Vacations….the days we wait for

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Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers Proverbs 17:6

When our children were young, we ventured to destinations during Christmas breaks, spring breaks, and summer. We enjoyed the majesty of the mountains, the steamy summers of the south, and the excitement of DisneyWorld. Often, we traveled to visit family for extended visits.

Following retirement, my husband and I moved to the coast. Now we are one of the vacation destinations not only for family, but friends who live great distances away. The vacation season is upon us once again, which means our children and grandchildren will be heading our way soon.

The sheets and towels are all changed, house ready, and a few meals cooked ahead of time so that we can enjoy every minute. As I look forward to their arrival, I think about their visits of past years. We have witnessed young babies in floaties, sun caps, and inner-tubes, slathered in sun screen, wearing oversized sun glasses, as they kicked their little feet beneath the water. We weathered through a hurricane, flooded roads, and bat-sized mosquitoes. We have seen children appear with braces for the first time, and return again with straight bright teeth. We witnessed surf lessons, golf lessons, and had all of our faces painted on a pirate ship. We went to church by the sea, went on dolphin watches, and sailed on catamaran dinner cruises. We’ve decorated Christmas trees, gone Christmas shopping, and viewed the latest movies. So many days of our vacations with so many memories.

During the time I wait with anticipation for vacations, I cannot help but be thankful for every single minute we shared together as a family. It is not the pirate ships, the golf course, or the surf that make the best memories. My favorite activities are sitting on the screened porch watching the sunrise and sipping a cup of coffee with teenage grandchildren who are barely old enough to have coffee. Or sitting on the patio while visiting with my grown children for hours at a time as the smell of the grilled fish or steak permeates the warm air. Or the time spent in the kitchen making homemade pizzas, pasta, and cheesecakes with my children and grandchildren while we visited about events happening in their lives over the past weeks. And of course taking those early morning walks, jogs, bicycle rides, and swims as we talked about the coming days’ activities. Those precious moments are the real blessings. Those are the moments that warm my heart and remind me of the goodness of God’s many blessings. Those moments are what I wait for and what I enjoy the most.

This summer will be different because our oldest grandson and his best friend will not be with us as they were in the past. They are in the military and are sacrificing their family time as they serve our country. These young men are a crown for us. I pray for their well being every day.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul 3 John 1:2

The fact that these two young men are away underscores the preciousness of each second we have together with the remaining grandchildren. Before we can say Amen, our other grandchildren will be grown and busy with their own lives, too. But for now, I give thanks for the time we are given. I give thanks for the health and welfare of all of our children and grandchildren. And I give thanks for the vacation days ahead. I am abundantly blessed.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work 2 Corinthians 9:8

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