Wherever you find yourself today, hopefully these picture can visually remind you that although life can be crazy, you do not have to stay there. You can escape to a constant place of rest in God... Not in location but in state of mind and spirit.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
Sometimes we need some visual help to get our mind, emotions and adrenaline to calm down and enter into a state of rest. That state of silence. That state of solitude, away from the noises of life, the voices of discouragement, pressures of life and all temporary demands. No distractions, no interruptions, just pure and genuine space to give to God... all the room in our internal space -- mind, soul, emotions. It's in those moments that the details and demands of life become smaller and smaller, they grow further and further away from occupying the greater portion of our heart, and although we know we have obligations in life, they are not so overwhelming anymore as they are proportionally set next to Gods greatness.
A few weeks ago we visited Carneros Inn. It is a beautiful oasis away from the city, located in Sonoma near Napa. There's nothing like getting away from the hustle and bustle of life to a quiet and awe inspiring place. I have a thing for vineyards... I'm not sure why. Maybe it's that I feel far away in another country... so remote from the expectations and demands of my daily routine. Or maybe that I feel as though I'm walking through a scene from the movie French Kiss in Italy. Whatever the case, it's nice to feel away.
Carneros Inn is a beautiful lodging place, filled with many accommodations, bungalow suites, spa, restaurants, and a gorgeous outdoor pool and entertaining area overlooking their vineyards. And wow, it's gorgeous!
Down the street from the hotel is Domaine Carneros, a breathtaking looking castle overlooking vineyards for wine tasting. We didn't get a chance to do this, but either way our time was perfect here.
It was a great trip in so many ways... Maybe the greatest reason was that it reminded me of the importance of "getting away" with God.