I've been on a Mommy vacation - I flew to Wisconsin all by my SELF, and spent almost 5 full days away from my wonderful little family.
To be honest, I was hesitant. I was fearful. What I didn't know was just how worn out I'd become. Now that I'm home, I'm realizing how fearfully little time I'd been spending hugging my kids...talking with them (lots of talking AT them, which is very different and much less fun for everyone)...looking up and out and really SEEING them. I'd fallen into the familiar mommy-rut of just getting my stuff DONE...getting the day DONE.
Oh boy. I really needed that break!
On the way to WI, I sat and watched a movie on my iPod touch and wasn't interrupted once. During my layover, I at at a cafe at which there was no paper wrapper on my food, the glass was actual glass (and the plates too!). I strolled leisurely through the airport without hollering at anyone to stay close, without carrying anyone's stuffed animal or car seat. I also didn't have to sing a single round of itsy bitsy spider on the plane or hold anyone's barf bag. It was grand.
And then, during my visit, I wasn't in charge of a single person besides little ol' me. I worked hard, I slept late, I enjoyed being with my parents who I love and admire and cherish now more than ever, I read a good book, I prayed.
I even had a dream that felt an awful lot like God whispering something into my heart that I feel hesitant and nervous about....but also strangely excited and humbled. It'll be interested to see what He has in store for me. It feels so good to know that I'm in His hands and that He has a plan for me that is more spectacular than anything I could dream up on my own. Life has true and lasting meaning with Him in charge. I'm so thankful to be His kid!
I'm yours, Lord. Do what you will.
Somewhere during my vacation, I started to feel an emptiness that seemed to be right in the middle of my chest. My break was necessary...wonderful. But this mama just doesn't belong so far away from these children. And when God made me one with my wonderful husband, He meant it for keeps. I'm just not whole without my Luke...not myself.
How can I belong in two places at once? It broke my heart to leave. I fought tears all the way down the terminal....visions of my Dad's kind eyes and the sharp suit he wore to work....his kiss on my cheek....the turtle sundae that I enjoyed with mom, her hug that feels like coming home way down deep in my soul. Home is with them. Home is in Wisconsin - trees and water and old traditions. AND home is in Idaho - fresh air and open spaces.
As I stood at my gate to get on my plane to Boise, I watched people. I was especially fascinated by a family...a mom and dad and their son. He had the typical dark suit with a name badge on his chest that read "Elder XYZ". It always cracks me up...these 20 year old young people calling themselves "Elder". His parents had gone to pick him up, and they were flying him home now that his 2 year mission for the LDS church was over. I respect the commitment they make - the passion with which they spread information about their church. But I admit...I hope that the young man was a complete and utter failure when it came to convincing people to join the LDS church.
There was another young missionary on the plane to Boise too. He was traveling alone. I found myself wondering if I should try to talk with him, but not really feeling like it. I wanted to sit quietly and read my book the whole way home. Mind my own business.
But guess who God had seated right next to me? And guess what that unsuspecting young man asked me? "Have you ever taken time to learn about the LDS church or talked with any missionaries?"
It was all I could do to keep myself from laughing out loud!
"I have", was my only response. I didn't really want to open a door to this conversation.
But the kid didn't let up. Evidently, the door was already open, and I was being dragged through it whether I liked it or not! Okay Lord, help me out here...
We talked for over an hour. I'll spare you the details. If you think of it, pray for a young man named Mike. God knows who he is.
When I asked him his name, he said "Elder XYZ" (I can't remember his last name). I asked him if he would share his first name with me..."Mike", he said with an awkward shrug.
"What's your name?", he asked.
It was all I could to to keep from saying "Princess Daiquiri" or "Saint Daiquiri" ;-)
I played nice though.
He left the plane with a few questions from me that he said he'd have to think about and research...and my name, phone number and an invitation and directions to our Bible teaching church. Wouldn't it be amazing if he'd come to church with us? Oh, I'm praying!
And now... I'm home. After a few days at my parent's home, I have a new appreciation for just how unorganized I've let this house become. And how quickly my kids are growing up. And how crazy I am about this man that God's given me. And how much I love my Mom and Dad.
I'm rested and refreshed...I feel like a brand new me :-)