I’m Back!!! I’m Blogging! I’m Tired!
This time zone thing is a killer. I wake up early in the morning no matter what and want to go to bed around six at night. Every day gets a little better. I know, you don’t feel sorry for me and believe me it was all worth it, but acclimating to real life is already hard after being gone that long. Throw a six hour time change in there and it’s a bit brutal. Okay, no more whining.
As I reminisce about the European vacation we just got back from, I’ve been going through my journal and reliving it a little. The first three days we stayed in Switzerland before we got on the boat. The two mornings we were there, I snuck out early in the morning with my journal and made my way to Starbucks. To drink an Americano, people watch, and journal. I was on vacation but the world around me was going about their day. Riding their bikes to commute and catching the train. Setting up their market stand with fresh vegetables and flowers. Everyone had an agenda and I didn’t need to speak their language to understand it. What was my agenda? I prayed that God would show me. He told me to just sit back and watch. So I did. Not hard to do with a good coffee and so many interesting things to see!
I had this thought while I was observing the culture of the people in Switzerland that morning. I have been blessed with traveling a lot, especially this year. I always naturally notice how the locals react to tourists like myself. I find myself trying to figure out if they are friendly or not and find myself responding in the same way they do. That morning on my venture out, I decided the Swiss are guarded. Not friendly, not unfriendly, just guarded. Therefore so am I, not willing to be the chipper tourist who doesn’t even pronounce good morning in their language correctly. (Guenten Morgen.) What about the rest of the countries we are visiting? I knew I would totally fail at the good morning thing. It was easier to smile then speak.
Here's the takeaway, a smile is universal. It costs nothing, it is only positive and it might make the difference in someone's day. I smiled each morning because, well, hey I was on vacation! My number one guy was with me and some great friends. I smiled too because I felt blessed beyond belief. We booked this trip almost a year ago. We knew we were going to be having a grand baby in July with a heart defect. What would that look like a year later? We had not a clue. By God's grace he is well. Our third grandson would arrive that September and he is a healthy, happy (literally the happiest baby ever) little sweetheart. We had all these what if moments ahead but we decided to trust and if we had to cancel, I suppose Switzerland would be fine without us. The boat would still sail. IF we had lived life guarded I would have never said yes to going. Glad we did. What if our parents' health was failing? What if? What if? What if? That's living life guarded. Without trusting.
After a trip, at least the first week we are home, I do this thing in my head. Last week at this time we were… It brings me back and makes me think about how much is going on the world. The market is still being set up. Our ship is still serving Eggs Benedict.nSomeone else is enjoying watching the world go by on the Rhine River. The stairs are still open to climb to the top of a cathedral in Germany. All these things are happening all over the world but here I am back in my little corner of Michigan. It makes me realize how big the world is and how big my God is. Most importantly, it makes me ask God why I am in this corner and not somewhere else in this big world.
As always though my next thought is: Sherry, you are right where you are supposed to be.
So as I struggle to get back to real life, I find myself full of gratitude for God putting me where I am. When we got back on the 4th of July, my best friend Amy had a home cooked AMERICAN meal waiting for us and fresh sheets on our bed! My daughter and Big Landon were there too. They waited for us to eat even though it was getting late. Best homecoming ever. Feeling loved, missed, and blessed is the best way to come home. Over the weekend, we got to see the rest of our kids and grandkids and by Sunday we felt caught up on family, rested, and anxious to jump into the week.
I started something while we were gone I should have this started long ago. In my journal each morning, I write down my “Favorite Sobriety Moment” and have continued since I got home. Sometimes it comes to mind quickly and other times I need to think a little. On vacation, it really helped me to see how much better these trips are sober. They used to be a constant conundrum in my mind of where, when, and how. That consumed me.
I went through my journal looking for my favorite one to share and it was easy to choose:
Craig sent me a text from across the room that said, ”I love you.” We were on the top of the ship after dinner with a bunch of people and someone had asked me why I don’t drink. I didn’t falter or miss a beat. I said, ”I just can’t, been there done that. Trust me, I’m better off and so are you if I don’t drink!” Then we laughed and the conversation was over.
I’ve been thinking about posting my FSM (Favorite Sobriety Moment) on Instagram everyday. It feels a little vulnerable which is why I think I should. Am I being too guarded? The more I free myself from insecurities the better off I am. Maybe it’s a Divine Appointment in the morning? Stay tuned.
Peace on your weekend,