A more reasonable person would have already written their blog post before going on vacation. But this still reasonable person was busy at full tilt before going away on vacation, and so this did not get done until on vacation. My husband and I have tried really hard to be fully on vacation and to not be working at work things. Like many of you, both of us have work that does not stay neatly in the 9 to 5 work world (or even in the 8 to 6 work world!). So, when we can really be away, it is good for all of us -- each of us as individuals, the two of us as a couple and as parents, and the four of us as a family.

We are spending a week at a cabin in the woods up in Maine. It is a nice cabin with power and running water. But no TV, no cable, no Internet, and low cell reception. At night, it is DARK here and we are close enough to the water to hear a gentle sound. We are in a place that's set apart. We have seen sights, visited national parks, and gone to (of all things) Santa's Village. (I know, I know, but it was fun, we did ride the rides, feed the reindeer, and there was a small water park for the girls to play in at the end of the day.) We haven't checked the news, not even NPR, and have been singing in the car and listening to CDs. (No, we don't have a DVD player for the car nor an mp3 player. Yes, we have wondered if we are raising Rod and Todd, of the Simpsons fame.) We have watched the scenery, taken in the mountains, valleys, and waters, and breathed more deeply than we do back at home.

Okay, here's my confession. We didn't go to church on Sunday. But, we did have a family church service Sunday evening. We sang some camp/VBS songs, Cassie recited the 23rd Psalm from memory (thank you, Good Shepherd rotation teachers and shepherds!), Miriam read the Gospel lesson, we prayed, and shared bread and wine for communion with each other. It was fitting that the Gospel passage from Mark was about when Jesus tried to take the disciples away to a deserted place for some rest and refreshment after their first mission out into the world. (Jesus and the disciples were found out by those needing to be fed and healed, who even got to the other side of the lake, on foot even, before Jesus and the twelve could arrive. We have only gotten a few phone calls and a few emails that needed attention. (Pretty good so far.) I shared with David and the girls that I really liked that this was the reading when we were together in this deserted place together for our time of rest and refreshment. I think they liked the idea too.

You might not be able to get away for a week. And maybe this sounds like too much disconnection for you. But the summer is a good time to retreat; it's not just for Lent anymore. Whether you can physically go away and get some time to see the bigger picture, or just need a day to set aside all that makes noise, take the time to be with God and to hang out in the ways that help you see and know that God is a good God, who made a good world, and has made you good, very good indeed.