The house is clean. Bags are packed. Bottles, formula, baby food, spoons, toys, stroller, toiletries, changes of clothes, diapers, blankets, pack ‘n play, and all the rest of our junk (check). Car is loaded down. Full tank of gas. The Clem(petts)’s were buckled in. Much anticipation. Ready to hit the road! Great Smoky Mountains, here we coooooooome!
There’s so much excitement when you finally get to go on vacation! Time to get away from the normalcy and into a place where time doesn’t matter. Responsibilities fade away. Just you and your family. We had been looking forward to our getaway this past weekend for weeks and weeks. Tyler surprised Liam and me with this trip, and we couldn’t WAIT! This was our first trip as a family of three when we weren’t going to visit family or be with other people. It was JUST US! And it was extremely needed. We didn’t have a care in the world!
Thursday morning we hit the road, and even stopped on the side of the mountain to take pictures because…why not?! We didn’t have a schedule!
We had a great day Thursday! We had perfect weather, so we walked around downtown Gatlinburg and simply enjoyed each other’s company.
Liam was so NOT feeling the family selfie. He’s too cool for us!
Friday was Tyler’s 26th birthday…this day was going to be PERFECT! We were going to do things Tyler loves to do and celebrate him ALL DAY! It was going to be one of THE BEST birthdays of his life. We’re both mountain people over beach people any day, so this was the perfect place to be. Friday morning came, and I woke up feeling pretty nauseous. I tried to make his favorite breakfast, but we didn’t buy “non stick” spray, so the pancakes were disastrous. We settled for just eggs and bacon. After breakfast, we rested while Liam napped…from that moment on I was OUT for the count. I mean nausea like I haven’t felt in a very long time. The stomach bug had made its way to the Clem(petts) vacation. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” a voice in my head kept screaming. I cried on and off the whole day because I felt awful AND Tyler’s birthday was ruined.
I mean this had to be on record for the worst birthday in the history of birthdays, poor guy. So, this lady right here…me. Yes, me. I’m a little Type A. Sometimes when things don’t go as planned, my eye starts twitching and I convulse slightly (my eye hasn’t stopped twitching since Thursday…literally. Like, I’m not joking). I love to have a plan (even though this was a vacation without plans, I still had a vague plan). This plan DID NOT include getting intimate with the lodge’s toilet. Not a single bit.
I don’t always know how to “let it go.” I know most of you started singing the Frozen song, but please come back to me now! I like to have my hands into almost everything…trying to control it. I even realized that before this weekend, I had never allowed Tyler to wash any of Liam’s bottles…ever! This was not from a lack of trying on his part, I just have control issues. I’m not all that great with the “let go and let God” motto. And ladies, this is why Proverbs 3:5-6 must be written on my heart, forehead, mirror, post it notes, and should be tattooed on the back of my eyelids as well…
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.”
When I’m trying to control my whole life, I’m completely robbing myself of the joy that comes in truly trusting Jesus. I’m robbing myself of the intimacy I could feel with my Father when I rest in Him. Yes, there are disappointments along the way and the sunshine isn’t always in clear view, but there’s no greater joy than trusting Jesus. Especially with all of the intimate details of our lives. With our hopes, fears, illnesses, failures, dreams. They are all safe in the arms of Jesus.
We all would like our lives to be rosy all the time. That would be lovely! But they won’t always be. If we stand firm on our Rock and Redeemer, and truly trust that He has our best interest in mind (and let things roll off…) we would experience a true, unending joy…in ALL circumstances.
I pray to truly obey and GET these verses:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Hey, things happen! May we rejoice in ALL those things. It’s so much easier said than done, but pray for these truths to flourish in your life. Pray for joy and thanks-always. I’m right there with ya, sister! Even when I was sick as a dog, there were good things to be thankful for. And you know what? We can just celebrate Tyler another day! After all, we did leave this (unfortunate) trip with this beautiful present…
Thank you, Jesus!