In my mind, our camping trip, and our entire vacation was going to be a time for contemplation and reflection…to be purposeful in examining areas that I need to take back to God. And then reality of what “vacation” means while having preschoolers hit me!
One-bedroom hotel rooms, an enclosed vehicle, and a shared tent don’t exactly offer the opportunity for quiet, thoughtful time. And, quite honestly, there were some very difficult moments and, yes, tears on my part. But, looking back on it, and trying to jot down a few highlights from each day, I can see that even amidst the chaos and my periodic emotional breakdowns, there is a lot about myself that came to the surface.
My daily routines are so incredibly helpful in keeping balance…but routines often are flung out the window on vacation. So, this planner-girl had to go with the flow, which is not a natural bent of mine. Again, the issue of impatience rose to the surface…as well as fear (of those bears and other such mysteries in the woods)…and especially my desire to be in control of the situation. (What is it about wanting to be in control that deceives me to think that peace will come?)
I also was reminded again of the influence of my personal perspective.
Through one lens, one particular incident would look like this: I woke up freezing cold in our tent and couldn’t feel my toes…hungry and the campfire was taking forever to get going…with hyper kids who wouldn’t stop asking for “Mommy”…finally sitting alone in the van with the heat on my tootsies.
But, through a God-lens, here’s what that exact, same scenario looks like: I woke up to a chilly morning with the combined sounds of a bubbling brook and a joyful 5 year old. My amazing husband started the campfire and handled all the cooking that morning for me. The kids were having a blast throwing pebbles into the brook and wanted to share their joy and discovery with me. When I mentioned the “toe-situation” Steve gave me some of his thicker socks and encouraged me to get in the van to warm up. A few minutes later, he brought me a plate of food that I didn’t have to make and he made sure I was doing fine while he took care of the kids.
The first perspective sounds awful!! But the second sounds almost blissful.
I’m sad to say that I chose in that moment to live in the first perspective, looking through a tainted lens. But now that I’m home, with a few moments to finally think through that and other experiences, I can see the difference. And I pray that I actually learn from it and choose next time (as in a few hours from now when I’m trying to get excited kiddos down for a nap) to intently look through the God-lens…see the blessing of my children, be thankful for the time I’ve had to myself, be kind and gentle to help them get ready for bed and live in a state of joy rather than exasperation.
Living with a chronic issue has required that I consider the power of perspective. Discover the God who heals in my latest book, Chronic Healing. Order your copy today!