Alone again, naturally.

“Alone” isn’t really the right word, because I’m referring to the two of us, husband and wife.  We’ve been on a vacation this week, not the kind where I’m speaking every day, but the kind where there’s been zero agenda, each day ripe with the opportunity for adventure or naps, or both, as our own choices dictate…

Tuesday: Details

Wednesday: A bike ride from somewhere below artist point, all the way to the top (each of starting at different places).

Thursday: Bicycle adventures in Bellingham, and lunch with an old friend, a carpenter who mentors pastors in the Bellingham area like Gandalf to Frodo.

Friday: A hike to the top of Goat Mountain instead of Church Mountain, because the road to the church was moved by construction (a metaphor? has the road to the modern church been moved by constructs of modernity, or deconstructions of post-modernity?)

Today: More details including writing an article for the local paper, and a field trip to a local farm that raises organic, grass feed beef, as we try to drop off the Food Inc. grid a little more each season.

In between the events, we’ve been reading books by Tolstoy and Nemirovsky, cooked some really great meals, and enjoyed discussions about where we’ve been as a couple, and where we might be going in the days ahead.  We slept as much as we wanted.  We’ve discovered that, after all these years, we enjoy being together more now than ever before, for which we’re profoundly grateful.  There have been vacations blended with teaching, or heavy sightseeing agendas, or vacations rooted in things that simply needed to get done, like painting a house or caring for someone in need.  This vacation, though, has been a different kind, a gift of genuine Sabbath.

There’s a part of me that wants to investigate where this notion of vacation came from; does it have origins in the Sabbath of old, or is just a byproduct of industrialization and unions?  For now, I don’t care.  Instead, with gratitude for the many gifts God’s given us, we pray that we’ll be found faithful, stepping ever more fully into God’s story of transformation.  That, and a good Saturday rainfall, seems to be enough.

Here are some pics of the adventures… with more here

About Richard Dahlstrom

As Pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle, Richard teaches with vision of "making the invisible God visible" by calling people to acts of service and blessing. It's working, as a wilderness ministry, homeless shelter, and community meals that serve those living on the margins are all pieces of Bethany's life. "We're being the presence of Christ" he says, "and inviting everyone to join the adventure." Many have, making Bethany one of the fastest growing churches in America in 2009 according to Outreach Magazine.

  • Kristi

    Holly and I were reflecting today (over a lunch of Knoblauchsuppe!) how blessed we’ve been to have your examples in our lives. Your marriage, the way that you continue to enjoy one another, is one more huge piece of that. Thanked, and thanks for sharing!


Alone again, naturally.

“Alone” isn’t really the right word, because I’m referring to the two of us, husband and wife.  We’ve been on a vacation this week, not the kind where I’m speaking every day, but the kind where there’s been zero agenda, each day ripe with the opportunity for adventure or naps, or both, as our own choices dictate…

Tuesday: Details

Wednesday: A bike ride from somewhere below artist point, all the way to the top (each of starting at different places).

Thursday: Bicycle adventures in Bellingham, and lunch with an old friend, a carpenter who mentors pastors in the Bellingham area like Gandalf to Frodo.

Friday: A hike to the top of Goat Mountain instead of Church Mountain, because the road to the church was moved by construction (a metaphor? has the road to the modern church been moved by constructs of modernity, or deconstructions of post-modernity?)

Today: More details including writing an article for the local paper, and a field trip to a local farm that raises organic, grass feed beef, as we try to drop off the Food Inc. grid a little more each season.

In between the events, we’ve been reading books by Tolstoy and Nemirovsky, cooked some really great meals, and enjoyed discussions about where we’ve been as a couple, and where we might be going in the days ahead.  We slept as much as we wanted.  We’ve discovered that, after all these years, we enjoy being together more now than ever before, for which we’re profoundly grateful.  There have been vacations blended with teaching, or heavy sightseeing agendas, or vacations rooted in things that simply needed to get done, like painting a house or caring for someone in need.  This vacation, though, has been a different kind, a gift of genuine Sabbath.

There’s a part of me that wants to investigate where this notion of vacation came from; does it have origins in the Sabbath of old, or is just a byproduct of industrialization and unions?  For now, I don’t care.  Instead, with gratitude for the many gifts God’s given us, we pray that we’ll be found faithful, stepping ever more fully into God’s story of transformation.  That, and a good Saturday rainfall, seems to be enough.

Here are some pics of the adventures… with more here

About Richard Dahlstrom

As Pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle, Richard teaches with vision of "making the invisible God visible" by calling people to acts of service and blessing. It's working, as a wilderness ministry, homeless shelter, and community meals that serve those living on the margins are all pieces of Bethany's life. "We're being the presence of Christ" he says, "and inviting everyone to join the adventure." Many have, making Bethany one of the fastest growing churches in America in 2009 according to Outreach Magazine.

  • Kristi

    Holly and I were reflecting today (over a lunch of Knoblauchsuppe!) how blessed we’ve been to have your examples in our lives. Your marriage, the way that you continue to enjoy one another, is one more huge piece of that. Thanked, and thanks for sharing!


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