Monday, October 5, 2009

Rachael and the Mennonite Vacation

So, I'll get back to the Friends With Hangups series, but there have been a few interesting stories that have happened that I feel I need to share also.  Then we'll get back to all the hangups.  They'll still be waiting for us when we return.

Tonight I sat down to write my latest post about Life With Rachael.  I was in the process of downloading pictures for two future posts, one about charging the Wii remote, and one about a recent experiment that involved frying syrup on the naked stove top, no pans needed. 

As the pictures were downloading, Rachael started a conversation out of nowhere.

"You know where I want to go and spend a week for our next vacation?"

I thought about it for a minute.  Several destinations entered my mind.

Maybe Hawaii or Kauai.  We have a condo there, but have never visited.  Or maybe a cruise.  Or another state.  Or a national park.  We love National Parks.  We love hiking.  All of these were potential candidates, but I really have learned that it's sometimes best to just ask, as Rachael's thoughts can tend to run on the random and sometimes indiscernible side.

"I don't know, Hon.  Where would  you like to go for a week's vacation?"

"A Mennonite Community."

Wow.  That was so random.  I mean, really.  If she had handed me a piece of paper and a pencil and asked me to guess what her future week's vacation plans were with a guarantee of 30 days straight back massages if I could guess it in 10 guesses, I'm pretty sure I'd have no recourse if I happened to get a sore back in the next month.

"A Mennonite Community.  Wow- I never saw that coming.  Sometimes you're so random.  Why a Mennonite Community?"

"Simple Living.  And going to church every day." 

I know what some of you are thinking.  'Simple living might be OK, but I thought church was something you HAVE to do.  Kind of put in your time to get on God's good side, but sitting in the pew counting off the minutes until you get to eat lunch.'

I'd be lying to say I've never had those feelings, but I try hard to remember the big picture.  Don't go to church because you HAVE to- Go because you want to.  Because you can grow there.  Because you can be a part of something much bigger than you.  Because God has welcomed you to be a part of His big plan.  And, there is not a BIGGER or more important plan anywhere.

One of the things I'm thankful for when living Life With Rachael is that Rachael has a true desire to do what's right and to serve God.  Now she's human, just like you and me, and she's not perfect, so there are times that she doesn't feel like going to church either, but as a whole, she's one of the most pure-hearted, honestly motivated individuals I've ever known.  I am sure you're thinking I'm somewhat biased, and I'm sure you are correct, but I really do believe there is some truth to what I'm saying.  It's one of the things I absolutely love about Rachael.

So, who knows?

Maybe we'll find ourselves spending a week with a Community of Mennonites sometime in the future.  It would definitely be a different vacation, but it might prove very interesting, relaxing, and enriching.  It would probably be a good experience for the kids, as well.

I'm listening to an audiobook novel right now about a doctor that was sued for malpractice, had a hard time dealing with the aftermath and went to Peru on a backpacking vacation.  While there, he started helping out with an orphanage and when it turned out they needed a doctor, he decided to stay on.  Found that the simpler life was a lot more rewarding than the hustle and bustle of where he had previously called home.  His vacation turned into a life-long mission.

What about you?  Have ever made a go at a simpler life?  Or ever had an untraditional vacation?  How did it go?  What conclusions did you come to?

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