I love resting on vacations, but resting means you miss out on excursions and seeing all the place has to offer. In the Bahamas we did a little of both! We enjoyed our beach days, but we also let ourselves get tired and saw the island we came to see! We started with an extra long trip that gave us all the things by Born Free Charters.
It had boat time and private island time.
The water was so beautiful and blue! So worth the two hour boat ride.
Later, we had snorkel time viewing a sunken ship!
We visited the Island of the Iguanas.
We ate lunch at a local spot with the best food!
We fed, learned and swam with nurse sharks…sorta!
Finally, and maybe the best part was feeding the pigs!
We were tired and burnt, but full of life knowing the pics and memories we are taking back to America. So thankful we got up from the lounge chairs and got tired!
Our hotel was incredible so when we were tired and burnt and hungry then we returned to paradise at Margaritaville Beach Resort in Bahamas!
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.
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?
Kinda hard for me to believe, but for 10 years my husband was a police officer. He loved his job until the city he worked for struck chaos. All of a sudden overtime, no days off, bad shifts, getting the run around and unappreciated became the norm. He saw the writing on the wall and got out when an opening came up. He did medical sales only to learn it was not his thing. Selling to the elderly was a challenge and he realized policing had not destroyed his heart after all. So he went back to his roots and first job out of high school and jumped back into the world of hotel sales.
He got the unique chance to sell for a brand new hotel that was in the process of being built. I got the privilege to stay the night over the weekend and it was an eye opener. I always just enjoy hotels without thinking about how it got there, but hearing him talk about all the little details and why that was the best fit for that particular location was fascinating. The notepad on the nightstand, the brand of shampoo, the decor, the thread count of sheets, the lighting, the size of rug…every detail has to be considered. He hung the TV, put batteries in every remote, plugged in every alarm…this hotel has kind of become his baby and now it is about to open. The property is beautiful in a trendy spot walking distance from dog parks,restaurants, bars and fashionable shops. The rooftop bar has the best view of Dallas, dogs are welcome with pooch perks and their is filtered water stations on each floor..boutique hotel for sure and it is all Hilton!
The best part of my stay was hearing his passion as he was eager to tell me all about it. I also got to meet his coworkers and people he spends all day around. He knows my love of skylines and got me a prime spot to just look at my city, watch the planes and read my books in a lounge chair. Love to hear the passion back in his voice when discussing his work and I get some pretty cool hotel perks. It will make the nights he will be gone checking on clients much more tolerable.
God heard our prayers and blessed him with a purpose in his job and I am grateful to have seen him in his element. I write all this to encourage you that if you are in a job that does not fit we patient, pray and keep working hard. That year in medicine was challenging as he wanted to quit. We often questioned if leaving police was the right choice, but he kept working hard and being prayerful and went to work. In time, he got the answer to his prayer and it was a big blessing. We took a pay cut and it was scary, but we followed Old Diminion advice “chase after the dream not after the money” and it paid off. Proud wife post as we look forward to the big opening.
Cooking is my weakness. I am not one of those people that enjoys it…to me, it is work. I grew up in a home where we ate out 5 nights and cooked for two. I could so still do that as an adult. In fact, it is a joke that whenever my husband works late then we know food is being brought in so I am never mad about it. However, my husband’s childhood included home cooked meals 7 nights a week. He feels fat eating out more than twice in a week…it has been a issue (obviously).
We have tried a lot of compromises and all seem to start and fail. My cooking is at my best during the school year because it is part of our routine. The challenge is I cook the same things over and over. Simple meals that take no time to prepare…did I mention I do not like pasta? Yep, makes it harder. I have bought every cookbook under the sun and even paid to get recipes from websites. I have tried to spice it up, but once you have the recipe…you need the groceries. I start out strong then quit.
My perfect world would include a chef! In fact, if I have to remarry, then I am standing outside a cooking school and will grow to love the man. I should have made this part of my list.
So this week my husband agreed to let me purchase Blue Apron and see if that is our missing piece. We will get three meals with recipes and all the groceries included. A bonus is we even get to pick the dishes so we get what we like. I still have to cook it (we tried a gluten free meal delivery and that tanked also), but everything is here so no shopping. Our goal is to eat at home, eat healthier and save money on groceries because now I just shop for what we need rather than buy a bunch of food to someday or never to cook.
My first attempt was Tuesday. Could not tell you what I made, but it had chicken. The recipe was easy, took about 45 minutes total, tasted good, fed my husband and I (the child still eats his usual nuggets or turkey) and was quite simple to clean up.
It is only one meal, but it is a start and I am hopeful it will help my husband to feel healthy and me to feel homemakerish. Stay tuned!