I want to encourage you this summer to approach your vacations as mini-sabbaticals in which you build into your time away the same principles of weekly Sabbaths (Stop, Rest, Delight, Contemplate). Instead, then, of being time when you might drift from Him and return home tired, you actually renew your communion with Jesus and yourself. My vacations and summers were revolutionized a number of years ago when I began to do this. It takes planning, forethought, and prayer, especially when you are taking children into account! But it is well worth it! Ask yourself: STOP – What do I need to do to really cease from all my work? REST – What kind of things will enable me to rest this vacation? DELIGHT – What will replenish my soil and fill me with energy, and to delight in God’s gifts? CONTEMPLATE- How can I build in time with God during this extended time? What kind of decisions will I need to make? I recently read one of the best descriptions of prayer I have ever seen. Prayer is “keeping the memory of God alive in your heart at every moment of the day and night” (From Abbot Jamison’s Finding Sanctuary). I am attaching here the Daily Office: Praying through the Psalms through the Year. I pray the psalms in my times of prayer each day and find them wonderfully helpful. You may want to try it this summer and/or during your vacation. For centuries, ancient Jews and Christians have allowed the poetry of these psalms to take over their souls and work into the depths of their bodies and minds. What, if any, has been your experience of approaching each summer vacation as a mini-sabbatical to the Lord?