My family is returning from a week long vacation in beautiful Florida! In this modern era of technology, I am blogging as my husband drives through the beautiful Tennessee landscapes.
We spent the whole wonderful week relaxing, playing, and spending time together. One of our favorite activities was “treasure hunting”. Each time we went to the beach, we looked for whatever treasures we could find. We found all the best and prettiest shells and shell pieces, living creatures (which we returned home) and sand dollars. Each new item found, no matter how like the previous ones, evoked squeals and peals of delight and joy.
We visited the ocean under different circumstances, when the wave were calm, when the waves where crashing hard and everything in between. The kids laughed and played as they were being swamped by waves. My 6 year old, who has always been very timid in water (my only one really), was having a ball being doused by wave after wave. She would come up and grin and giggle only to be plowed over again by the next round. Even the baby would giggle and smile at the waves rushing up on his feet.
In the midst of a glorious week, staring out my window at waves and sandy beaches, reading on a balcony while listening to waves and wind, I found my own treasures. I left for vacation a veritable mental and emotional mess. My brain was cluttered with the chaos and stress that being a homeschooling momma with 6 kids and a volunteer Children’s Ministry leader less than 2 months before a huge VBS brings. I couldn’t find up, couldn’t think through one task, felt like I was drowning in the piles in my head created by the clutter of thought and responsibility. Then something amazing happened.
I took a week off. Off of everything (two weeks from church – hee hee). And the world still spins. Church still goes on. My kids are no less smart, my house (I presume) still stands, my garden is growing (again, I presume), my dog is alive, my kids are clean, fed and happy and my husband has smiled and relaxed more than I have seen in a while. So, it turns out that the world can go on without my micromanaging.
I was so proud of me. I dodged and punted church and VBS questions, delaying ones that could wait, passing the buck on ones that couldn’t to my co-brain and co-Children’s Ministry Director. I didn’t even use my computer until today, the last day as we are driving home. I did use my fancy phone to email and facebook, but recreationally only! I didn’t even take my phone to the ocean!
In all of this week, I found my treasure. The treasure I have been needing for so long. Simplicity, focus, a reminder of the only truly important thing(s) in my life. Joy.
I so often and so easily lose my focus and misplace my joy. We, as Christians, are called to live a life of joy. Joy is separate from happiness. Joy is independent of circumstances; it is based on the salvation gift of our Lord. But sometimes in our, or at least my overrun life I lose my focus and forget to carry my Joy with me.
I found my treasure. I found my joy.