My view at the moment is of the screen porch at Amma and Pop’s house. (Amma and Pop are the grandparent names of my parents.) Up above, the whirl of the ceiling fans makes this blazing hot July afternoon in Georgia manageable. To my right, baby Silas is making slurping noises as he downs his bottle hungrily in Josh’s arms. Out in the yard, Knox (the canine part of the family) rolls around happily in the sun. Upstairs, Annabelle catches her nap necessitated by a hot morning running around Amma’s church playground, and Amma cleans up from a delicious lunch.

Just inside the door, Liam and Pop have taken in a couple episodes of Power Rangers and have now switched over to jumping off furniture. (Pop is watching not jumping!) Liam is already decked out in his bathing suit, goggles, swimming fins, and snorkel, just counting down the moments for Mommy to finish writing and Annabelle to finish napping!

Vacation for these Hull McGees is in full swing, and the slower rhythm of these days could not be sweeter. We arrived to Georgia last night for “Pop Camp” (some quality time for Pop + kiddos), just in time for dinner on the deck, fireworks off in the distance, and lots of giggling on the air mattresses that gave Liam and Annabelle a fun night of squirming and snuggling together.

For the first few days of our vacation week, we traveled with some dearest of friends to the mountains, where we sat on yet another porch overlooking the rolling ridges and hills of our North Carolina landscape. Six kids under six meant a whole lot of “loud love,” but between the squeals and squabbles, we all found deep gladness and infinite gratitude for friendships that know no borders of time or space or years.

This is sabbath! For a tired mama, it is restoring. For a busy pastor, it is renewing. For a follower of Christ, it is a necessary part of the Christian life to which we are called to practice. Thanks be to God for the gift of rest!

Together in the work of Love,

Pastor Emily

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