I recently took a much-needed vacation to Florida with my husband, three children, and dear friends of ours and their boys. Vacations are precious to us as a family for a variety of reasons. They are time where we are all on the same sleep pattern. You see, my husband and I both work for hospitals and, as I am sure you know, hospitals never close. So, we work opposite shifts. I work days and he works nights. In between we manage the three children, their activities, our home life and time for ourselves and one another. I would be telling a lie if I said at times I didn’t miss my husband because the truth is I do. But, this is the life God had given to us and honestly, we are good at it (most days) and it works.
God is so amazing (as we all know). Normally on our family vacations (which we take EVERY summer) we rush from theme park to theme park and fill it full of activities daily. In May of this year I started calling this trip my “Florida vacation” (not the Disney vacation) not for any real reason other than what I felt at that time was a genuine desire to NOT squander away thousands of dollars at Disney theme parks. I now see how Gods plan was completely part of my thinking and the words I was speaking.
I signed up for the Proverbs 31 online bible study in late July. Little did I know how life changing this would be and what an integral part this Florida Vacation would be in my early success at really digging into Gods word. Jeremiah 29:13 says “If you look for me in earnest you will find me when you seek me.” Well, I had so many opportunities to do just that since we planned for a relaxing Florida vacation. First, we traveled by Amtrak Auto Train to Florida 17 hours traveling overnight. Then once we arrived I spent many days with my family in leisurely activities that included quietly playing board games, watching movies together, reading, activities at the resort like paddle boats and mini golf. My children slept later than me most days (something that RARELY ever happens) and even willingly took naps! In addition, we had plenty of time in the pool. It was in those MANY quiet moments (especially at the pool) that I was able to really talk to God. To ask Him questions, to thank Him for his kindness and goodness in my life and to say to him “Whats next, Lord?” And as this online bible study is teaching us all, to say “Yes” to God.
I do not believe that you have to take a trip to Florida to be brought closer to God. Really, you do not have to even leave your house. But, God knows what we need far better than we do. He knew what sort of vacation I needed and he gave it to me ten-fold. He asks for so little in return and I often fall short, but I thank God for his words in the book of Lamentations 3:23 says “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh every day.” So, each day I will continue to try and be better.
I do not think that I have EVER returned from vacation this relaxed and ready. I give God all the praise for making it one of the best family vacations ever!
PS – My children were not TOTALLY deprived of the Disney Experience (See below…)
We Were There!