Jeremiah 29:13-14 “You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord.”
I assumed we weren’t going on vacation in 2020 for two reasons, 1). Pandemic, 2). I quit my job in the summer of 2019, and have self-funded my solely-owned small business…budget cuts do not include family vacations. But God, had other plans.
The past 12 months have been filled with me imperfectly seeking the Lord with all my heart, and He has been so faithful and kind to generously pour His love and joy over our family. He has provided clients for my small business, He has provided for us during a world-wide pandemic, He has drawn our family closer to Him, and He has taught us to seek joy in His presence. Let me be clear, this hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies…there have been sacrifices. We dramatically changed our finances by giving up some luxuries like my monthly salon visits, letting go of our House Manager, and hubby sold his truck to purchase a cheap car. Through it all, God is good.
I love how in Psalm and 1Chronicles, David consistently seeks the Lord for His opinion on what he should do next. David inquires of the Lord, and then obeys Him. There are beautiful examples of what happens when David does seek God’s wisdom and follows it, and warning examples of what happens when David doesn’t seek God or obey Him. Thanks, David for taking one for the team!
God, being good and a gift-giver, gave me the gift of a 2 week vacation. Hubby was offered a 2 week work trip to Southern California that would fall over the Labor Day Holiday, and his work was paying for a large hotel suite and rental car. I coincidentally, had more than enough American Airline miles to pay for me and my 2 kid’s plane tickets and a rental SUV for 2 weeks. It could have just been a great coincidence, but I have been seeking the Lord daily, and knew this was a gift from God. I needed a break from our house, and I desperately craved an adventure.
Y’all, I felt guilty needing a break from our lovely house, but…I. NEEDED. A. FREAKING. BREAK. (and all the moms of small-dependent-children during a pandemic said, AMEN!) Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
God doesn’t always make sense to me. It makes more sense to go on a vacation in the summer, not when my kids are going back to in-person school. It makes sense to not travel during a pandemic, because hello, I don’t want to get anyone sick or my family sick. It makes sense to go on a vacation with the kids when my hubby can be with us the entire time, not go on one by myself with the kids. All moms know that a vacation with kids just means living in a different place still having to be responsible for everything…why would I want to take that on without the help of my hubby? God doesn’t always make sense to me, but he’s good and does good for His glory and our joy.
Our 2 week adventure in Southern California taught me more of how good God is, and how much He wants us to be in His presence for His glory and our joy. We had a small kitchen in our hotel suite, and our daily maid service would do the dishes. Y’all, I have never been more excited in my life for hotel service. Beds were daily made, bathroom daily cleaned, and DISHES WERE ALWAYS CLEANED!! The Heavens basically opened and I cried tears of JOY to not have to clean one thing for 2 weeks, ha! Oh, yea, and we were in Southern California so we could enjoy the mountains and the beaches within a 1 hour drive of each other.
We had a blast! Hubby worked every day minus the holiday weekend, but the kiddos and I had the time of our lives. It was the kids fourth trip to California and I thought they would be bummed that Disneyland and our “normal” vacation traditions would be closed but they were not. I think a part of them was just as excited to get out of the house as I was. Laying on the beach, lake, or mountains every day was just what our quarantined hearts needed. Fresh air, outdoors, and adventure.
For those that follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit is God with us. God’s presence actually with us. Have you noticed that every great story has a “sidekick” character? Disney Princesses have a pet companion so they aren’t alone, and Frodo has his bff, Sam, to journey with. The Holy Spirit is much more than a sidekick, BFF, or pet companion. It’s a dull comparison by far, but my point is all great stories echo God’s perfectly good story. We are not alone. We have been given a relationship with His Holy Spirit to be with us. Sometimes seeking Joy includes gifts from the Father. God didn’t have to give us a 2 week vacation, just like I didn’t have to buy a few unnecessary toys for the kids from Downtown Disney. Seeking Joy isn’t a formula of seek+do=rewards/gifts. I’m a mother that buys extra unnecessary toys randomly for no good reason/celebration, so is my Father. In fact, he’s an even better gift giver for no good reason. Two weeks in CA with no dishes and cleaning kind of gift giver. 😉