As I told you all in May, a few of my daughters and I joined a Compassion Tour Trip in July. Because of the way the flights worked out to reach our group and the connection in Miami, I was able to build in a couple of days on either side of the long weekend in El Salvador. One of my older teens has had an extremely full summer with summer classes, an internship with a big project and working her “day job”. We also had a change pre-trip and one of the daughters scheduled for this trip decided not to go, and another daughter jumped in at nearly the last minute. All of that caused me to believe that a short break from regular life before we entered into what the trip held for us would be very good for us.
And it was so good.
As soon as we checked in to our hotel room, we all changed into swim suits and headed to the beach. It was delightful to just walk and listen to the waves. Compassion had sent us a travel kit which included a trip journal. It was during the time on the beach that I was able to use the journal and unpack my mind and heart, and asking God to give me eyes and ears to see, to hear what He had for me in El Salvador.
The next morning I heard from a couple of my daughters that they were experiencing the same in the quiet of a sunrise by the beach.
I know that the cost of money and time can make these extra days difficult to plan, but it was truly what we needed. On the other side of the trip, I also tacked on 2 days to process before going home. Only my youngest daughter was able to join me, and we had a good restful time, where we also encountered God in a tangible way.
What I Learned….
- In whatever way is available to a person, taking the time before and after a special event to prepare and to process, is tremendously valuable.
- Just go with it when God shows up for your kids, even when it is at your expense.
- Don’t fill up the time. Move slowly, speak slowly, listen closely
During these days we stayed at:
Ocean Sky Hotel and Resort — I was so surprised when we arrived at this place. It is right on the beach, clean and the staff were professional and friendly. I got a great deal through Orbitz and am so pleased.
Best Western Plus in Miami — Just another Best Western. Very close to the airport. Don’t over sleep and miss your shuttle, they have no sympathy for you!
Anchor Inn and Cottages — Sanibel Island. My older two daughters headed home early Tuesday morning, so Faith and I picked up a rental car and headed west. Our flight was scheduled for mid afternoon on Wednesday and we decided that was plenty of time to see a sunset and a sunrise on Sanibel and Captive Islands. This place was inexpensive and perfect for what we needed.
There will be more posts about the trip in the near future. As soon as we arrived home it became very clear that God had given us the time and His presence to prepare me for a time of crisis within a week of our return home. It has taken time to work through it and get to a point where I can begin to write again.