There’s just something about being on vacation that gives me a total reset. I see the world differently. The wheat in my life separates from the chaff and I have clarity about what’s important and what I’ve gotten caught up in that is draining the life out of me.
The ocean is some of the best therapy I’ve found. When I walked onto the beach the other morning just as the sun was rising, it felt as though God himself was saying good morning to me. I saw the giant orange sun coming up over the horizon and my heart smiled and instinctively I said out loud, “Good morning, Lord!”
The waves crashing onto the shore and nothing to see ahead but the sky and water brings a sense of peace and calm to my heart. My mind is always going 100 miles an hour and I struggle to quiet and be still. When I’m facing the ocean it’s different. The sound of the water, the salt air blowing on my face, the tapestry of seashells along the shore, the seagulls and sand pipers flitting and flying around are all a symphony of God’s creation and I wish I could bottle up the effect they have on me and take it home.
I’d love a sip of that around 2:00 on a random Tuesday afternoon when I’m home, worn out by the activities of the day and my ever mounting to-do list. What a pleasure that would be!
Reading and watching the kids play has also been so peaceful. It’s easy to become exasperated by all of the normal kid antics, but if I stop and just watch them…memorize their sweet little faces as they play or dance along the shore, I’m completely overwhelmed with gratitude for them.
In Tattoos on the Heart, one of the guys says, “The duty to delight is to stare at your family as they eat, anchored in the surest kind of gratitude – the sort that erases sacrifice and hardship and absorbs everything else.”
Not having any of my regular household stuff or social obligations has provided me much time to just sit and stare at the kids. It really does provoke a sense of gratitude for them that erases any sacrifices I make to take care of them and it absorbs everything that normally seems challenging.
I want to take more time at home to say “NO” to other things and YES to staring at my children and feeling gratitude.
I also need to slow down. I cannot keep saying yes to everything that comes along. It’s robbing me of important things. It makes me edgy and irritable with the people I’ve been called to care for and it doesn’t allow enough margin for things that feed my soul. Things like seeing the morning sun and having my heart cry out “Good Morning!” to my father in heaven.
Vacation helps me see things. It awakens possibility inside me. Challenges the way I normally operate. I tend to get a million and one random thoughts and I always want to write them down…try to harness them like wild horses, but I almost always talk myself out of it. While journaling on the beach last week I wrote:
The control freak in me wants a smooth transition to the next journal topic. She wants neat handwriting and even rows of text. But that’s not me. I’m a hurried scribble. I always have been. Will I ever be ok with that? When I am, will it mean that I write more? Can I blog like that? Stream of conscious?
I would love to read that. It would comfort my messy aching soul. No catchy openers. No tidy wrap ups. Just raw words. Emotion. Dreams. Passion.
Have I blogged for 10 years, no…11 years, just to get to the place where I finally find my stride? I love the raw and even cryptic writing of Flower Patch Farmgirl. It awakens something in me. It comforts me. I need to pursue this. Without warning. Without preamble. Without disclaimer.
Adoption has gripped my heart. I’m consumed. I’m terrified and thrilled at the same time. I’m so comforted and reassured by Jaclyn’s story. Thank you God for this vacation. For the two cold Miller Lights that give me an exhale as I sit here on the beach. For the sand on my heel and the waves crashing in my ear. Choose my babies for me. Start now. I’m ready.