Have you missed me? Did you sob in your pillow each night due to the absence of my life-pleasuring words and stories? Have you re-read my archives of posts over and over in an attempt to survive until I returned?
I didn’t think so.
Where have I been? ON VACATION! Hallelujah. I love vacation and this has been the best one in a long time. First of all – I must give huge props to my parents who give me time away each year for my birthday. They know that it is a very cherished gift by me and they do it because they love me! They really love me! Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the week away. It was awesome and exactly what I needed.
I’ve been in Branson at the Fairfield Resorts. (I posted some pictures of my very "sweet" suite in the Random Life Pics photo album in the left column.) It was an awesome retreat place and I loved the condo. They also had a fitness center that I used while I was there. See – I wasn’t completely lazy. It was a good thing I worked out each day because I ate bad things. Yes, bad "it-has-how-many-calories?" things. Some of you may wonder – who went with you on vacation? No one! Just me. The perfect vacation companion. Well, pretty-darn-good vacation companion. There is usually no arguing over what to do or when to get up because I pretty much always agree with myself on those things so it makes vacations run smoother. Honestly, I really enjoy getting away by myself. I think I actually went a 24-hour period without uttering a word. Divine. It gives me a lot of time to think, relax and reenergize which is what I definitely was in need of. I stayed up late and slept in. I worked out. I read two books – a great little series that I found in a Christian books store (surprise, surprise). I shopped (in moderation, thank you very much). I thought. I prayed. I prayed a lot. God and I had some "come to Jesus" meetings which were very needed. We both just layed it all out there. I went first (because I’m selfish that way and because I needed to in order to make way to hear). I was honest and upfront; a little confrontational; a lot broken. When I got through my little rant, God took a turn and was honest and upfront; a little confrontational and a lot healing. Just what was needed.
I came back home tonight and I feel incredibly rested, energized and joyful. I’m lighter (in spirit, not pounds) and more grateful than I’ve been in a long time. God really spoke to me about being caught up in my own things for so long and how that selfishness robs you of so many things. Contentment, gratitude, service, faith, love. It is simply amazing how it colors and taints so much in your life. Its a constant battle and sometimes you just need to get away for a while to build up your strength through the cleansing and power of God’s Spirit.
So – I’m back. In more ways than one and it feels goooooood!
I have to also give props to my dear friend, Kailey, who came down to hang out on my last night! It was the perfect way to end the vacation. We shopped (of course – but this time I only bought one book. Major restraint on my part. However, Kailey was a different story . . . :). We ate a nice meal out and topped it off with Coldstone Creamery! (I told you I was bad.) Then we stayed up late for some more girl talk. I love you, Kailey! Thanks for being such a wonderful, selfless friend. I’m praying for your test this Saturday morning. You will be the test master. Say it with me "I am the Test-Master."
Unexpected Blessings from My Vacation: (Come on — you had to know this was coming . . .)
1. The thunderstorms!!! Two nights in a row. Condo-shaking thunder. Disco-style lightening. Me snug in my cozy bed. Pure contentment, I tell you.
2. A rainbow across the sky as I re-entered Jefferson City. It was a very fitting symbol to me. God’s reminder that He is faithful. I can rest confidently in that truth. No fears, no worries. God is faithful.
3. A new book series that has blessed my socks off. The Ashley Stockindale series by Kristin Billerbeck. Every single gal should read these hilarious ChickLit novels. All three are listed in the left column. I had forgotten how enjoyable it was to read light-hearted literature and STILL walk away with some amazing life revelations.
4. My healing. I wasn’t sure it would happen. I hoped it would. I wanted it to. But what God has done in my spirit this past week is a definite unexpected but hoped for blessing.
I am still on vacation and will spend tomorrow taking care of some things around the house, going through sugar-detox and spending time with family. Then we have a Common Ground movie night. Saturday afternoon and Sunday I will be in St. Louis with friends. I’ll report more on that later. Can you hardly wait? 🙂