When you think of vacation what comes to your mind? For most of us we envision sleeping in, getting plenty of rest, and being stress free for a few days, right? I too remember those days of peaceful, care-free vacations, but three small ninja monkeys later, I’m finding it more and more difficult to associate any outing, much less vacations, with anything other than pure craziness.
For our summer vacation this year we decided on camping as a family. As Renea and I began planning our trip, we grew almost giddy thinking about all the possibilities before us. We had big plans of swimming, fishing, campfires, and s’mores! Little did we know all that awaited us and all we would learn from our week together in the mountains.
From the first night in the camper it was evident that this vacation was going to be one for the ages. We found out the hard way that air mattresses don’t stay inflated throughout the night when they have a tiny hole in them (still haven’t found that dang hole by the way). You can imagine the screams and horror of everyone waking up in the middle of the night as they were being swallowed up by a deflated air mattress. Lesson one for the week – a family of 5 can actually fit in a queen size bed together!
We survived our first night…barely. The next day we decided to just relax by the pool. The only problem was the fact that there really is no relaxing by the pool with three young boys. Let’s be real here, there is no relaxing EVER with three young boys! Fast forward to the evening and we had our first campfire experience complete with s’mores and all the good stuff. Lesson two for the week – wire hangers (marshmallow holders) look too much like really cool swords to three boys than actual means to make s’mores.
I could literally go on and on about all the crazy things that transpired during our camping experience but you may be here for a while. All in all this particular vacation was the most stressful, exhausting experience we could have ever imagined. It was also the most fun, most incredible experience we could have ever imagined! We learned that it truly is the small things in life that matter the most. We substituted rest and relaxation for crazy memories that we will truly cherish for the rest of our lives. We’ve laughed more this past week than we have in a long time and truly enjoyed being together as a family. Maybe not having much cell phone service or internet had something to do with it but we choose to believe it was God’s way of showing our family what truly is the most important things in life and what areas we need to work on together in order to be the family He intends us to be.
I encourage you and your family to simply unplug from the craziness of life from time to time as you will undoubtedly begin to see one another in a different light. Each one of you in your family have unique gifts, talents, and abilities and once you discover how all of those work together, it will blow your mind how God can begin to use your family in ways in which you can only imagine. When God speaks he often whispers. Turn down all the noise in your life and listen…really listen!
Praying for you all!