Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

My Flock Needs My Vacation September 9, 2015

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 2:14 pm
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As a pastor, I have a hard time taking a Sunday off. Not because I don’t want a break. Not because I don’t need a break. Not because I don’t think my family needs the break. It’s hard, because I don’t want to be away from my people. Regardless of the horror stories some clergy tells about parishioners, most of us really do love the people in our churches. I do. I love the people I serve and enjoy being with them each Sunday. And mostly, they are fond of me too. We’re a good match together.

Even so, they need my vacation.

They don’t need the actual vacation I took. It wasn’t glamorous. It wasn’t life altering. It wasn’t a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was a small, inexpensive, family oriented weekend away.

And my flock needed it.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a pastor who took time to rest and play.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a pastor who isn’t burnt out and overworked.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a pastor who takes and models Sabbath rest.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a pastor who prioritizes family over ministry.

My flock needed my vacation because they need to hear great guest preachers.

My flock needed my vacation because they need to have good retired pastors speak things that aren’t heard when non-retired pastors say them.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a break from me just as much as I need a break from them.

My flock needed my vacation because it’s a healthy and a good and a right thing.

So no more will I fret over being away. No more will I feel bad for taking time off. Clergy friends, I urge you to stop doing it too. No more. We need to stop thinking that somehow if we take time off to play (and that doesn’t mean a conference or learning opportunity), that the church will fall apart without us. They were okay before we got in God’s pulpit and they’ll be okay after. And if we are doing our work well, they’ll be ready to hear a Good Word from colleagues who are also capable of bringing God’s message to them. We plan, we prepare, and we leave them in good hands. In God’s hands.

And we enjoy our time away, resting, playing and hearing a fresh word from God.

Yes, we need a vacation, but our flock needs our vacation too.


Why I Stopped Taking Pictures September 8, 2015

Filed under: Motherhood — Kris @ 2:12 pm
Tags: , ,

This weekend, my family had the rare opportunity to take a little vacay at the beach (and the racetrack of course)! I, of course, wanted to get just the right memory shots so that years from now we’ll look back upon the Facebook album (because of the new memories feature of course) and fondly recall the great time we had playing in the sand and seeing cool things at the track.

So, the kids began to play in the sand and water and began to take some pictures. Digging in the sand. Looking for shells. Buried in the sand. Cool writing in the sand.

And then I needed action shots in the water right? So as I’m standing at the edge of the water, trying to get pictures of the kids having fun in the water, I’m thinking “Don’t drop the phone. I hope that wave doesn’t splash up too high. What’ll I do if a kid goes under the wave while I have my phone in my hand?” And then I heard “Mommy, come in the ocean with us!” and then I heard “Just a minute, let me get some pictures first.”

What? Did those words just come out of my mouth? I can’t get in the ocean and play with my kids because I’m taking pictures of them playing so we can remember how much fun we had?

That’s ridiculous.

So I stopped taking pictures. We have very few pictures from our weekend away together. Some family shots that strangers took. Some things the kids asked me to take a picture of. And a series of pictures documenting the progression of a jellyfish sting. (Who knew the remaining purplish red marks looked so cool?)

You know what? I don’t regret it a moment. You see, instead of documenting the fun, I was a part of the fun. I took off my swim cover-up, got in the ocean and played with my kids. We went out deep. We fought waves (sometimes with punches and sometimes with kicks). We chased each other on the beach. We body surfed (well, our version of it anyway). We laughed. We made memories together.

I think that’s worth remembering.


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