The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul. – Psalm 23
Welcome to September, friends! And with the new month comes my last vacation entry (other than a “pick of the best photographs” post in a few days).
I have been back at work for a couple of days; but Rebekah was officially off (doing a lot of work but officially not at work!) through the end of the day yesterday. Consequently, I took her out for a celebratory dinner to cap off the break.
We wanted something uniquely Raleigh and so, even though we don’t typically “do” Mexican, we made reservations at what is clearly the best Mexican restaurant in this part of North Carolina, Gonza Tacos y Tequila.
The atmosphere is festive, inviting, and acceptably noisy in a high-energy way. We sat outside on the patio, enjoying the summer air, the ambiance, the food, the conversation, and – most of all – each other.
For Rebekah and for me, this is the single most important facet of a great vacation. We simply enjoy focused, unhurried, exclusive, time together. We both love people, and relationships are central to the work we’re both involved in, so recharging in this way is critically important.
It may be difficult to imagine if you’re not involved with a church, but being the pastor of an 800-plus member congregation can be an extremely taxing responsibility. Rebekah is the singularly best equipped person I know for such a task; but her effectiveness comes at a cost, and that’s where the right kind of time apart can be so valuable.
So it’s been a very good vacation. I think we could have used an extra week, but we’re also looking forward to an extremely exciting September (and more) back at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church.
If you’re new to this blog (I always pick up extra subscribers when I post travel images), you can still expect to enjoy a combination of great photographs and encouraging devotional content. I’ll also be commentating on this interesting and disturbing presidential race, but not in a partisan fashion.
More than anything, I’ll be reflecting – day by day – the essential idea of this blog, which is Life, Gratitude, Faith, and Passion.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.