summer vacation

hanging out with julia and rachel

in addition to being an associate pastor, i also work at a local middle school. most of our family's "cash" income comes from the school. i say "cash" income, because when you factor in our church salary + the value of living in the parsonage rent free w/o paying for utilities it comes out in favor of the church compensation. so even though our paycheck from the church isn't much, we are very grateful for the full package and our compensation with the church. but we still need dinero to buy "stuff" (gas, clothes, food, insurance, school loans, etc.)

anyways, that being said i have a bit of a relaxed schedule in the summer time since i don't have to work at the school. and today while on my run i started wondering, "what does everyone else who works at the school do with their summer vacations?

i'm sure some of them get a 'summer' job and make extra money, some probably go traveling, or some probably do what i've been doing - nothing.

at the beginning of the summer i thought about getting another job. i even went so far as to ask my brother-in-law to join him in construction. but in the end that didn't work out and i didn't pursue anything else.

and as much as we could use the money to put towards our school loan debt, it's been really nice to just have lazy days. now when i say lazy, it's not like i'm not helping out around the house. but there's not really any pressing schedule on us.

it's nice to not be stressed out by trying to get to such and such a place, or leave by such and such a time, and then feel exhausted at the end of the day and not feel like we've spent any time together as a couple or with our kids.

in fact some days deb and i look at each other and say and/or think "what should we do today?" - "lets do something to fill the time" - "if we don't plan something, the day's just going to waste away"

now while some of you may read this and think what a great problem to have, or wish you too could have months of vacation time paid (btw, it's paid because they prorate the hours i work during the school year and divide by twelve. so during the school year i'm getting paid less than what the hours time my pay rate would equal).

and the fact is that compared to the rest of the industrialized world we lack WAY behind in terms of vacation time. a couple weeks ago we had some friends over for dinner. it was a high school friend of deb's and her husband and young child. he's from england and they are now both part of wycliff translators. anyways they came back to the states on "holiday" and they were around for like a month or more. and from what i understand when most people in the uk take their holiday pay, they actually use it to just relax and rejuvenate.

if you click on link above it will show you a comparison of the required vacation time employers are mandated to give in the G8 nations.

you know it's biblical. God commanded his people to take a vacation at least once a week. and when a couple was married they to take a year long honeymoon.

so even though you may not get almost 12 weeks off of work as i do, i encourage you to take time for yourself, for your family. don't live so rushed or hurried. it'd be good to say every once in a while, "i don't know, what do you wanna do?" (for some reason i recall seeing some video or movie or tv show where two people kept asking that to each other back and forth. but i couldn't remember what it was or a link to it, if you know what i'm talking about i'd love to hear about it.)

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// today i'm thankful for:
1. my wife
2. air conditioning
3. winning two bids on ebay
4. one for a new camera
5. the other for an SD card and card reader