Everyone knows that R&R stands for rest and relaxation. I found R&R on our trip to Maryland and back but it was a different R&R, it was refreshment and remotivation (I doubt that's a word, but I'm using it anyway).
Sometimes people go away with the intent of finding some peace and being renewed or refreshed, but on our way to Maryland that was not our goal. Our goal in going away was to travel with the BGCH supplies and help with the fundraiser there and get a few days to spend with our friends the Palmers, whom we hadn't seen in two years. Everyone except Kristin had yet to meet Jax and we had yet to meet Rachel's Ethan.
It was refreshing to spend a long (I stress the word long, here) car ride with Kyle. Kyle, as many of you know is not a big conversationalist. And as many of you know, I adore conversations, especially deep ones. And with our contrasting personalities and school and work and baby, you can guess that deep meaningful conversations are rare. So with 18 hours in the car together...I enjoyed talking about random things and hypothetical things and spiritual things. You are welcome to ask Kyle if he enjoyed it as well...I'm kidding. Don't ask him. :)
It's also refreshing sometimes just to be in a place that people don't talk the same as you. I'm not really sure why but I just find it nice. A different place with different people and different accents and different food and not just doing the sameolsameol. And sometimes the Lord speaks in unexpected places and in unexpected ways. And I know I'm being repatative here, but, I found that refreshing.
Like on an index card taped to the mirror in the blue room where we slept that read:
"Do what it takes. Whatever it takes. No Excuses. No Explanations," I stared at for minutes, thinking it was profound. Yet it is really simple. Do what it takes. Drive to Maryland, Lose 30 lbs, make a schedule, finish a book...whatever "IT" is, I was challenged and convicted to apply this to my life. Do what it takes, whatever it takes. No excuses. No explanations.
I'm also always motivated by Paul Plamer (kristin's dad) who has done two Ironman's and continue's to do all sorts of races. I said I was going to do at least one tri this summer and it's always helpful to know so many people who just live their lives hardcore. Encourages me to keep on and to also make some changes.
And he speaks through conversations (which we've established that I love). I had conversations with Krisitn about making good choices and about choosing to live the missionary life no matter where you are. I had conversations with Rachel about making schedules for ourselves now that our children are on schedule. As much as I am not a schedule person, it seems vital to chart out or schedule out my week to make sure that if I only read during one naptime a week, I at least read once that week. Instead of starting five books and never having the time to finish them. Or filling my day with nothing...stupid things like facebook and tv. I also had conversations with Rachel about cloth diapering. She has done this with Ethan since he was born and made it seem very manageable and interesting. I am not fully convinced that this is what I want to do but I was remotivated to think outside my little box and try new things.
I found refreshment in knowing that even after Kyle left and headed back to Arkansas, that Jax and I could manage. It was the first time that Jax and I have been out on our own (so to speak) for more that one night. And though by the end of the week, Jax was tired of being told "No" about going up the stairs, we managed just fine. And I was refreshed in knowing that its okay to take Jax absolutely everywhere with me if i have to. When you're not at home and your helpmate is not there to bail you out or pick up your slack, you just bring do what you have to. Jax did ok at the fudraiser, he sat and ate with us at the table and and he was sort of content to be held and when he wasn't he was entertained by either myself or Kyle. And the rest of the week, though he was growing tired of the carseat, he went everywhere with us and did what we did. I was convicted a little that there's so many things that I don't do just because I don't have anyone to watch Jax, and I don't need to do that. How do you teach your children to behave well in public...I think you have to take them in public. Revolutionary, right?
At this point, I think I'll stop saying whether I was refreshed or remotivated but just know that it all equals that.
Kristin Palmer did a wonderful job of organizing everything for the fundraiser and she did great as the MC of the evening. Mark and Terri Palfreeman were there to, Mark was the guest speaker and shared part of his journey to India and the home. Everyone did a great job helping put on an important part of the home. We knew that it was hard for Brad and Sarah not to be there, they really love their job and their ministry and they wanted to be there. We tried to skype them in for the event but the connection was not good enough. We had to trust that this was somehow part of the Lord's plan. But to the glory of God and in order to further the work that Kristin and Brad and Sarah and all the staff do at BGCH, the fundraiser and the art auction raised over $8,000.
It was a blessing to be able to go. It was an honor to be a small part of the work the BGCH does. We always leave the Palmers feeling blessed by who they are and how they live their lives. It's a little bit funny how people that aren't truly family can feel like family and a place that is not your home can feel like home.
And sometimes that is the best kind of vacation.