But then a drive just two hours away to Zion National Park in Utah was breathtaking beyond imagination.
I tried to capture the beauty of the mountains, waterfalls, and gorges but no photo can capture what it is like to surrounded by such magnificence...if only for a day.
I looked at the pictures we captured holding the phone in front of us as far as our arm could reach. And I saw something that we had lost...laughter. Oh, our family laughs a lot together. Our ADHD kids provide us with such spontaneity and they keep my highly organized brain from getting stuck in the details. We are silly, crazy and not afraid to call ourselves weird...because we are. We love life. But, in the photos, I saw laughter between Mark and I--something that had been lost in the intensity of our lives. I realized that when we get a chance to be together for little bits of time at home...we talk, we plan, we regroup, we pray, but we don't often just laugh. It had been years since we were able to get away for a couple of days. Wow...we needed it more than I realized.
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. - Frederick BuechnerThe kids had a tough time when we were away. The elevator broke. The washing machine broke. Four of the healthy kids got sick. The sick kids had trouble sleeping. Asthma flaired up. Anxiety peaked. Maisy rehearsed what we were going to say when we got home...over and over. She said, "Mommy and Daddy are going to say...I missed you soooooo....my sweet baby." And she was right. But everyone survived while we were away...I don't ask for much...just the same number of kids here when we get home as when we left...that is my standard for success when we attempt to leave.
Our time away was needed. I have to fight the guilt that comes knowing that the money could have been spent on other things like braces, or car repairs. or the needs of orphans around the world. I could not let this rob us of our precious time away.
I am grateful for the place God has called me to. My perspective is refreshed. My deep gladness is renewed. And I could not imagine serving the Lord along someone other than my precious Husband.
...I came home once again challenged to find beauty in everything I see. Beauty has more to do with the angle we look at things then the things themselves. When I open my eyes and see through the lenses of wonder and amazement at this world God has created, I can live fully in a world filled with color, and depth and unparalleled beauty...that only God could have imagined and created. And he created all of this for us? How humbling and awe inspiring that is...
There is joy in this journey...if we only look through a lens that filters everything with the perspective that God is the one who created everything more than we could even ask or imagine...I am grateful for a renewed perspective.