Enough is Enough

My car broke. That's what it comes down to. And the shop can't look at it until Monday. That means I will be without a vehicle I can take my child in for all of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It's not safe to drive, and attempting to do so can cause much more damage. So I'm forced to stay home.

At first I was really upset. I will miss my mother's birthday weekend. I will miss the Bible conference I was going to attend plus Sunday morning church. I had other plans I didn't want to put off. I had it in my mind being without a vehicle would be a complete disaster. 

Then I felt the nudge--the nudge the Holy Spirit gives me when I know He wants me to learn something from it all, to step outside myself and look at the big picture. 

You see, I've been more than overwhelmed this summer. There have been wonderful things in my life the past few months: good times with house guests visiting, spending lots of time with family and friends, taking a mini vacation and camping trip. And then there have been stressful things: medical issues, dealing with a newly sassy and assertively independent 2 year old, a house that seems more unmanageable than ever, every evil I see on the news every day, and now my broken vehicle. With all these things, the good and the bad, I've become weary.

Please don't think I underestimate how fortunate I am to have the life I have and to be in the position I am in. I am grateful. I had typed out a lot more details on the things that have worn me out, but decided they were just too personal, and frankly I was whining. I don't want to whine. I am so lucky to live this life, and I don't want to complain my way through it. But I also realize that enough is enough. 

While I can't leave my child for a week and take off on vacation or ignore my responsibilities until I feel recouped, I do have it within my power to stop what I'm doing. I can press pause, look around, take a little time for rest--not sleep, but real renewal--and press play again with a slower pace moving forward.

That's what I've been nudged to do. It's time I shut myself in my house (metaphorically speaking--I'll probably spend some time in the yard, too), and take care of what's in front of me. So for these days I don't have a vehicle, I'm turning off the technology, clearing my schedule, and tending to the things in my life that bug me but that I've been too busy to do: re-organize my kitchen cabinets and pantry, finish writing thank-you notes for Sophia's birthday gifts, cleaning out my deep freezer and my medicine/linen closet, re-potting my succulents, and maybe even cleaning the outside of my windows around the house. These tasks may seem like normal, tedious household tasks, but I've been desperate to get them done while they keep getting moved to the bottom of my to-do list in favor of more immediate issues. God gives us different ways to find rest when we need it, and right now, getting these things handled will give me rest.

I'm sad I'll miss my mom's birthday weekend, but I'll see her again soon when we can celebrate. I'm upset to miss the Bible conference I was so looking forward to attending, but there will be others. I feel a tinge of guilt about missing Sunday morning service--not because I think God requires me to be there, but because Sophia loves the nursery so much and it's so good for her to be there (and it's good for me, too!). But we'll be okay at home. My sweet neighbor and friend has offered to watch Sophia for a few minutes if I need to take Nick's single-cab truck and pick up a couple things from the store (I don't know what I'd do without our great neighbors!), and there are no other pressing things I must do away from home.

This is my weekend. I prayed for God to give me rest, and my car broke. I see this weekend "away" at home as a gift. It's permission to tend to the things I need to tend to. He knows that if I can, I will. And it seems He is now telling me "now you can't, and you won't. Take care of you." 

Friends, if you are weary, ask God for rest. He knows your needs even better than you do. Sometimes blessings first look like doom. Trust Him. 

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28


Happy Campers

Last week we may have had the most fun our little family of 3 has had yet (although, we have so many family and friends that put on a good time, it would be hard to know for sure). Nick had a much-needed break from work, I finally achieved the change of pace I'd been craving, and we all caught a big breath of fresh air. Sophia experienced several firsts: first time camping, first time on a boat, first time on an ATV. I can't overstate how much fun we had, albeit a load of work. 

For our first night of camping, we joined the Wilsons at a family friend's property on the White River. Sophia and Paxton had as wild and carefree a time as ever; he showed her how to properly devour s'mores, and together they discovered how to dance with glow-sticks like they were at a rave (but to country-western music, funny enough). 


S'mores time!

She's a morning person.


The White River

The following nights we camped at Lake Avery, which has a shadeless landscape, but the views are every bit as enchanting. Extended "adopted" family and friends joined us there. We grilled hot dogs, roasted marshmallows, ate s'mores (I mean, who wouldn't eat s'mores several nights in a row?), and ran and played with Sophia. She had her first ride on the 4-wheeler with Daddy, then with Mommy; and then Nick took me out on it for some high-speed fun. We took Sophia on the paddle boat, which she enjoyed; but she was less than thrilled at the prospect of touching a blub-blub (fish), and she eventually fell asleep on board. Grandma and Memaw babysat while Nick and I fished together. We played and slept hard. Unfortunately Nick got a bad sunburn, but he still says it was worth it.

Camp coffee is the best coffee.

My attempt at a family selfie.

Boat bum.

Yes, we both held the same fish in the photo. We both caught several of them.

See Sophia's photo bomb?

I think this is actually watching fireworks in the driveway instead of camping, but it was the same vacation anyway.

Now that we've used it, we're even more happy with our tent purchase this past year.We saved up for a nice, very large all-season tent and vestibule this year, and it was great for the family. It will be the perfect shelter for us during hunting season this year as well.

Sophia absolutely LOVED camping and hasn't stopped talking about "outside" since we returned home. I can't imagine that anything can top the fun we had last week, but we're still looking forward to the next time. No doubt this little girl is taking after her Daddy and Mommy's love for the outdoors.