Vacation. Merriam-Webster defines it as "a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation."
Ours ended five days ago. That means I’m five days back to the Wash, Rinse, and Repeat Cycle of mothering small children. My heart is full. And equally exhausted.
It turns out, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t go on vacation alone with your husband and have your children with. In order to have one, you have to leave the other.
In a game, there are time-outs. In life, there are vacations - “a respite or a time of respite from something.”
My short period of rest from Mommy-ing meant that I didn’t have to cook. I didn’t have to clean. I didn’t have to iron. I didn’t have to meal-plan nor lesson-plan. I didn’t have to even make my bed or set an alarm as I chose to sleep in. Every single day. It was lovely.
Taking time out to just be Husband and Wife was amazing. After getting caught up on sleep and soaking in some Vitamin D, I felt recharged and rejuvenated. My shoulders relaxed. My breathing settled. My pace slowed. I liked Vacation-Ashley.
They say that, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” With that being said, mine grew fonder. Coming home to the four that we get to call ours had never been so anticipated. Our family is now once again under the same roof - safe and sound.
Have you ever missed someone - even when they were right in front of you? That’s how I’ve felt for the past few days of being home. I’ve found myself giving my children extra-long hugs, touching their silky hair, and kissing their squishy cheeks. Often.
Being back home has made me emotional. Not for the fact that vacation is over and that I am back to reality, but that I am back to my reality!
I love my husband. I love my children. I love my family. I am home. Not “home” as in residence, but “home” as in “where the heart is.”
Traveling has this way of opening up your eyes to a larger world than just your own. It brings perspective and enables appreciation.
I’ve been reminded that I belong somewhere and that my “somewhere” is smack dab in the middle of our wonderfully loud, organized chaos.
Uninterrupted adult-conversations now have to contend with silly questions and baby-doll voices.
Instead of long hugs and holding hands, I’m longing for a hug and holding out my hands. Offering to help and to hold. And that's the way I like it.
It turns out, I was made for this. I’ve been primed for this. All along, God has been preparing me…for these moments. Right now.
I’ve never been so joyful to be the one to wipe the bottoms and noses, attempt to find the carpet underneath all of the toys, wrestle the never-ending laundry piles, and figure out what to cook for the week.
There are messes and piles and spills once again in my life and (call me crazy!) I’m thankful that I get to be the one to clean up, pick up, and wipe up all of it. Although vacation was timely and wonderful, I’m ready to get back to work.
Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 reads a little drab. However, it instructs us to enjoy this life…“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun - all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”
So labor on, dear friend. Whether your vacation has come and gone or is still a ways off on the calendar, I urge you to do what God has primed you for - and do it with all your might. And until my next vacation, you'll find me here - being Wife and Mommy - cleaning up the messes and piles and spills with joy.