No one cried out of frustration.
No one whined because they didn’t get to what they wanted to do.
No one argued with one another.
No one asked the dreaded question, “Are we there yet?”
No one got mad at her family because they were getting on her last nerves.
Everyone laughed until we cried.
Everyone went with the flow.
Everyone respectfully spoke to one another.
Everyone knew ahead of time that it was going to be a long car ride and kept their thoughts to themselves.
Everyone savored each moment with one another, especially the mom who knows that family vacations will start to become less and less as her nest begins to empty.
The Perfect Vacation
I know that nothing is perfect. At least that is what we have always been told; however, our summer family vacation was perfect. Absolutely perfect.
I don’t know if it’s because my boys are older, or I finally realize that it’s ok not to have every minute of the day jammed pack with things to do and just go with the flow.
And that is precisely what we did.
We had a destination but not an agenda.
A few months ago, an ad about a VRBO cabin in the Smoky Mountains popped up on Craig’s Facebook feed. It was on the North Carolina side (Fun fact: Smoky Mountain National Park covers more land in North Carolina than in Tennessee!) so we could avoid the crowds of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Perched on the side of a mountain overlooking a lake, our cabin had breathtaking views. The smoke from the mountains often appeared out of nowhere and, in a blink of an eye, dissipated.
Much like the famous artworks of Renoir and Monet, the Lord brought forth His artistic workmanship of incredible sunrises and sunsets. Sitting on the back deck each morning and looking out at God’s masterpiece with my coffee, Bible, and journal, I listened to the birds sing and heard the hum of the occasional boat traveling through the lake below.
Last Wednesday morning, we hiked into the mountains and saw the most beautiful waterfalls. That afternoon, while everyone rested from our trek, I sat on the deck and watched the rain gently fall. Bible in hand, I felt a peace and quietness come over me. A peace and quietness that has alluded me these past few months.
Psalm 37:7a from the Passion Translation says, “Quiet your heart in his presence and pray;
keep hope alive as you long for God to come through for you.”
It’s safe to say that these last few months, our country endured struggles, challenges, and violence. Add to that our personal struggles that we experienced during quarantine, and it’s no wonder we are exhausted. We long for peace and quiet. We long for things to go back to pre-COVID normal.
Throughout all of this, we need to remember that God is still in control. Now more than ever, we need to lean on Him. We need to take a moment to stop and take a deep breath. We may need to even step away from social media and not let the comments of others affect us. I’m speaking from experience!
Five Ways to Quiet Your Heart
Are you looking for ways to quiet your heart?
Here are some ways to do that:
- Take a break from social media. I check Facebook and Instagram in the morning, after lunch, and right before I go to bed. If I see something that I don’t agree with, I scroll right past it. There are times when I get sucked into the comments, and the next thing I know, I’m fired up. That’s when it’s time to walk away.
- Go for a nature walk. We are in the midst of hot and humid weather, so I encourage you to take your walks early morning or late evening. Be sure and take notice of God’s handy work.
- View a sunrise or sunset. Even when you live smack dab in the midwest, we still have pretty spectacular sunrise and sunsets. The best sunsets are those that occur after a summer thunderstorm. You will be in awe over the display being shown in front of you!
- Listen to your favorite podcast. Find a quiet spot within your house or on your porch and put your headphones in. Tune the world out and focus on what is being said.
- Read Your Bible. Dig into the Word daily! If you struggle on where to begin reading, start in the book of Psalm. I encourage you to read a different translation than what you usually read. I love the Passion Translation for my daily reading.
What is your favorite way to quiet your heart? Please let me know in the comments below.
Blessings to you!