Dad and kids…camping, without Mom. A long time family tradition, this year was a bit longer and a bit farther than most trips. Instead of 2 nights less than 2 hours from home, it was 5 nights more than 4 hours from home. I spent 3 days last week shopping and cooking and packing for them, so that while they were on vacation together, they could just enjoy their time and not have to worry about meals or anything. Just heat up (or finish cooking) what Mom had already prepared and enjoy. Paper plates? You bet. Clean-up made easy. Anything to simplify life for my crew.
So what did I do while they were gone? I loved almost every minute of it! I had the opportunity to spend some time by myself and some time with friends. I took a long walk down memory lane as I stayed 3 nights in the city where I graduated from high school and where Jim and I were married. I went up to the church and peeked in the sanctuary. I wandered around some of the rest of the building. I met with an old friend to discuss an upcoming reunion/dinner. I watched water skiers on the lake. I stayed up late with friends. I discovered a delicious wine. :) And I looked long and hard at why this has been such a difficult year for me.
It’s been hard. Ugly sometimes. I have days I don’t want to do this any more. But it’s not a choice. Doesn’t matter how I feel. I have unloaded on a few (un)lucky souls, people who know me and have my deepest trust. I know I’ve said things I shouldn’t have. I know I owe some of them an apology. But there aren’t words to describe how much I appreciate their willingness to be a sounding board or to just let me vent. Most often, that’s all it takes. (I just hope I haven’t destroyed relationships in the process!!)
When my family came back yesterday, I was greeted with hugs and kisses. And dirty laundry. While I folded the 5 or 6 loads I washed, I took time to pray for each of them, to thank God for their presence in my life. In the process, I was reminded that it’s okay if I don’t love every minute of every day. It’s okay if I enjoy time to myself. The big thing is that I need to remember to find the joy in the mundane things of life. My goal for today…next week…next month? This:
“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” ~Phil 4:11-12
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” ~Col 3:23
Sure can’t hurt. Now, I’m off to see if I need to repair a friendship or two…