Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

Celebrating my “Staycation”

During the months of July and August I have been on “Staycation”, and I have decided that I love it! Unlike the many vacations I have taken in my life, I actually feel refreshed and recharged at the end of these 8 weeks. Usually after a vacation, I feel tired and worn down, even though I might have had a lot of fun.

Perhaps I should define what I mean by a staycation… it means I stay at home and do whatever I want. It has meant naps in the afternoon… it has meant catching up on email and old acquaintances. It has meant reading science fiction instead of theology (although, since I’m reading the latest books in the “Dune” series, its not that different). It has meant watching some television (I have fallen in love with the children’s show “Avatar, the Last Airbender”).

So, a staycation for me is almost a form of sabbatical… but one where I limit the number of expectations others have on me, and use the time to fulfill expectations and desires of my own. Two surprising realizations have come from this time. First, I was unprepared for how relaxing and focusing it was going to be. Second, I have been surprised that, even though I did not set out to be, I have still been quite productive.

One of the realizations from giving myself the time to do what I desire is that my desires and my regular “work” are not that far apart. My passions and my purpose are fairly close together. So, while I would rarely wake up with a plan of what I “needed” to accomplish each day… I still accomplished quite a bit.

I found myself making time for writing, both sermons and pre-sermon blog entries. Some of the articles I have written during this staycation have been quite controversial.

I deeply enjoyed a theological debate through the blog with a high school friend who is now a very conservative Christian minister.

I did some work on the apartment and on the car, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. The work needed doing, and I had the time to let the mood strike me as to when to do it.

I was privileged to fill in for a Chicago area minister during a large funeral for a long time member of a UU Church. Rather than feeling time pressured to squeeze it in, I was able to float into and fully experience the event.

I preached about every weekend, but somehow it seemed different… though I preached in Chicago and in Wisconsin, most of my services were with the recruits at Great imitrex vials generic Lakes. This has deeper meaning for me, as I have now handed that ministry into the hands of another. This time of “staycation” gave me the privilege to say goodbye to that ministry in my own way.

I joined a gym and began really focusing on physically getting ready for life back in the Army.

I created an online photo memorial of UU’s who are buried at Arlington Cemetery. It was a privilege, and it was fun to play with the pictures. I have had some wonderful email comments on it, more than one of them surprised there were so many UU Veterans buried at Arlington… to which I remarked that I only got to photograph perhaps a tenth of the cemetery… there are probably many more.

I enjoyed sitting on my back porch reading the books “Paul of Dune” and “Winds of Dune” by Brian Herbert. Many of you may know that Frank Herbert’s novel “Dune” had a profound impact on my life, as it was that book at 11 years old that really challenged me to begin thinking beyond the narrow way my childhood faith had taught me to think.

Each Friday, I would pick up my wife at noon from her work (she has half-day Friday’s in the summer) and we would go see a movie, go to her favorite salad bar, go shopping, go to the zoo… whatever she wanted. I’m going to miss our Friday afternoon dates when the summer is over… we’ll just have to move them to Saturday.

Some days I would just sit at home play-wrestling with Athena, Warrior Princess (our cat). She loves nothing more than pretending my hand is a mouse, getting a good “combat training” workout, and then sleeping on my chest while I watch TV. It has been good bonding time between me and my little fuzzwad.

All through it, I was able to find time to communicate with military affiliated UU’s on the CLF Military Ministry website, chat with a few people interested in ministry and military chaplaincy, think about some sermon ideas, complete the medical clearance for my upcoming CPE Residency, plan a set of workshops I’ll be leading in November, and so much else… and feel as if I had spent the time laying around the house, taking long baths, and watching television.

I feel refreshed and revived, probably for the first time since I began this seminary journey some 4 years ago. All the while seeming like I have been doing nothing, and yet accomplishing more than I could have planned.


So, this is just an article celebrating “Staycations”! I can’t wait till my next one!

Yours in faith,


2 Thoughts on “Celebrating my “Staycation”

  1. Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ was more or less my “bible” as a young teen.

    Love the wise “sayings” that accompany each chapter.

    I had been meaning to reread it this summer but other books got in the way.

    Most recently this one which might interest you too.


  2. I’m ready for my staycation! Where do I sign up for one?

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