My father always commented after a long time away that he was going back to work so that he could rest from his vacation. While everyone wishes for a vacation to get away from it all, the work required for the planning and execution keeps many a person from ever leaving their predictable patterns of home, school, and job. Yet unmitigated stress and monotonous labor strains both body and soul and causes one to forget his/her true purpose in this life and in the one to come.
G.K. Chesterton begins his book Orthodoxy with a wish to write a novel about an adventurer who leaves his homeland and travels the entire world only to return and rediscover his own land as if t were strange and foreign. This wish encapsulates the real reason for any vacation, i.e. that it be the right combination of things strange and new with things old and familiar. Russia has become for our family that kind of vacation, our home away from home, and as we arrived just yesterday, we are so thankful for her warm and familiar embrace.
I wrote before about our usual routine while we are here. All of that remains true except that this time around we are doing without the help of grandparents who remain behind to tend the home fires in Boston. It is challenging, but exciting to try this family trip solo after so many years of assistance. Please pray for us for safety in our travels as we pray for all of you, our friends, before the powerful relics and wonder-working icons of Mother Russia. Through the prayers of all her saints, may our risen Lord, Jesus Christ bring hope and restoration to all of you who are weak and heavy laden.
Christ is risen! Христóсъ воскрéсе! Воистину воскресе!
May your vacation be one of discovery, rest and enlightenment in our Lord and Heavenly Father!