Johannes Schouten
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We just completed our family vacation for this summer. We were gone for almost 3 weeks.

Here are 10 things I learned while on (and after returning from) vacation. I realize these are same things I learn every summer again:

1. My Wife Is Awesome!: Phyllis organized our entire trip. It was a tour de force. In the midst of it she even rescued all of us from a late evening bat attack and has spent time receiving (thus far) 8 immunization shots for possible rabies.

2. Rest: I am thankful for the rhythm of work and rest that God has infused into His creation. I am certainly thankful for times of work and labour but also very thankful for times of rest and renewal.

3. Quantity: I know that we are encouraged to have "quality" time with our children but nothing seems to beat "quantity time." Lots of time together to build memories, talk and even deal with the challenges of relationships. I am thankful for lots of quantity time this vacation.

4. Home: travelling can be wonderful but there is nothing like returning home to our house and life in Burnaby. I love walking through our front door into the familiar.

5. Canada: I am thankful for the United States. But there is nothing like crossing the border back into the "great white north." Everytime I cross the border back into this country I want to sing and shout (and maybe even dance!) "O Canada"!

6. Ottawa: one of the highlights of our trip was visiting our country's capital: Ottawa!--so much to see and do. I even learned (I should have known this!) that Canadian history is pretty intersting! I have been inspired to read the book "The Promise of Canada" by Charlotte Grey (so far, a great read).

7. Family: we don't see "my side" of the family very often but I was so thankful to see them again and get reconnected and "reaquainted." Our kids connected and there are lots of things we did together. They were also very hospitable to us.

8. Nelson Ave: it is always great returning back to Nelson Ave. We were only gone for 3 weeks but it felt fresh and new seeing God's people at Nelson Ave again!

9. Routines: often on vacation my regular routines of Bible reading, prayer, walking, spiritual formation, etc. seem to go on vacation as well. I give thanks for the routines I can return to.

10. Our Kids: I give thanks for our kids. They put up with much: 50+ hours driving in a van, 10 hours of flying, more hours in the airport, sleeping in different beds every few days, heat, humidity, more heat, more humidity, bats!...and they even put up with wonky me.

This vacation has been a teacher. Thank you Lord.