We’re having an absolutely fabulous family vacation. It pretty much couldn’t get any better. But I’ve had something in my head the whole week that we’ve been away and I can’t seem to shake it.
It’s not guilt because I don’t feel bad for choosing a vacation for our family’s Christmas gifts and it’s not that we didn’t give up certain things to make this happen because we did! In fact, we normally do a one or two night getaway to Seattle each year and maybe some day trips that are costly and in the past year we forfeited all of those knowing we were planning for this.
But I have this nagging feeling in my heart. A sort of, ‘remember what it was like to be on the other side’. And I just wanted to share with all of you that I do. In case you’re on the other side. I remember.
What I mean by ‘the other side’ is not being able to afford the extravagance of a family vacation. In fact, we’ve never taken one before. I mean, that we paid for! My parents took us to Hawaii 10 years ago. And then my mom took us to Disneyland 2 years ago. But those were all gifts. (Fabulous ones, I might add!) So other than these, and we do feel absolutely spoiled to have had them, we haven’t had a family vacation. Our biggest trip was two nights in Seattle which is only a 2 hour drive from us. Oh wait, I forgot the road trip to Winkler, Manitoba to visit my grandpa. That drive is blocked from my memory and doesn’t deserve to be called a vacation. Even on that one we stayed with family the whole way so there was no cost involved besides the gas.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I’m posting pictures of us having a joyous time I want those of you who have no family vacation plans in sight to know that I know what that feels like too. We’ve had years with my husband being barely employed and we literally had grocery store gift cards show up in our mail box which enabled us to get through the month. (If they were from you and you’re reading this, thank you!!)
We had times where we became those stories where we weren’t sure how things were going to happen. Our truck needed some work or an unexpected payment came up and we would pray and pray not knowing how we were going to take care of them. Somehow it always worked out or some Godly soul felt the Holy Spirit prodding to give us money (seriously!!) in the exact amount to pay our bill.
God has provided so richly to us in the past two years. He has blessed my husband with full time work again for the past 2 1/2 years with his industry picking up in the past few years. What started out as a 6 week contract has been extended and extended. We thank Jesus for that every day. I’ve also been blessed with a part time job which has afforded us to ‘catch-up’ from the lean years.
God has taught us how to live with little and he is now providing us with a bit more. We pray each day that we would use the surplus to His glory. That we would not become self-indulgent or forget what it feels like to have so much less. Because we know, in a heartbeat, it can all be gone.
To those of you feeling like you may never get this break, stay strong and courageous. Lean on the Lord. He is teaching and refining and blessing you in ways you may not even know. And believe me when I say you are not doing anything wrong! (I mean you might be, but my point is God doesn’t only bless in monetary ways and if you’re lacking that right now it’s not a sign of His NOT blessing you!)And I can’t tell you that your story will work out like ours. Believe me, when we were in the thick of it we had no idea it would ever end. But God grew us closer to Him. He taught us to live life simply. He showed us the things that really matter. He may be doing the same for you and I believe it was his greatest blessing to us.
I thank Him that He is with us in goods and bads. He’s with us when we think it’s bad but he knows it’s good. He’s with us when we have plenty and with us when we have none. He is always with us.
Today He is with us on our first family vacation fully funded by us! We’re so thankful.