about that. Reformation Sunday will be my first Sunday back, and I look forward to participating - we have confirmation - but the Youth Family Pastor is preaching. I preside, and we both are involved in confirming the youth, but it's not like preparing the sermon. Bottom line for me is that I am looking for rest, renewal for my soul, and a reaffirmation of incorporating self care into my schedule when we return. Our lives are busy, and I am one of the pastors at a very busy parish. I need to work on building in that which nurtures my spirit and soul - particularly when it comes to being in natural environments. I have a very deep 'nature spirituality' and when I don't nurture that, I feel the difference in my personality, body and spirit. God's spirit is active in all the world, and I know God is present in every moment. I look forward to slowing down and really absorbing that over the next few weeks!