One of the things living during a pandemic has taught me is that life is short so live it. We worry so much about tomorrow that we often fail to enjoy today. Life changing lesson taught to me by a man that was about to die is to “enjoy the sandwich”. Creative way to say appreciate the moment rather than looking toward the next big thing. For our family, that involved taking a vacation that was probably not in our budget but filled us enough to remember why God put us together. We are family and God is using us to grow each other and be Christ to others. Well for us that meant trying a fishing trip!
To see God’s creation on water is a sight to see! On this particular day, the storms were coming so the water was restless but we pushed through safely to experience the new memory as a family. I understood Peter’s fear in the storm…I prayed a lot on the boat! Prayed for calm (He answered), prayed to not get sick and prayed for God to share his creatures. He answered BIG with my son catching a Bonnethead Shark. What a memory for ALL of us!
As a scuba diver, I think I loved the shark most of all. Seeing sea life up close and personal and then hearing all about it from a biology teacher on the boat…day made! We would never kill a creature for the fun of it, so we googled recipes to eat it. I know we were all uncertain…but we each took a bite…it was delish!
Big finale to the highlight of our trip and a huge testimony to God’s love for us and how real the Bible is in our daily lives. That storm on the water was real, Jesus slept through it then taught us all about faith and trust. I will never read that story the same. Thankful we experienced this new thing together…when given the choice…taste the shark!
Last week, the weather in our vacation spot said sunny all day er’ day…this week weather reports say storms and overcast all week.
Disappointing as sun just gives life to the soul, but a blessing as no one is hurting from a sunburn and we still play all day in the ocean…win-win! Yesterday, we grabbed our boogie boards and went out when the wind was blowing hard. Kinda crazy, kinda exciting, kinda stupid…those waves hurt! But man, such good waves to ride…tall, fast, fun…so many laughs and squeals. Constant sounds of “that was a big one!” We went back at night and we had fun, but the waves were back to being calm and consistent…we began to miss the waves that were hard, crashing and furious and wild!
Isn’t that life? Storms make the best waves. The waves in a storm knock you out of your comfort zone.
Waves in a storm give you the restlessness and sense of urgency to..
Look for a new job.
Make the budget.
Have the tough conversation.
Go to the doctor.
Dry the tears and begin the next chapter.
Say yes to family.
Mourn the loss.
Stop wishing and start trying. In short, the biggest life changes come from the biggest storms. It was in my storm, we began to both work on our marriage and adopt our son. The storm gave us a new perspective to pack up or camp out. We chose to stay.
Storms make you stop complaining about the rain and start playing in it. And the reward to withering the storm is so beautiful and a direct promise from God that He sees you, loves you, was with you and will never leave you.
Rainbows are best seen after the rain. God’s perfect design for his children.
Today I ask you to pray for this family and their fight to beat Colon Cancer. You can google Staggs family to read more about them. They have used their storm to share about Jesus and the fight is stronger than ever right now. The most ferocious of storms are made easier when we stand together…I am standing with them in prayer.
I am writing this from a front porch over looking the ocean. A home we visited 6 years ago, but never knew we would come back. We thought this year we would be in Mexico again, but Corona had different plans. We thought there would be no vacation, but thankfully we made the choice to come!
When given the choice…choose the vacation.
We had a season in our life where a vacation was a splurge and not in our budget. We almost divorced. For real. We beat ourselves down with work, life and our list of do-nots that we got to a point of “Why try?” So now we see the value of take time to make memories, enjoy life and appreciate each other…so much easier when you are out of the house and away from the things that keep you working.
I know we are blessed to be able to do this…trust me, we worshipped our provider of rich blessings with our online campus @ClifeChurch (go to clife.com if interested in plugging in with God online…such good people!)
But, make it happen if you are able. It will not all be perfect especially when kids are involved…but it will be worth it to hear the laughs, see the smiles, feel the hugs because you are relaxing and leaving the work behind.
God’s creation is best seen up close! These moments of calm give me time to see God’s vision, affirm His calling and read His Word in a new setting. Best tip I can give is take all the pictures…be in them even if you feel fat…you will want to remember this…forever.
Reading about the Naya Rivera story…a story of a mother that used her last bit of energy to save her son before drowning…hit me hard as a mom.
I feel her frantic trying to keep her child safe.
I feel her fatigue using all her energy for another’s life.
I feel her panic that she cannot swim any longer.
I feel her love for her child and his future.
I know if she had any fight left in her or clarity of mind to make a plan then she would have done more/anything to save herself. As a mom, we want to be on the front row of watching our children succeed. Nothing breaks my heart more than to imagine not being able to see my child grow up. Not being the one to give the hugs, cheers and watch them grow into adults. I know it devastated her to not get into that boat with him. She gave her life for him.
“No greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.”
Jesus understands this kind of love for His children. He gave his life for me. He chose to die so that I could live. He gave all his energy and breathed his final breath only after He knew I was safe. I owe him my life.
I owe it to God to live my life to the fullest because He sacrificed his for mine. I owe it to God to be thankful for the gift. I owe it to him to tell others about this love.
I do not understand much about parenting, but I get the deep love for the life of a child. I will forever be connected to Naya Rivera on this deep love that you would use your last ounce of energy before letting go. Praying for her family as they navigate a future without her and praying for hearts to be opened that this kind of love is found in Jesus Christ for you and me.
It feels like every time I leave the house, I am reminded how different the world is during a pandemic. Sometimes it feels better to sit in my bubble and just live life in my house and backyard mask free and with my family. When I do step out…masks on…sanitizer ready…I am confronted with the realness of businesses trying to stay open.
Businesses like restaurants with their tables at a distance, plexiglass at the register, and no more self-fill stations.
Businesses like the doctor with no more comfy waiting rooms and folding chairs separated in a circle. Businesses like stores with empty shelves of bikes and toilet paper and weights and pools. Random things people need in a pandemic.
Businesses like schools that will need to teach proper mask technique in addition to word wall words.
Different…yes. Better…maybe. But going outside in public is a reminder of the new times we are facing and makes me wonder will it ever go back or like after 9-11 is this the new normal?
In a world of uncertainties and change, here is what I know: Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. I can live a life fearless of disease and dying because I know Him. In uncertain times, cling to the truth and that is He loves you and died so that you could live. Maybe living looks different today, but dying does not so choose to know the Savior that offers something to that will last for eternity.
Where has this show been and why am I just finding out about MAFS? I found it on Netflix with Season 9 and basically binge watched it…should have been doing laundry, dishes, dusting, tutoring…but there I was watching strangers try to make a marriage work.
I was glued.
To be honest, it made me appreciate my marriage and how far it has come since our early years. Our fights. Our arguments. Our venomous words or selfish actions. Watching these couples make mistakes reminded me of our journey and I felt proud that 15 years later, we are still here.
But watching these couples also made me think back to my list of what I wanted in a man and what were my dealbreakers. A big one for me is “I will not marry a man that pushes the snooze button.”
Do you have any picky deal breakers in finding your spouse?