Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rest and Renewal

I love seeing vacation posts flood my Facebook feed in the summer. Little girls smiling next to Disney Princesses, Dads with kids perched on their shoulders to see fireworks, gorgeous meals with a wine glass shimmering in the sunlight...Every picture makes my heart smile. I'm so happy for them and the memories they are making. And yet I'm realizing as I get older that my favorite vacations are those that I stop doing, well, almost everything.

As we planned our trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, my kids and I cruised blogs and made a list of all the things we wanted to do. We were going to see the wild horses of Corolla, stay up late and chase ghost crabs, climb the dunes of Kitty Hawk...the list went on and on. When we arrived, I pushed my husband to make an itinerary and he pushed right back. "You've got a lot of ideas and not enough days. Why don't you decide what's really important to you and we'll do the rest if we feel like it?"

I reluctantly accepted this plan and, a few hours later, I realized how truly tired I was. I fell asleep for two hours that day and almost every day after. I found myself reading for hours instead of minutes, ignoring the dishes and the laundry and spending time real quality time with my family. We laughed so hard playing a game with my parents one night that my stomach actually hurt in the morning. Now that's fun. I had the joy and blessing of being with family I hadn't seen in ten years and my kids are already asking when we can go back to see "the cousins". We did go some places together and, of course put our smiling faces on Facebook, but it wasn't forced fun. We just went when we felt like it and came home when we were done. What a novel idea.

The most amazing thing has happened since I gave myself rest. Real rest. This tightness in my chest (that I didn't even realize I was living with!) has lifted. My heart is light and my creativity is emerging once again; A true sign of renewal. And I am thankful.

Are you in the middle of planning a family vacation? I encourage you to plan rest and renewal in the midst of the great adventures- The memories and fun will follow, I promise.




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