As the kids get older and as I'm learning what it means to "rest" and to enjoy the small (but important) things in life, I can honestly say that taking a week to UNPLUG was GOOD.
Our family spent 4 days in the mountains of Kentucky and an overnight stay in Ohio. Joel's brother, his wife and 4 daughters came along and I can't imagine how differently this trip would've been! I loved having them with us! We didn't have a set schedule. We weren't held hostage by an itinerary. And we even decided to change routes at the last minute. Everyone was flexible and open to change. And the kids all did great! All of them!
We hiked. We skipped rocks. We slept. We ate. We hiked some more.
Since that's a city where we usually drive straight through and never stop to check the sites, we decided to check in at a nice hotel, do some swimming, more eating, and spend a few hours at the local Aquarium. Super fun!
However, after a full week of unplugging, visiting with friends and spending time with family, I realized a few things about myself.
First... I missed spending time in God's Word. I missed my daily routine of meeting with God with my Bible open, even for a few minutes in the morning. Even though we didn't have a schedule during our break, I got out of the routine and the habit of listening to God through His Word. Sure, I sensed His presence during our hikes and my time in nature. Of course! But after returning home, I knew immediately what I was missing the most.
Second... I missed reading. I missed holding a book. And in attempts to unplug, I chose to engage in conversation with others rather than block them out by sitting with a book somewhere. That's probably a strange thing for some of you. But I'm owning the fact that I am a lover of books. Ah... and I was so glad we went into a B&N in Newport (by the Aquarium) to browse! Definitely a treat for me!
Third... I learned that creating memories with family is truly priceless. It isn't cheap to do anything nowadays anymore. I am aware of the high cost of going places... vacationing... entertainment... food! And yet, it was so important for our family to spend some time away. And I know we're already looking forward to our next "break".
And finally... I learned that coming back to a full schedule is easier when we're in community. There's GRACE. Friendship. And a warm cup of coffee with a friend waiting for me... so good!