Today marks the beginning of my Thanksgiving break. I have no work or school for over a week, and I don’t have any major projects for work or school that I need to work on either, so I’m totally free.

I wanted to spend this time intentionally. I know how easy it would be for me to look back at the end of the break and realize I had done nothing besides nap, go on social media, and watch YouTube videos. I don’t want that.

This got me thinking about rest and vacation. There are some things in my life which are fake rest (not to be confused with fake news). These are the things that trick me into thinking I’m “taking a break” but aren’t restorative at all. These are things like scrolling mindlessly through Facebook, eating junk food, or staying up late. In the moment, I think that I’m taking a break or resting, or whatever. But I don’t feel any better afterwards. Usually, I feel worse.

These things aren’t always bad, it’s just that, if I’m seeking to feel restored or rested, these things aren’t going to do it for me.

For this long break, I am planning to do some non-rest things, like tackle some deep cleaning and organizing projects, make freezer meals, and begin Christmas shopping. But I also am trying to make a conscious effort to plan some restorative things. Real rest, not fake rest.

To start, I made a list of the things I wanted to get done. I then thought about some things that give me real rest, and added those to my to-do list as well. Here are some “real rest” ideas that I love:

  • Read a book (fiction, nonfiction, whatever)
  • Practice piano or guitar
  • Do hand lettering
  • Take a bubble bath, do a face mask, etc.
  • Talk to/ spend time with people I love
  • Cook a new recipe
  • Write, Journal, or Blog
  • Listen to music or podcasts

Of course, everyone is going to have different things that are real rest. I didn’t include my devotional, eating well, or working out in this list, but these are all things that I aim to do this week also. I just kind of consider them my baseline of things I need to do to feel my best.

Hopefully, with these things on my to-do list along with my projects and things, I can come out of this break feeling productive, restored, and ready to get back to work and school.

What things are real rest for you?



Arizona Vacation 2017



Arizona holds so many special memories for us. It is where my husband and I first began to build our lives together after we got married, where I graduated from college, and the home of so many good times and so much growth.



Although we’ve moved back to the area where we grew up in the Midwest, Arizona has such a nostalgic feeling.


The opportunity arose to visit our friends before they move out of Arizona as well, and we jumped on it. It was a fairly quick and spontaneous decision, but we booked the flight and didn’t look back.


The day after we flew in, we visited Sedona. I could try to describe it, but you really just need to go. It gives you that same frightening-but-breathtaking feeling that you get when you look out at the open ocean.



I’m growing to like that feeling. It gives you a sense of humility at how small you really are, yet gratitude that God chose to give you life in a universe full of such amazing things.


We had such a fun time hiking and even just driving with this beautiful landscape around us.


Above all, it was great to see our friends. Life takes us in different directions and I’m notoriously bad at staying in touch (working on it!), but even so, when we get back together the relationship feels like we’ve never left. I’m thankful for these and other great people in my life.



I also appreciated the 90 degree weather when there was a snowstorm happening back home. Gratefulness comes in all sorts of forms!


Where will you be headed for your next vacation?


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This One Thing Can Make All the Difference

One day I was at Taco Bell and ordered some sort of Chicken Power Bowl. They called my number, I got my food, and prepared to take the first bite. Much to my surprise, there was no chicken in this chicken bowl. I brought this to the worker’s attention, we had a good laugh about it, and he added my chicken.


In this situation, the irony is funny, but there are so many examples of this kind of thinking in our lives.

Are you…