We started planning this trip 18 months ago...a belated celebration of our 10th anniversary. Tomorrow morning we set sail for a week with Winshape Marriage on a gorgeous clipper, with a speaker at night and adventure in various ports in Nicaragua & Costa Rica by day.
Getting away is not easy. I confess to leaving a 12 page packet for the relay team of grandparents and beloved babysitters who will be holding down the fort in our absence. I am exhausted from the preparation and have Mommy guilt that we will miss opening day baseball and soccer games. But, we are choosing this week to make our marriage relationship and our relationship with God the priority. It's a long term investment.
This weekend I had the pleasure of hearing from author/speaker Nicole Unice (more on that in a subsequent post) but one of the things she said that convicted me most was that when our width of influence exceeds our depth of spiritual life, we will fail.
It is easy to dismiss this by taking for granted the influence each of us really have. As Nicole pointed out, simply by virtue of parenthood many of us have great influence--there are souls entrusted to our care! And what about the influence we have in our workplace, neighborhoods, schools, communities, extended families? Intentionally seeking depth is vital. Ever seen what happens to a tree with shallow roots when the first big storm comes along?
I find the same to be true in relationships. The grass is greener where you water it. And it's not usually easy or convenient. Sometimes, frankly, the work makes you question if it is even worth it...and then you see a bud start to bloom.
I am looking forward to this adventure. We need this time. I am certainly going to miss my children. We have never been away from them this long. I know they are in excellent hands with people that love them---but especially on the heels of the loss of a Mom friend this week, my mind wants to creep into worst case scenarios.
I am being called to put my faith to the test. Do I really trust not just the sitters, but that my Lord has a will? That He has a plan? That He will care for all of us while we are apart?
My dear mentor, Anita, reminded me today that we will all grow from this and return with stories to tell. It made me smile--and it made me gulp. I admit that I feel a little sad when my kids have stories of grand adventure that I missed--which is probably exactly why we need to go. To be reminded that God is writing a story in each of their lives and as they get older, it won't always involve us.
As it was said by Bette Midler's character in the movie Parental Guidance. "After your kids grow up, your husband is the one who stays."
I will console myself with quality time, sleeping in, gorgeous views and glorious temps.
So, here's to growth and adventure...for all of us!