We just returned from a road trip to the Wisconsin Dells with our 5 children. The trip started off on a bad note, stress had gotten the better of me and I lost my temper with the kids, who were only excited about leaving. I think most of my anxiety was in anticipation of how bad it could be. I had been prepping things for weeks, itineraries, games for the car ride, spending money, packing for everyone, snacks for the car, food for the hotel. Then there were the preparations for home and work; making sure the laundry was all done, the house was clean, sheets were changed, bills paid, bank deposits made, I had paperwork that needed to be taken care of before leaving. Also, it was not my ideal place to take a vacation; a loud waterpark, full of loud kids people, only after a 5 ½ 9 hour car ride (we had to make a few stops for the babe). My anger and frustrations leached onto my husband, we were crabby at each other and for a good portion of the ride we held onto that anger. It wasn’t until the saint of the day came on the radio, Saint Rita (patron saint of difficulties in marriage) that I prayed for the first time all day. We both laughed and it really lightened the mood from that point on. The trip turned out to be better than I had expected, despite forgetting my well planned itinery on my desk. The kids had a great time, we at least got to be away from the telephone for a few days and are planning another trip in a few months but looking back on the whole thing makes me a little sad.
I’m sad because I let stress and worry steal my joy. My faith must not be as strong as I thought it was because I didn’t offer any of that up, I kept it inside and I let it eventually erupt into a big ugly mess. Jesus said in Matthew 6:27 “who of you by worrying can add a single hour of this life?” I think most moms can agree that there is so much to plan for when traveling with kids but I know after this whole experience that I need to focus more on the joy and less on the to do list. It is frightening how easily the devil can distract me from the Lord, especially frightening in the ways he distracts and tempts me. My To Do List rarely includes playing with my kids or spending intimate moments with my husband and when I can’t get EVERYTHING on my list done I become discouraged which leads to stress and worry. I get so wrapped up on getting everything done that I allow the devil to steal my joy. I understand that there are things that must be crossed off that list but I need to work on discerning what is important and what is not so important. The kids won’t remember how nice it was to come home to a clean house after vacation, they will just remember that mom was so crabby before vacations and I don’t want to be remembered as being a crabby mom. I want my kids to remember the joyful, fun loving mom that didn’t worry about the little things. I’m also sad because I didn’t take a single picture the whole time we were gone (I definitely need to work on that).
A quick side note, I’ve decided to start writing/blogging again for those of you that have been waiting. After I had baby number 5 I really needed to take some time off but I definitely feel God pulling me to write again. Sadly, when I stopped blogging at http://www.ismomhome.com I lost all of my previous posts when I didn’t renew the site. I don’t know what I will write about now or how often I will post but thank you for following me on this journey!