Last week my husband looked at me and said, “We need to get away this weekend.”  Wellll….OK!  I was all over that. It wasn’t until we drove into Duluth, MN and gazed at Lake Superior that I realized how badly I needed to unplug. I needed to unplug from all of my responsibilities at home, leave my worries and concerns behind, leave the jobs in the job jar, and feel the freedom to just enjoy time.

A number of years ago our Pastor read us a few excerpts from  “Life’s Little Instruction” book.  He acknowledge that  what he was reading was not scriptural.  At the same time he admitted that he agreed with these little “instructions”.  So did I.  I still remember the two “instructions about life” that he read.

#1DO – have a dog.  Everyone needs a dog.  

– agreed.

#2 – DO – go broke on a vacation.

– agreed.  The way I see it is vacations save me from psychiatric bills so I figure I actually save money in the long run.

When I look back on the time when we were raising the kids, many of the years kind of blur together.  But the moments we shared on vacations stand out.

How does a family of five afford to go on vacation?  Easy.  We bought a conversion van.  Yep!  The ole’ “you are not glamorous” kind of vehicle.  I like to think of it as our conversation vehicle.  Once the kids were trapped in the van and  unplugged from their activities and friends …that big ole’ van was filled with all kinds of conversation as we cruised down the highway through late nights and wee hours of the morning.  When you are stuck in a van for over 30 hours you end up talking about just about everything there is to talk about.

Never will I forget the vacation memories of walking along beaches, seeing the sights, going to shows, golfing, 4th of July fireworks, hawaiian luaus, church services on the beach, roller coaster rides, and watching late night movies.  Those moments I will forever cherish in my heart. They were worth every penny that we didn’t really have.

My husband and I continued north on Highway 61 through Two Harbors, MN and then to our final destination at the Bluefin Bay Resort in Tofte, MN.  (Just a few minutes from Lutsen)  We splurged on a lake view room and hhhmmmmm….it was simply glorious.

This was our morning view…

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 8.25.00 PM

(The weird little light was the reflection of the window…but you get the idea)

I felt light inside – I was completely unplugged.  

 When I looked at this glorious body of water and breathed the clear air into my lungs I was more aware of God’s greatness.  As I soaked in His creation and His presence…. the cares of my world somehow seemed much smaller.  I realized that if I hadn’t become unplugged I was about to become unglued.

And something dawned on me.

 I remembered just a few weeks ago when I had decided to make pancakes for breakfast.  I plugged in my electric frying pan and got my coffee brewing while I waited for the pan to heat up.  About five minutes later I poured the batter on the griddle.  A few minutes after that I checked for those little bubbles that tell you it is time to flip the pancake and there were – none.

I kind of dug under it with my spatula only to mess up my perfectly shaped pancake and have a gooey mess on my spatula.  I checked to see if the pan was plugged in – and it was.  It kind of annoyed me…I mean really…I hardly ever  make pancakes for breakfast and then when I attempt to… my griddle doesn’t even work.  The outlook for the day ahead was not looking good.

Then I tried something else.  I tried plugging the cord into another outlet.  Ta-dah! That was it!  I had simply plugged into a faulty outlet.

When I am plugged into the cares and concerns of my life, rather than the Lord, it doesn’t work.   When I fail to connect with God – I am not effective. I tend to feel more anxious, overwhelmed, irritable, sleepless, worried, discouraged, and fearful.

When I unplug from my life and connect with the Lord I have His strength and His power.  And peace.  I experience pure joy.  I have hope and I feel free.  When I am plugged into Him I have more confidence and I make better choices.  I become a better person.  I feel strong.

Life doesn’t always provide lake views and get-aways.   Even when I want to have a play day at home the laundry is always calling, the dishes need to be done, and I can’t get past the dust.  It’s hard to completely unplug – without getting away.

But is possible .  We can create our own personal sanctuaries. In the past few weeks I have not been doing a great job of creating sanctuary moments in my day-to-day life.  I have woken up early with good intentions to spend some quiet time with the Lord and many times have gotten side-tracked by work emails, personal emails, and that ridiculous Facebook.  Many mornings I have cut my time short with Him, and in doing so I have missed the blessings of being connected to Him.

My sanctuary moments are the most important part of my day.  It’s the reason why I named my blog Sensible Sanctuary. Maybe I am more of a natural mess than others because I simply cannot function without Him.  When I neglect my time with God it keeps me from being the woman that I am supposed to be.

Surrounded by His presence and guided by His word I can manage pretty well… and that ole’ joy starts to do that bubbling thing in my soul. Even when I am stuck at home in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard with the wind howling around me…a cup of steaming coffee, a soft robe, a soft blanket, and a big chair…my Bible, my pen, and my latest journal…and I can be taken away to a place where the Lord is near and I have better perspectives on life.  In my personal sanctuary the Lord makes sense and I can make better sense of my life.

But every once in awhile…it’s really, really nice to get away from it all.  It might cost some money and the workload will still be waiting.  Gaining spiritual refreshment and a new outlook can last a few months.  (Not quite a year, in my opinion)

As we drove back into town after our incredible weekend, my spirits refused to weaken.  I was not going to plug back into the wrong things.  I had reconnected with my handsome husband and my Lord…and it was good.  It was very good.

How about you?  Definitely plan your next get-away.  But in the meantime…find a spot.  Set up a sanctuary in your home. Or try something new.  Jesus is happy to go anywhere with you. Walk outside and sit by a lake.  Find a bench in the middle of a park.  Stop into a new coffee shop.  Be creative.  Walk away from it all.  Unplug from your life and plug into the Lord.  Find out what the Creator of the Universe has to say to you today.

Teen spends some "alone time" on the beach at a lake side resort in Mexico. She is wrapped in a blanket and drinking a cup of coffee. Her Bible and journal lays besides her on the beach.

“God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there – there is no such thing.” – C.S. Lewis

Until next time,