A Needed Time Out

    Today, I gave myself a time out, so to speak.  Just felt the need to relax and reflect.  As I did, I took a stroll down memory lane to a much simpler time. I thought about the days as a small girl when we would go to my Nannie Kitchens home. All her work was done by the noon meal and time stood still as we enjoyed a leisure lunch and lingered around the table for a while. The adults would be chatting and kids playing quietly and taking in the conversations.  Then we’d move out to the porch or under a shade tree and bask in the company of our loved ones, adults talking, children running and playing.  It was a leisurely pace and a huge part of childhood for me. Most weekends included a day like this and fairly often a day or two spent camping with my parents and either friends or relatives. It was a way of life back in those days!
    Now, there are so many things vying for our time and attention that we seldom slow down.When we do, we often find ourselves running, errands, completing chores that have been neglected because of our busy schedules until we are exhausted. When we sit down to relax at home we have the Internet, hundreds of tv channels, music channels, unread magazines, books, and so much more calling our names. Many times we have looked at one another as asked what weekend? where did it go? We are learning more and more the importance of slowing down, finding time as a couple and as a family or extended family to enjoy time with: No work, no tv, no music, no errands! Instead, we say yes to the things we forget to embrace:  peace and quiet, leisure conversation, rest and just enjoying one another’s company. It is a complete change of pace and something that requires us to be intentional but it is refreshing to our mind, body and spirit. It is like a mini vacation for me!
     One of the places I enjoy when I sense the need to get away from the hustle and bustle of life is about a forty minute drive and reminds me a lot of those camping trips to north Georgia without the two-hour drive. I find an hour or two sitting on a swing or walking along the river bank brings a peace and solitude that refreshes me, clears my mind and helps me hear from God in those times when all the noise and distractions of life drown out His voice.
     Life is getting more and more demanding each day and we will drive ourselves to total exhaustion if we do not choose to be intentional about setting aside time for that which really matters and finding satisfaction in the simpler things.  Our world tells us we can have it all but it may be in our best interest to realize we can not have it all at once and in the end maybe we just do not need it all.

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