Y’all, we had been looking forward to our beach vacation for forever.
We were headed to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
A place that feels warm and tropical. A place filled with fond family memories.
We chose a house that had plenty of room for us all!
A house with an enormous kitchen and spacious living.
Overcrowding and lines for the shower, would not be a problem.
There’d be bedrooms and bathrooms galore!
We would live in our bathing suits and flip flops for an entire week. It would be paradise.
This getaway would consist of leisurely walks on the beach and lots of relaxation by the pool.
The whole family together, not a care in the world.
Then, in our final countdown week, my hubby got sick.
I told my kids that going on this vacation might not be God’s plan.
Getting their daddy better had to come first.
We’ll have to take it one day at a time, I explained.
You could see the apprehension in their eyes. The way they clung to a hope they were afraid to trust or believe in.
He was discharged home from the hospital and felt somewhat better,
but was still completely debilitated the day before departure.
I ultimately left the decision in my husband’s hands. I knew the many forces of guilt that tugged at him.
He didn’t want to disappoint, but feared the burden it would place on everyone.
We would go, he decided!
The kids and I rallied together to make it happen.
I knew it wouldn’t be the same escape we had hoped for.
I needed to prepare my heart and mind.
our happiness and joy,
it depends a lot more on our expectations and choices,
than it ever has to do with circumstances.
Because don’t we all face endless challenges and disappointments?
And isn’t it all about how we choose to respond?
I choose to honor God.
I choose my husband.
I choose my children.
I choose my family.
I choose to make this a joyful memory.
Now don’t get me wrong. I initially had myself a little pity party when I realized this vacay wasn’t going to turn out exactly the way I’d hoped and dreamed it would.
But then God struck me upside-the-head with Mark 10:45-
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
And let me tell you, this mindset makes all the difference when you embark on an adventure with seven kids and one incapacitated husband.
I’m not saying it was easy.
I’m not saying my attitude was always perfect.
I even had to put myself to bed early one night fearing I couldn’t be kind and loving to another single soul.
But it was totally worth it!
The memories we made were priceless.
Cousins riding in the waves together…
Boogie boards all around.
These were truly awesome times.
an 81st birthday party,
and lots of pool fun!
These children will grow up right before our very eyes,
playing in the surf,
and building sand castles.
They just don’t stay young forever.
We don’t stay young forever.
Not one of us knows how many days we will be given,
yet each of us knows the days are numbered.
Live with gusto.
Reach for your dreams.
Do not let go of the day.
Surround yourselves with the ones you love,
and live without regret…
Because your destination may not wait for perfection.