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“Anyone who cannot obey God's command to observe the Sabbath is a slave, even a self-imposed one. Your own heart, or our materialistic culture, or an exploitative organization, or all of the above, will be abusing you if you don't have the ability to be disciplined in your practice of Sabbath. Sabbath is therefore a declaration of our freedom. It means you are not a slave—not to your culture's expectations, your family's hopes, your medical school's demands, not even to your own insecurities. It is important that you learn to speak this truth to yourself with a note of triumph—otherwise you will feel guilty for taking time off, or you will be unable to truly unplug.” – Tim Keller

We are at the end of our summer here. TEAM requires that we go on vacation away from our ministry area and we’re thankful they do so because we were pretty overwhelmed by the time we got away! It’s kind of a tough one to navigate because we want to build a life of balance, with regular rest built in. We’re willing to cut out things and not take on lots of responsibility in order to guard our health, spiritual life, and family time. However, usually we feel like we’re just doing the bare minimum and are already overwhelmed! For me (Kacie), running the home the way we have to here, and shepherding three little kids is an all-consuming task that never stops. Losing my helper or getting sick puts me near burn out (and indeed, I only have had a helper for half of this past year). Isaac is asked to do many things that he turns down, but he planned to help lead one English course at a TEAM community center outreach on the other side of town after the seminary was out for the summer. As it turned out the end of the semester was pushed back so the English course coincided with weeks of classes, meetings, and ceremonies and the entire family getting sick.

Because of this, vacation felt pretty important this year, but honestly we are starting the new school year not feeling rested. And vacation is ultimately not helpful if the rest of life is too much, because it all rushes in as soon as you return. Please pray for us as we enter this year, that we would be able to rest well and not be overwhelmed.

As for our vacation, we were extremely thankful for time just to be away, together, and not cooking or cleaning or teaching! We enjoyed the variety of food available because of the tourists that block to Bali. Bali is tropical and beautiful like most of the rest of Indonesia, but is steeped in its own culture, rituals, and religion because of its strong Hindu background.

And then Isaac’s folks came to visit and we went sightseeing (through the rain that poured for nearly three days straight!). Although we came home to all the usual responsibilities, it was wonderful to have Mom and Dad Mann here to lend a hand, have quality family time, and the great gift of showing our world to parents/grandparents.

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