Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our Family Vacation

I promise I won't make you sit down to a meagre plate of appetizers and cheap oak wine and a slide show.

For the past three years, we've had our family vacation in May (Hubby works two jobs and May is a good time to let tree work pile up, and the gaffer doesn't miss anything important in June for school). So this is our third year going to Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Am I the only one who has noticed that you don't think you need a vacation until you actually do? I mean, sure, you have horrible days where everything just piles on your lap and you want to hide underneath your bed covers and just wait for it all to go away. But you never really know until you're in the jeep, all packed up, GPS set to your first stop which is four hours away... and you don't talk.
Seriously! Hubby and I barely spoke. We didn't point out jacked-up trucks, weird houses, horses frolicking or cop cars. First stop was Syracuse. Then the next morning we headed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Not too many words spoken. We bought a dining room table. Then we drove to Roanoke, Virginia to buy a trailer. No words. Then we hit Topsail Beach. And still no words.
It became a routine. We would wake up at 7am, drink tea for an hour, jog on the beach, come back, go to the pool, read quietly, play loudly in the pool, lunch, pool, read, dinner, gaffer's bedtime. What did we do at night? Nothing. We usually just read or stared at each other, void of conversation.
Now, I'm a talker. My husband just happens to be my best friend. We always have loads to talk about. But I think we were just so tired, so exhausted, that we had nothing to say. It was like...self-preservation.

Quiet time was just quiet time. No 'aha' moments. No, 'Oh, I need to work on that', moments. Nothing. Looking at the ocean and it's awesomeness, all I could think was, 'Wow'. And that's it. A quick thank you.
My brain was empty for two weeks. Empty. I didn't think about home. I didn't think about my sweet friend who is suffering with a food disorder. I didn't think about my beloved sweet dog who needs knee surgery. I didn't think about my garden (which is a rarity for me!!! We just put in a gorgeous little white picket fence and filled it with plants!). I didn't think about work, about hubby's work, about tree work, about cleaning, about painting the house, about the gaffer's school work, about other friends that are hurting. I'd start thinking about them and then my brain would just empty. With the exception of spending time working on my book (I did well!) my brain was empty. I couldn't even think about the plot of my novel. I could only think about it when I was actually typing.

Now this could have worried me, but I wasn't thinking about it.
And now as I sit here, in our second last hotel room on the way home, it occurs to me, that we really needed to rest. And while I could think that I am a heartless person, not thinking of my friends/finances/work that needs prayer, I don't. It's like a vacation from your own life. I asked God many times to lay the burdens on my heart that needed prayer, and nothing ever came to mind. Sometimes I think, sometimes it's ok to just be...emptied. I almost sound like a crazy person, don't I? But I honestly believe that sometimes God wants you to just be emptied. To just...rest. To perhaps heal. (ex. Ecclesiastes 3)
But this has been such a relaxing vacation. I haven't thought about anything. I did read five books, which is marvelous and I did point out the juicy bits to hubby but of course his retort was the same as mine. "Huh".

Hubby couldn't sleep last night. He was thinking too much. Of things he has to do, things he wants to do. And I pray, for just another day, that I could keep my mind empty of thoughts, of to-do lists and of responsibilities.

Because I am so relaxed.

And joyful.
And blessed.

This is Jenn Kelly looking all relaxed and joyful. Amazing what Instagram can do, isn't it? You can read her blog at http://www.jennkelly.com/ if you like but she hasn't written anything in awhile because she's been busy having a vacation and finishing her new novel and biting her fingernails hoping that Mr. Editor likes it ... alot.


  1. Got to admit I'm envious of your s-o-o relaxing holiday. Good for you!

  2. I think you had a perfect vacation...away from the day to day of living....just being in God's presence without trying and the silence of it all is the perfect vacation...no hustle, bustle; as you said 'just being.' When I would spend summers home from China, I looked forward to the long sleep on the plane on THE WAY BACK! Later, I went somewhere for a week of peace and quiet on our October break to recover from the summer.
    Judith A. Coopy, coopyju@hotmail.com

  3. Jenn, I totally get what you're saying. Sometimes I find I just need a single day when I can do this, but 2 weeks would also be wonderful... I'm glad you've enjoyed a restful vacation :)