| from Dr. Kathy Koch |

Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in America. On several occasions many years ago, I was able to sit on the Nevada shore and scan the California snow-capped mountains across the deep blue lake. It was especially picturesque as the sun set behind the mountains, painting the sky with vibrant hues. I remember it all well.

Spending time at Lake Tahoe was refreshing. The fresh, pine‑scented air helped. The retreat center I stayed in didn’t have phones, Internet, radios, or television. That created a refreshing break from all the “noise” I was used to. In this restful setting, I was reminded of truth I often teach others: Spending time with God is truly refreshing. Worshipping Him, reflecting on His character and goodness, praying, and studying His Word refreshes us better than any fresh air, beautiful scenery, or Sunday afternoon naps ever could.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand. (You’ll find it in Mark 6:30‑44.) It’s one of many miracles recorded in the Gospels. Before Jesus fed everyone the bread and fish, we read these words in verses 30 and 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.’”

Like the disciples, parents and educators could report many things to Jesus. We’ve done this and we’ve done that. And, many children and adults come and go, day in and day out. Privacy is virtually impossible, right?! And, at times, like Christ’s disciples who were hungry, our needs aren’t met. This certainly describes a number of my days. When I feel like I’m waiting in line to fill Jesus in on what I’ve been doing for Him (as if He doesn’t know!), I’m grateful He brings the 31st verse to mind: “Kathy, come with Me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Has Jesus been saying this to you lately? Are you listening? Is Jesus saying, “[Fill in your name,] come with Me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest.”

How do we respond to the truth that God wants to spend time with us? We’re His children and His favorite creation. God wants us to come away with Him. Isn’t that fabulous?

Let’s find our refreshment and renewal in God. Let’s read and meditate upon His Word. Let’s praise Him for His many attributes and thank Him for His Truth and never-ending grace and mercy. Let’s talk with Him in prayer. And, let’s remember to listen for His voice and respond obediently to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

A small, blue, wooden rocking chair is the centerpiece of my kitchen windowsill arrangement of different treasures. Mark 6:31 has been etched into the back. “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” I’m glad for the reminder.

Dr. Kathy Koch (“cook”), is the founder and president of Celebrate Kids, Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, chapels, banquet talks, and other events. She is a regular speaker for Care Net, Summit Ministries, and Axis. She also speaks for other organizations, churches, schools, and pregnancy resource centers. In addition, she hosts Celebrate Kids conferences through their Ignite the Family conference division. She is also a popular guest on Focus on the Family radio, she was featured in Kirk Cameron’s movie, Connect, and she has written and published five books with Moody Publishers, including Five to Thrive, Start with the Heart, Screens and Teens, 8 Great Smarts, and No More Perfect Kids (with Jill Savage). Dr. Kathy earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University.