It's Not a Good Time for a Holiday

We sold our house 10 days ago. Yay? It was a dream auction where there were plenty of people bidding and more than one family that really wanted to buy it. It was exciting and amazing. Everyone was smiling and shaking our hands. Then we signed the contract, everyone went home and left me sitting in my spotlessly clean, quiet house. It was all over in an hour. Done.

Then, reality hits. We have 30 days to find a rental and move. 29. 28. 27. By the end of the week we had inspected seven properties. They all seemed rather small, old and unloved. After six years of making our house a home and three months of painting, sprucing and styling there is no vacant rental that I can feel excited to move into.

But, that’s only one thing that happened this week. It has been a dream since we can remember to be in Paris for our 25th wedding anniversary, which is nine months away. We had been saving up, but we raided our stash recently for another emergency expense. So, hubby and I made a deal. If we got a certain amount at the auction we would just buy the tickets and go to Paris. And, we did it. The flights are booked and the planning has begun. London, Paris, Rome, here we come!

Then, just in case there wasn’t quite enough going on in our home this week, my eldest daughter said ‘Yes.’ There was great excitement, tears, diamonds and fireworks (yes, actual fireworks). We are all very happy and proud and looking forward to the future. We’ve been scrolling through endless Pinterest feeds and talking dresses, flowers and venues. I remember the excitement of my own engagement and wedding. It is a very special season of life. Does being a mother of the bride make me old?

With all of the excitement going on, we hit our annual family holiday. A week at the beach that has been booked since January. It feels like terrible timing. We only have 20 days left to find a house and move. There is a lot going on at work and it was hard to just walk out. It’s not a good time for a holiday. But, we have no choice. The room has been booked for nine months, the deposit paid. The kids all have taken holidays from their jobs and arranged uni schedules to be here. So, we packed up and hit the road. That was yesterday.

I was feeling ill. It was all just too much. I wasn’t sleeping well. I have been crying way too often, and finding it hard to stop. My stomach has been unsettled. I haven’t been eating well or exercising much. Then on Saturday I twisted my back and spent a whole day laying in bed with a heat pack. Hanging on tight in the middle of a storm, trying desperately not to go overboard. It’s not a good time for a holiday.

Coolangatta Beach, Queensland

Coolangatta Beach, Queensland

Wrong. I walked into the apartment to the panoramic view of the water and opened the slider to the sound and smell of the ocean. Within moments we could see a pod of whales swimming past, splashing and jumping in the sunshine. I’m not kidding! A walk on the beach. Chapter one of a new book. A meal with my family around me. A game of Monopoly. A room full of laughter. I could literally feel my energy tank filling up.

When I sit and just look at the sky and the ocean my world gets smaller and God gets bigger. Watching whales playing and the sun setting fills my heart with peace. God is in control. The world is bigger than me, my house, my plans, my work. The world is out of my control, and that is okay. In fact, it is good. It is very good.

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul
— Psalm 23:2-3

I will be here for six more days, and I will be fully present. I’ll walk on the beach, read my book, enjoy family meals and laughter over the Monopoly board. I will watch the whales play and listen to the ocean for six more long, beautiful days. Then I will take my full energy tank back into my busy, stressful life and try again to manage it well. It’s not such a bad time for a holiday after all.