Live like your on vacation!

Many of you have been asking to see some photos from our recent travels to Ireland and here are a few captured moments!

Ever notice when you travel that the soul seems to wake up?

Cliffs of Moher
"The voice of the Lord is over the waters " Psalm 29:3

As I traipsed through Ireland and Amsterdam I noticed my mind and heart slowly come back to life.  My adventurous side kicked in feeling sheer joy with each new experience.  I began to see things with greater clarity and vision.  

Escaping from the everyday routines of life not only restores my soul, but I also noticed something else about "vacation Nicole."  When I am on holiday I actively seek to encounter God.

I walk slower and breathe deeper as my soul fills with gratitude with each new wonder.  I listen and watch with anticipation for God.  I eagerly take in everything all around me in hope of catching a glimpse of Him.  I don't want to miss a thing.

"The voice of the Lord is full of majesty"  Psalm 29
Pastoral walk taking in the mystery of Christ en route to Wicklow Mountains
"The voice of the Lord ...strips the forest His temple all say Glory." Psalm 29

What would happen if I woke up each day expecting to encounter God?

What if I didn't wait for time off work before I allowed Him to restore my soul?

We may not always be able to afford or get away for a holiday, but what if we lived each day with a vacation mindset instead of on autopilot?

Ken kissing the blarney stone!

What if we were to wake up eager to learn or try something new?

What if we remained flexible to accept the un-expected, un-planned twists and turns that come our way?

What would happen if we stepped out of our comfort zone or

My niece Emmy embracing Dutch fashion

took the time to get to know others to hear their unique stories?

What if we were to slow down and listen for His voice?

What if for a moment we stop the tasks and the performing to simply be with Christ?

Soak in His majesty, creativity and beauty in the ordinary... 

 and the extraordinary all around us. 

My nephew Caleb sitting near the top -  taking in the grandeur of the Giant's Causeway!

Wicklow Mountains
Kylemore Abbey - truly magical

Blarney Castle - with a blog name like arils and castles I would be remiss to not highlight at least one Irish castle!
The vibrant colours of Amsterdam
Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Ireland
Glendalough Abbey
Enjoying Amsterdam via canal

What if we didn't wait for vacation, yet instead made the choice to live life each day attentive and alive in Christ?

My little nephew Xander capturing the sights and memories!

 Let's start today - awake our souls to taste and see His goodness all around us.

Why wait for vacation!
Sharing Poffertjes (yummy Dutch pancake treats) with Ken in the park!

Caleb, Emmy, Ken, Janis and Xan

May you be restored, hear His voice, see His wonders in the ordinary and extraordinary as you walk with Him today.


  1. Beautiful pictures with a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing

  2. Thanks so much Sarah. Looking forward to connecting together and catching up!

  3. Amazing pictures Nicole! Thank you for sharing and praise God that you had this time with family to be restored and also bless others with your talents!

    1. Thanks Chris - so glad to share them with you - thanks as always for your love and encouragement.

  4. Oh Nicole these pictures are amazing. Thank you for sharing your vacation with you and your family with me. Blessings always. Arlene

    1. My pleasure - you are my extended family and it is an honour to share these moments together with you here! Thanks for being a part of arils and castles - means so much to me!

  5. What a great reflection to live as if we were on vacation, to live life each day attentive and alive in Christ. Thanks so much for sharing the photos I felt like if I was there with you guys. Our love from Colombia :)

  6. Thank you my sweet extended family from Colombia - miss you both so much. I often forget when I get back from vacation that I do not need to start stressing and getting stuck in the same old routines again just because I am back home. Thanks for being an encouragement to live life fully alive in Christ.

  7. I agree with all the other friends--the photographs are beautiful. Just stunning! And the message is so good. I'm so happy that you had this wonderful time of refreshing, reflection and restoration.

  8. Thank you so much Belinda - as I was visiting these places I was thinking of your posts from your own trip with your family - especially when we went to the museum to see Van Gogh and the Ann Frank house.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts