We recently got back from another trip up North to the cabin in the woods. In the past 3 months we have logged over 11.5 days cabin days. It has been a goal to try to get up there every month weather permitting this Spring and Summer. We have made this goal during April, May and now June. We want our kiddos to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, learn how to fish, swim and love life in the water, and use their awesome imaginations to create play in a cabin (without tv, internet, and most technology).
The weather was beautiful and it was everything a good time in the forest should be – including very large mosquito( who’s quills, as Lillian calls them, feasted on all of us. There was fishing, and swimming, playing in the sand, throwing rocks in the water, walks, and ice cream and trips to Emmaville. But there was also tantrums, fighting over toys, screaming- 18-month old fits in boat rides, arguing, frustration, and normal kid behaviors.
As a Mother, I know Vacation are a lot of work. It is tons of work to pack and get ready, it is work to be in a different place with little routine and limited naps, and it’s work to get home and unpack and get back to normal day routine. So in my head while we are on vacation it should be blissful, happy and an enjoyable time. Because gosh darn’t we worked hard so you could come here and you better have fun! Or as a good quote from the movie What About Bob? “Take a vacation from your problems”. As good as that may sound life while we are here on this Earthly Home, God doesn’t grant us a vacation from our problems, heartache or even tantrums.
I remember one of the 1st thoughts I had on July 24th, 2013, moments after my dad died, as we were approaching the beach and getting out of the boat. I thought, “This can’t be happening, we are on vacation, your dad can’t die on vacation, bad things aren’t suppose to happen, we were all happy just a few minutes ago, this can’t be happening.” But things like that do happen. July 24th started to change the way I look at life around me. Instead of a pleasant life that I believe I’m guaranteed have. I now, more than ever, know that anything I have is only by God’s grace and mercy. It can be here one moment and gone the next. This is the short game, Heaven is the long game, as my mom often said after dad died.
So now when we are blessed to have downtime to “get away” I try to put it in perspective. Yes, there will be moments of frustration, bad attitudes, and moments of discontent. But we keep moving, keep teaching, keep learning and trusting that God has given us these children to raise up in a Godly manner. Someone up North recently said to me, Wow, I would love trade kids. Can I take yours home? Mine would never sit that good while we are eating.” ( I would never trade, even on the tough days, but here was my response) I smiled politely and said, “No, I have put in a ton of work to get us to this point.” Years of teaching, training, correcting, guiding and modeling and even so we are not perfect, we are a work in progress.
So here is to may more Vacation Time — to more teachable moments. Where vacation is not a vacation from your problems– but another environment to learn, show grace and grow!