A Time Away

As the last days of winter try to hang on, my thoughts wander to times of getting away just on the horizon. I put together these thoughts from one of my earlier journal entries as I look ahead to warmer days.

While sitting on the shore’s edge during a trip to the North Carolina coast a few summers ago, my wife and I entered into a discussion about vacation. We called what we were doing vacation, but at that moment it felt a little more inspirational than that. Webster’s says this about vacation; “a period of rest from work.”

I know when we go on vacation, we are taking a break from work, but how often does it really feel like rest? Don’t many vacations feel rather busy? Recreation is important; time with family is important; but so is rest.

What most of us need, more than anything, is restoration, which comes from a time of rest. God created in us this natural need to rest; a time to restore our bodies and minds for the rigors of day to day life. A Sabbath is for rest, regardless of when you choose to take it. And author/speaker Graham Cooke even suggests that “Sabbath is a weapon.” Because we recharge when we rest, we are strengthened and focused again. We gain clarity and perspective.

When we go from busy to busy, there’s not much time for restoration in that. My friends and I have decided we’d like two weeks of vacation back to back. Then we can experience recreation and restoration. That’s probably tough for most of us in this economy, but the point of it all is this; we need rest. Not just the five to seven hours of sleep each night either. We need a focused time period, as alone as possible, where the Spirit can minister to our hearts; whether it’s sea shores, or the mountain tops, or somewhere in between.

I pray that you can find some time for that this summer. It’s good for your soul, and good for your heart. And it’s good for the others around you too.

Greg Tutwiler, CCLC/BCPC

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The First Draft Is Always Rough

I follow lots of other blog writers, news feeds, and book authors. I hope that, among other things, it makes me a better writer. One of the guys I like to read often is Seth Godin. I gained some much needed inspiration from a recent blog post of his titled, “Cracking the Pottery.” I think I even feel a fresh sense of freedom as I re-read these excerpted pieces of text from his post. My hope is that they inspire you as well.

“… I find that it’s almost essential to fall in love with an idea; to invest the time it takes to make it good and worth sharing … For every post that makes it … I write at least three, sometimes more. That means that on a regular basis, I delete some of my favorite (almost good) writing … When you get in the habit of breaking your own pottery, it’s a lot easier to ask, “what if?”

If you’re like me (and apparently Seth), birthing a worthy idea can be an arduous task. Whether you are writing a blog post, a contracted article, a book, or a song – or maybe you’re writing a business plan for a new venture – I find three points paramount. One – the first draft is always rough. That’s why it’s called a rough draft. Two – It’s okay to ball it up and start over. Others do it all the time. And three – Don’t re-write it to death. We are our own worst critics. Let the idea live or die with the reader.

Greg Tutwiler, life coach, publisher