Aloha friends! We recently returned from our vacation in Hawaii. We took our children, ages 5 and 3, with us. I posted pictures on Facebook of us smiling on the beach, but there is another side of the trip that needs to be told…
I do not usually give “advice” on this blog- but if I may offer some based on what happened, it would be this:
An experience is still worth it even if the pockets of joy or fun within it feel short lived. Reject expectations of “perfection” and embrace “pockets” instead.
As most of you know, Chad and I traveled to Germany last summer. I could not wait to sit down at the computer and share all that happened on our trip.
Returning from Hawaii was different.
I am hesitant to share because this trip was hard.
Not a lot of rest or relaxation happened for the Steel family in Hawaii. The effects of jet lag in addition to normal childish behaviors like sibling wars and whining, were amplified in our cramped hotel room. Our poor son also ended up with an outer ear infection two days before we were supposed to leave. The doctor ordered us not to get his ear wet.
In Hawaii? For reals?
Holding Jackson tightly while he cried out in pain was heart wrenching. I could feel the lump in my throat growing as I watched my son sit alone in the baby pool while other kids jumped into the deep end of the “big” pool. Poor little man…
but there was still pockets of joy.
I remember the look of amazement on my children’s faces as we watched fireworks on the beach. I remember the blue and yellow fish and ginormous sea turtle that floated along the ocean floor during our submarine tour. I remember the quiet awe in my heart as I looked down at mighty waves crashing into giant rocks below us. And yes, I enjoyed my children’s smiles and giggles as they splashed around in the Waikiki waves.
These are the pockets of joy and fun from God that my frustrated and tired mama’s heart did not deserve. Despite ear pain, lack of sleep, tantrums, and “mom, he looked at me again” coming from the back seat, Hawaii was still worth it.
Now that summer is here, remember…
God presents pockets to those He loves. He provides pockets during the stress and chaos of life. He gives pockets because He is love.
I do not know where this summer will take you. Whether you stay home or travel around the world, anxiety, tantrums, whining, a flat tire, sudden illness, delayed flights, or disagreements may burden your heart.
Lose the expectation of perfection.
Look for the pockets.
May God give us the eyes to see them.
An experience is still worth it even if the pockets of joy and fun within it feel short lived. Reject perfection and embrace pockets.
May your summer be full of them.
BTW a certain group of tourists took a liking to our daughter. I felt like the paparazzi was chasing us! Though somewhat creepy, we had a good laugh and she took the attention like a mini-model. Another pocket…