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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

In the Pines

Houston, TX

a whole month off.


a whole month. to rest. to learn. to readjust.


rest is something that is so profoundly simple. something that our quick-paced American culture has pushed aside in favor of the allure that being busy && constantly on the move provides. it is something that is so necessary that it is often ignored and replaced bc of the pressure of feeling unproductive or lazy.


but rest does not look the same for everybody. rest can be reading a book (…for fun). or working out. or having dinner to catch up w a friend. it can be getting your errands done. or cooking a meal for yourself. the key is finding a way that you properly rest, && not compare that to others. you must find a way to make your rest have purpose, bc otherwise you are doing a disservice to yourself.


a whole month to rest.


learning is something that should be constant. try to learn something new every day. learning about yourself? now that is a lifelong pursuit. the ending of a year causes reflection && yearning for change in the year to come. learning how to better yourself && what areas of your life require growth, that should be a goal, not a resolution. learning how to better communicate w others, this is a requirement.


a whole month to learn.


readjusting is hard. whether it’s a relationship, a location change, or whatever has thrown you off-kilter, readjusting to fit the new norm is not easy. the Lord has a sense of humor in this though, bc right as we get comfortable where we are, He mixes us all up, to remind us that this is not our home && that growth happens in the discomfort.


a whole month to readjust.


going back to a job that you know so well is easy.


especially when you’ve known the pastor of the church your whole life.


especially when your parents drive down to volunteer the entire event.


especially when you are reminded of the impact your work makes && how you are actively inviting others into that.


but after one month, some things take a second to pick back up, to remember certain moving parts && things you are supposed to be doing.


this event was one of provision. one where His hand was so evidently present && at work. one full of first-time volunteers && families && athletes && businesses. they danced along to the music w joy && smiles on their faces.



what i learned

  1. there's nothing like an alphabet rug to make you feel at home

  2. it is really special to be in a place someone you love is passionate about

  3. His provision continues to surpass my understanding

how i grew


man, the Lord continues to give me opportunities to practice patience && grace && understanding. He continually challenges me to choose prayer instead of response when frustrated or confused or overwhelmed.


favorite parts


a little kid volunteering to lead the prayer && it being simply a profound prayer for peace


having bring-your-parents-to-work day, two days in a row


running into family


a local high school wanting to feature us in their yearbook


to pines presbyterian church


for your first pack in 3 years, you guys went so far above && beyond the call. you showed up, a lot for the first time, && served w excitement && undeniable joy. thank you for being so willing to go with the flow && make changes w us. you were competitive and funny and all things good. thank you for how you served.

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