A few years ago we were planning a family vacation up to the mountains. We were looking for somewhere to stay and stumbled on a great little campground where we could camp in a cabin. Not really being a camping-type person, I was happy for a cabin. I was ready for some time away, and knew that I would enjoy the rest and relaxation. This trip looked to be a change of pace that we all needed.
My husband is a nature-lover and so he was eager to go on this trip and do outdoor things with the kids. I am a little less of an outdoor person (although I enjoy the outdoors a lot more now, than I used to), but I remember looking forward to this trip! There was a promise of campfires, hikes, fresh air, hearty meals, and quiet evenings.
The trip was everything we hoped it would be – scenic trips through the mountains, some wonderful sight-seeing, abundant family time, campfires on cool nights, starry skies, long walks, and restful sleeps. It was, indeed, a change of pace from our faster-paced life at home. And I loved it!
But it was also a change of pace in my time with God. Going from the general hustle and bustle of suburbia, to the almost utter silence of the mountains was a big change for me. As I sat outside, I would take time to pray. But more than just praying, I would take extra time to sit and listen. And when I listened, I heard from God. I made intentional choices to sit and listen to God, and He blessed me with some special times with Him!
That vacation was such a time of refreshment for our family that we have gone back to the mountains several times. Our middle guy has some sensory issues that he seems to cope with on a day-to-day basis. When we go to the mountains, though, you can see a physical change in him. His entire being gets to relax and he is not burdened by the sounds of everyday living, which can be too much to bear at times.
All three kids can run free and soak up the goodness of the great outdoors. They can unwind from our intense schedule of schooling and therapy and even church activities. They can explore and climb and dream by the glow of the nighttime fire. My husband can unwind from his very technology-centered job. He can breathe free without the constraints of phone and email. He can start a fire and sit with it until it burns out. We all start and end the day with grins, grace and gratitude toward God.
The change of pace does wonders for us all! We grow closer. We laugh louder. And longer. And we wait on God better. We clear out distractions and we try to bring that mindset back home with us.
Have you and your family been away for a change of pace? Did you enjoy the benefit of time together and time out of your typical environment? Did you make any changes when you came home to keep the simpler pace?
Maybe you can’t get to the mountains or even to the ocean. But can you sit outside and look up at the night sky? Can you rest in a sunny spot to drink your morning coffee and feel the dew on your toes? Can you stay tucked in bed just a few extra minutes and enjoy the warmth of the sunlight as it greets you in the morning? Can you begin and end the day with grins, grace and gratitude?
If you haven’t had a change of pace for a while, may I (strongly!) recommend that you try? It will rejuvenate your heart and your soul, and helps you reconnect with Jesus in a special way! Blessings, sweet sisters!