Our family took the last of our summer vacation time last weekend. My sister Loretta and her best friend Kim put in the legwork and booked a stellar weekend rental for us in Higdon. The cabin had a large front porch with a swing, a couple of rocking chairs, and even a hot tub. The porch was latticed in and even had sliding gates, which meant the puppies could be outside with us and enjoy the sun and their people. Best of all, no mosquitoes. At all. The entire weekend.
Saturday, we rented a party barge for the day. The kiddos had a blast. We cruised the lake, swam, jumped off of the upper deck, slid down the slide, and rode the tube. Outside of Samantha protesting the lifejacket rule, we had no incidents of a negative nature.
We ate well, slept well, and caught up on life. We shared stories, plans for the future and helped one another grieve losses. Mostly we were present with each other. This weekend was about carrying on a family tradition, making memories, and sharing life together.
Greers Ferry Lake is one of our happy places. We have enjoyed that cold, clean water much of our married life. When we were raising our son Jared, we often spent a week at Choctaw Campground. We would cook out, paddle our canoe over to Sugarloaf Mountain, and hike to the top. We spent our evenings staring into the light of a campfire while recounting the adventures of the day and making plans for the next.
I cannot think of a time in my life when time off was not a good thing. Every one of us needs to take the time to reconnect with the family. It is even more critical when circumstances cause us to feel isolated, and the world seems to be spinning out of control. Family helps us to understand where we’ve come from and set a course for the future.
This weekend was a time of new beginnings for me. It seemed like July had more than its fair share of challenges to face. Taking the weekend off allowed me to get some perspective and some much-needed rest. Today I feel stronger, lighter, and better equipped to meet whatever comes my way.
Donovan enjoyed seeing his friends and his cousin. Sam relished the time with her Anoretta, as she is affectionately known. The sunshine, fresh air, and cold lake water did us all a world of good. Sam slept twelve hours last night. I had to wake her up to feed her breakfast before going to work.
Psalm 51 is attributed to David following his illicit liaison with Bathsheba. In these words of scripture, David does not make excuses for his indiscretion. His words give voice to a recurring theme in the human condition, alienation from God and the need for a fresh start. King David owns his mistakes and appeals to God’s unfailing love and compassion as his only hope.
I found the closing scripture excerpt in Eugene Peterson’s Message interpretation. Like David, I prayed that God gives me a renewed lease on life and ministry. Today the wind is at my back, and God is at the helm. I’m ready for what the coming weeks and months will bring. Come. What. May.
God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Psalm 51:10-12 The Message