This type of hospitality and friendship discipleship ministry doesn't know "business hours" and it shouldn't. We have learned, however, that we need to practice pulling away which gives us protected time to rest, process and pray and connect as a family without interruption or unexpected twists. After attempting (and failing) to accomplish this goal in our hometown of Shell we were wisely counseled to get out of town!
A kind friend reminded us that Jesus and his disciples pulled away. Mark 6:30-31, "The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Notice Jesus didn't say, "When the need dies down and life is slower let's pull away together." Needs remain but in order to live and serve well we must prioritize pulling away to be quiet and rest. We are learning this. The discipline isn't easy and the getting away can be complicated. If you keep reading in Mark you'll see the apostles ran into need on their way to rest. We've experienced this as well but we strive to not allow it to deter us from the discipline.
Seeing the coast of Ecuador was awesome and we were reminded of how the ocean was a protagonist in the Costa Rica chapter of our story. The waves remind us of God's great power and the tide the ever-changing landscape of our lives. Beautiful sunsets brought on contemplation and reflection. Drawn out family meals made way for vulnerable conversations about the challenges we have faced and the victories we see on the horizon. We traveled back home with greater resolve to prioritize pulling away and gratitude that we serve a God that offers a model we can follow as we pour out our lives on a daily basis.