So my friend Jay and I went to an all-inclusive resort recently for a week in Cancun, Mexico.
All-inclusive vacations are steps back in time–someone makes your bed in the morning and turns down the covers at night (with chocolate!). Someone you never see picks up the towels and straightens the room; you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. People continually ask if they can bring you a drink.
You can wear your bathing suit all day long and jump in and out of the water at will.
I’d never done a real vacation at such a place, but we were both tired and in need of relaxation, so we went.
Wow. It actually happened. I was relaxed.
Except when I was reading on the beach.
I plan my vacation reading with care and always worry more about what I’m going to read while traveling than what clothes I’m taking.
Books, even with the Kindle app on my Ipad, were the major issue.
I took four.
(Great choice. I loved that book, too! But I’d already read it.)
My first choice: Jo Baker’s Longbourn.
Many friends had read and loved it and I anticipated a great read.
It’s a wonderful story with astonishing vocabulary and a fun idea: Pride and Prejudice told from the point of view of the servants!
I nestled down, thrilled to be there.
Until I started reading about doing laundry, having to figure out food and running up and down the stairs.
I felt guilty.
Even as I ordered another fruity drink (alas, no umbrellas at this all-inclusive resort).
When I couldn’t handle the guilt any more, I switched to more “uplifting” fare: preparing for the Bible study I teach on Tuesday mornings.
The book of James; you know, faith and WORKS!
I thought I was pretty clever. I printed up the entire book onto seven pages and folded it into the book, so I could use my pencil to make notes without hauling a Bible to the beach.
Worked just fine.
The handsome waiter in shorts and a Hawai’ian shirt beamed when he brought me a virgin strawberry dacquiri. “I’m a Christian,too. Happy studying.”
I said that a lot.
In that languid, gorgeous weather, I typically did two week’s study at a time and then switched back to my book.
I loved Longbourn, but I was happy to move along to something that reminded me less of my usual existence–cooking, cleaning, laundry, child-soothing, husband tending.
How about Kisses from Katie? My friend Cheryl insisted I’d love it.
The inspiring story of Katie J. Davis’ decision in her teens to move to Uganda, it described the way God worked in her life and changed her view of service and America. She adopted fourteen daughters when she, herself, was only nineteen years-old.
Could I have another drink, after I get out of the pool?
Truly an astonishing story that went hand-in-hand with my study of James (I’ve been reading excerpts out loud to my ladies), it encouraged me, gave me a lot to think about and made me feel, well, guilty.
“Muchas gracias, senor. The towel is wonderfully soft.”
I read it in a day and a half.
I finished up the week–two straight days beside the water, feeling the silky humid air only occasionally stirred by a breeze, while watching boats sail by with what I was sure would be a perfect ending, Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown.
There I was on a Caribbean beach wtih a pirate ship sailing on the horizon (tourist fare. It’s name? Captain Hook). What better way to finish the week?
I learned in the first pages.
It’s told from the point of view of the kidnapped cook!
What’s for dinner?
Who cares? The resort is all inclusive!
What do you read when you’re on vacation?
Does God ever trick you?
An all-inclusive vacation and reading work. Click to Tweet
Reading about servants while being served? What’s wrong with this picture? Click to Tweet
Inspiring–and guilt inducing– beach reads. Click to Tweet