It's officially summer! Based on what I've seen on social media, a lot of you are hitting the beach or visiting family or both. If you're someone who's family is lucky enough to take a vacation this year, you know that there's always the adjustment between the ideal (we'll go to the beach and frolic in the waves all day and come in for dinner with glowing skin and laugh and laugh around the table) and the reality (it rains, the kids decide they don't like the water, someone get's a sunburn that's shaped like a hand print because sunscreen was applied in a rush).
But we go anyway.
I read a great post from Sammy Rhodes yesterday. He and his family are off on a 28 day road trip (Rhodes trip...get it? It's like a road...Rhodes...right) and he talked about how disappointment actually reminds us that we serve a God who loves us enough to do what's best for us. Always. No matter what.
Now, whether you're able to travel this summer or not, the season always brings a shift. Usually towards slowing down, although these last two weeks have been madness in our house. Sometimes the freedom of summer gets filled up quickly and we find ourselves running faster and harder than the more-structured school year. So whether it's actually calmer or ends up being busier, summer is DIFFERENT. Even working moms who's schedules don't shift will probably find more time to spend with their kids, outside, at the pool, or on vacation.
And no matter how appropriate or well-planned or needed or anticipated that time is, there will be disappointments. I remember taking Liv, our first baby, to the beach for the first time and ending up in tears, alone. She needed naps, but wouldn't sleep on the beach, and I felt like I was constantly running up and down from the condo, spending more time alone in the air conditioning than out on the beach which is WHY I WAS THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
I'm not saying this to be negative. I'm not trying to pop anyone's vacation bubble. I'm actually trying to help by being honest here. Because although it's sometimes really hard, YOU SHOULD GO ON VACATION ANYWAY.
Because something happens on vacation. As a family, you experience more time together, facing each other, than you would otherwise. Fewer distractions. Fewer alternatives. You focus in on each other, and you MAKE MEMORIES.
I have so many great pictures in my head from family trips, even as an angsty teen, more interested in my CD player (yeah, those) than my tween-aged brother and sister. We were face-to-face for a week or so, and the inside jokes, the family vernacular that developed was (and is) priceless. God sets us in families for a reason, and while your vacation won't be perfect (it just won't, okay?) it's WORTH IT. You are establishing your family, building on the foundation, and continuing to create a safe place for everyone in it.
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