Not so with our family.
Nope. While the rest of the world stressed out, we've taken a vacation. Yesterday and today, my dad had two days off work, and we've squeezed as much memory-packing into two days as we could.
Yesterday was spent around the house, with a busy morning and afternoon of canning in the kitchen for me, but oh such a fun evening! We intended to camp that night at a campsite, but we ladies were exhausted from our day in the kitchen, so our menfolk generously settled for a relaxing evening at home. Dad grilled some delicious burgers on his new (to us) grill for supper - which was yummy. Then everyone got out their instruments and filled the house with music.
That's always fun. ...Even if we are playing three different songs at the same time! Mom pleasantly surprised me by doing supper dishes for me (it was my turn) while all the commotion was going on. That alone made for a great evening for me!
Then Dad and I made some popcorn that, though I say it myself, was fabulous. Dad popped the corn in a big pot on the stove, while I melted butter and cheese to pour on when it was done. We lounged in the living room and watched some good old-fashioned black and white tv shows while we ate it.
Then we headed out to the backyard and roasted marshmallows over glowing coals and sang songs 'til late. Is there anything quite like the crispy sweetness of a 'mallow roasted to perfection? Is there anything like family voices blending together under the stars with a sweetness that makes you want to cry? Is there anything like watching firelight bounce and play with shadows on the faces of the seven people you hold most dear? Is there anything like strolling away from the fire, holding hands, looking up at the stars, and singing to the Lord together...alone? Is there anything like that?
It was a lovely evening. Even though it was so late when I hit the sack that I woke up tired today. It was worth it!!!!
Today we ate a quick breakfast (remind me to share that amazing blueberry-banana muffin recipe on here sometime!) before heading out. Dad and Mom were taking us hiking at Crabtree falls - the longest falls on the east coast.
It was worth the long drive. The beauty there took my breath away! And of course just being with my family all day long was great. I had some special heart-to-heart talks with several siblings as we hiked.
But by now I'm sure you're weary of my chatter, so I'll let the pictures some talking for me: (aren't you proud of me for including so many photos in one post? :):):)
This was on the way up. You can't see it, but the falls are really close to this stairway. Crabtree falls isn't one big "fall," but a loooooong trail of little ones. We were within sound, if not sight, of it during the whole hike (about 3 hours). I kept saying I want stairways like this in my house someday!!!! I love twisting stairways...and with a waterfall next to it? LOVELY!
Oh yes - pictures of the fall. I ought to include that, huh? *giggle* These are my lovely parents at one of the more level spots on the trail. (I'm not doing too good at cutting out the chatter, am I?)
...I love my siblings!
(LtoR: Justin, Lezley, Tiffany, Heather, me, Curtis)
Hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into my day. I'm going to bed tired tonight, but happy.
I'm wistful, too. I can't help thinking what a lovely thing family is, but also how temporary it is. I can't hold on to my family forever - someday we will all have families of our own, Lord willing. We will always love one another, but things won't stay the same as they are now. My little siblings won't stay little. We won't always live in one house.
Sometimes it's hard to love so much. Sometimes it's hard to be so close. ...But somehow it's worth it. I wouldn't want to lose the pleasures of today because of fear of tomorrow. Sometimes I am afraid to love, because I am afraid to lose. But that's no way to live.
I've chosen to love with all of myself, and leave the future to the Lord. He is more than able to take care of it. He is more than able to give me the grace to grow with changing circumstances and not only adapt, but thrive. Isn't He good?
I've had fresh proof of His goodness lately. I've been wondering how to share this with y'all....Somehow it didn't want to come out right.
Psalm 20:6 says "Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand." I like that phrase; "Now I KNOW..." There's something about experiencing God's grace for yourself, instead of just "knowing" it's there for when you need it someday.
I've always been afraid of the time when my siblings and I start to grow up and start our separate lives. I knew we'd still love one another, but things would be...different. I wouldn't like it. I knew I wouldn't like it. I was very afraid.
But fear doesn't freeze time.
Things have come.
I've now faced - and begun to conquer - what I feel is the beginning of "growing up and out." To be honest, it's been such a deep, inner, struggle that I haven't written about it here at The Fruit of Her Hands. But now I have tried God's grace and found it true. It has held me. And so I want to tell you: God will come through!