Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I
would need eternity. Psalm 139:18
As I write this post I’m sitting in the front seat of the family Suburban for the 14th hour today. I have graded all my papers, figured some grades for the report cards that go home this week and I’m trying not to glance back at the mound of bags, laundry and sandy beach towels that will tumble out at my feet when I get home and lift the hatch.
It was a fabulous week in Gulf Shores Alabama with more than a dozen seniors, their families and our two lovely “borrowed” daughters. We laughed, played in the ocean and the sand, shopped, played games, went to Mass, ate lots of food, used lots of sun screen and then laughed some more! It was an excellent week from beginning to end! Great seniors…great friends…great scenery…great fun…and now back to reality! It’s easy to slump in my seat as I think about the Michigan cold and the mountain of laundry, the report cards, the unpacking and the return to routine. We’ve counted the days for so long and now it’s all done! Then I realize it’s exactly that kind of attitude that satan loves! He loves it when we wallow and fuss and wilt in our shoes, looking only at the negative side of life. I’m using the drive through Indiana to think about things another way.
Somewhere in the Indianapolis traffic, I realized I needed to put my celebration hat back on! I am blessed with a wonderful senior son who has some terrific friends that I enjoyed so much for a whole week. I watched them hunt plastic Easter Eggs around the swimming pool landscape with the laughter of 6 year olds, the competitiveness of pro athletes in a title game and a carefree light-heartedness that was contagious. I watched this group of seniors enjoy simple things like crab-hunting, pool hopping, wave jumping and endless games of sand volleyball including all the younger brothers and sisters who wanted to play. We laughed as they sprinted toward the Krispy Kreme donut shop when the free donut light came on; it was like they were about to win a hundred dollars. They were happy, fun, grateful and so easily entertained with the simplest things. Their easy smiles and the sound of their laughter will keep me thankful for a long time. How many mothers of teenagers can say that!
I’m heading home to temperatures 30 degrees cooler but I’m happy I got to walk in the ocean waves with the sunshine on my face. It will take hours to unpack, do the laundry and vacuum all the sand out of the vehicle but I’m blessed to have a happy, healthy family that could run and play and get all that stuff dirty. I’m looking back at our kids and our two “borrowed” daughters with their sunburnt faces and sleepy eyes and I’m thankful we had so much fun it wore us out completely. I’m happy I have a job and
a routine to return to. I’m happy I have kids that wanted to spend the week with us, and a husband that loves driving for hours and hours and would walk along the beach with me. While doing the dishes one evening after feeding the crew, the other moms and I saw a clip on the news of Pope Francis lifting a little boy with Cerebral Palsy from his mother’s arms and kissing him on the cheek and I was drawn to tears because my children can walk and run. How can I be bummed out about the end of a vacation when I think of what that mother and millions of others like her go through each day?
Yup…the trip is almost over but I’m going to hang on to the wonderful and be extra thankful that God has blessed me in such a big way! The sand will be cleaned up and the dirt in the laundry will be washed away but His blessings won’t be. Who can be sad now…besides…the 2013 baseball and softball season begins on Tuesday…nothing better than watching your kids play ball! Vacation was great but God is greater!
A Seed To Plant: Jot down 3 things you are thankful for right this very minute…gratefulness is an excellent way to jab a shot of joy in your day!
Blessings on your day!
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