Do you all remember the 90’s praise song “Times of Refreshing?” I just experienced a serious time of refreshing filled to the brim with friendship, encouragement, rest, luxury, yummy food, and lovely reflection and worship.
First we dropped the kids off at Eagle Lake Camp, where Ben and I met years ago. I remember thinking when I worked there it felt like a haven in the midst of the wild – surrounded by Pike National Forest, Eagle Lake is one of the Lord’s sweet spots.
We dropped off the the kids and plunged into a week of catching up with dear friends. Colorado Springs is where all our worlds collide – friends from our Eagle Lake days, collegiate pals who have landed at our organizations head quarters in the Springs, Tennessee friends settled out west, NIU students working at camp…
We have absolutely more friends there than anywhere else on earth and we packed our schedules FULL of time with as many as possible! The Lord ministered to me so deeply out there.
I realized I was feeling a little invisible in Champaign – which I think is normal when you move into a new community. No one really knows you. So much energy is spent establishing relationship. I guess I was a little weary and I had withdrawn a bit toward the end of the semester. It was so wonderful to be wanted and known.
We picked up the kids on Friday and on Saturday my dear brother, sister-in-law, and sweet nephew drove all the way from Utah to visit. With all the family crazy we have in sum-total, it really is a miracle there is as much mutual affection and respect between all of us!
Then I hopped a plane for Hawaii! That’s right friends – HA-WA-II!!!! A dear friend’s hubby gave her a trip to Hawaii with two friends for Christmas! We stayed at the Disney resort, Aulani. Amazing.
We spent our days reading poolside or beachside, chatting and floating down the lazy river, and ordering yummies from our lounge chairs. We ventured out at night for amazing meals in incredible settings. One day we visited Pearl Harbor and because we were so thoroughly relaxed we felt like that was absolutely all we could do that day. We retreated back to our lounge chairs pronto.
I read 6 books. I didn’t make any decisions. I got a facial. (WHAT??? NEVER done that before. It was splendid!) The luxury factor was beyond description.
Ben said I came back with a “Hawaii Sparkle.” I think the sparkle factor means I’m rested – on every level. I guess you don’t realize how tired you are until you aren’t tired. Wow.
Late this spring Ben told me he believes it’s impossible to continue to mature unless we learn how to receive from the Lord. I knew when he said it I was in trouble. I am guarded and self-sufficient!
The Lord has really dumped the truck on me this summer, perhaps to help me learn how to receive – perhaps to prepare me for a season of giving – perhaps to bless my children with a break from me. 🙂
In any case, it’s my goal to keep my Hawaii sparkle for as long as possible. 🙂