My vacation begins in two days, and I am ready. Really ready. It’s at least partially about how sleep-deprived I feel – I plan to spend the first two days just sleeping until I wake up. I don’t care if that’s 7 hours a night or 12 hours a night – my body is screaming for rest, so taking care of it will be the first order of business.

But then… then I will have five or six days to do whatever I want to do.  I’ve been careful to avoid too many obligations or scheduled items next week, with a few exceptions (and I put those all in the same day), and that means that if I find I am feeling strongly about doing something on Tuesday afternoon, I can simply do it instead of just thinking about doing it.

The other part of it, though, is that my time in the studio has been severely limited in recent months – and my studio time is meditative time. When my hands are busy, and my fore-brain focused on the mechanics of combining metal and stone or beads and thread, my spirit slips effortlessly into a state of prayer and communion with God that I struggle to access in any other way. So when my studio time is restricted, my spirit begins to starve – because that deeply intimate time with my Father is likewise restricted.

Sunday was a taste of what I hope my vacation will be – long, uninterrupted hours in the studio, focused outwardly on a mechanical problem with my Morrisonite jasper necklace, and inwardly communing with God. At the end of that time, when I lifted my head from my work, I’d solved the problem with the piece (quite excitingly, for me) and had been given a new perspective (peace, resolve, enthusiasm) on some non-studio things I’d been wrestling with spiritually.

As my body is screaming for rest, so too is my spirit.

I have a couple of cool projects to work on. There’s a gorgeous, rustic fired agate donut sitting on my work table waiting for just the right wrap – I’ve been contemplating it and doodling ideas, and the beginnings of a plan are percolating and nearly ready to be sketched out. My cab stash includes a couple of really lovely Red Creek Jasper stones that I bought for a song before Red Creek Jasper became “the new hot thing” and two of them caught my eye when I went looking for that piece of Morrisonite – I’ll be working up designs for them. And (be still my heart) I will be the lucky recipient of one of Kate McKinnon‘s Tri-Wing Kits (now with SUSTENANCE!) that are shipping tomorrow – the timing could not be more perfect. (I’m also going to be one of the test beaders for some of the designs in her new book, which just blows my mind every time I think about it – but that’s not next week.)  And there are two metal clay pieces I started work on several months ago that came out of the kiln with cracks around the bezels – I’ll be taking a stab at repairing them and getting them finished.

Among the many things rattling around my head and begging to be dealt with is the spiritual imperative to be content.  As I said in a recent post, that’s not where I’m living right now – and no sooner do I post those personal thoughts than our pastor begins a new series with a sermon on contentment. (God makes me laugh sometimes!) Among many other things about that sermon I need to process and pray about is the idea that discontent is rooted in secret fears. I have been a control freak, prone to anxiety attacks, my whole life long. And I’m more and more convinced that control issues are all about fear – they’re about believing that it’s both possible and up to us to ward off the outcomes we fear the most. So I will be interested to consider whether my current state of restlessness is part and parcel of the character issues I already know I struggle with, and I am looking forward to putting myself in a place where God can speak to my heart about it.

So my vacation begins in two days, and I am ready. Really ready.

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