Vacation

Perdido-Beach-ServiceVacation.  Everybody needs one! We all need to getaway on a regular basis. We all need chill time, family time, solitude, and of course … FUN!

My beautiful wife is the Queen of Fun in our house.  Sheryl is a kid-at-heart anyway, so she brings out the “happy” when it’s time to have fun. Plus, we live near the most beautiful beaches in America ~~ The Emerald Coast!

We are not “swim-in-the-gulf” vacationers. We love to dip our feet in the shallows, pitch a nerf football or frisbee, and sun-bathe in the warm breeze as the tides roll in. Half the fun for us is people-watching. The sights .. the sounds .. the shapes!  (( ha ))

So, this year’s beach vacation fell on the weekend of Fathers Day. How awesome for Dad, huh?! And it was.

But, despite the chill time for me personally, we have worked through a sea of emotions this year as a family.

It was our first Fathers Day without Sheryl’s dad. Papa Gene has been the patriarch of our family. He and Jo birthed three beautiful daughters who produced nine amazing grandchildren … and now two great-grandchildren, with little Russell due anyday now!

Gene made it to Heaven last June. The past year has been once again filled with firsts. Those nagging family tradition moments, holidays, and seasons when we remember, and realize, that our loved ones will not be with us.

The Hebrews Chapter 11 passage describing the Hall Of Faith resounds in my mind at those precious moments.

So, we worked through our emotions this weekend, enjoyed the beaches, the fresh gulf seafood, the adventure golf, favorite funny TV shows, the new summer movie releases … all of it that we could possibly pack into four quick vacation days.

And we read books. Sheryl and I both love to read. Our children have inherited our love for reading, which makes us both very proud parents. Reading is the key to formal education, deeper understanding, and — in our opinions as educators and ministers — a successful life on this side of Heaven. We believe reading is one of life’s most precious gifts. So, we read as often as we can.

I am reading Choose Joy by Kay Warren. I love Kay’s raw and honest impressions of God, of holy scripture, and of the stuff of life.

Sheryl is reading Crash The Chatterbox by Steven Furtick. The personal testimonies and insights from Steven are life-changing and God-breathed.

Vacation also helps us to re-calculate.  Reboot. Refresh. Re-think.

We both realize that the next chapter of our lives together will require a new level of spiritual maturity, personal disciplines, and emotional endurance.

Our children have entered adulthood. Empty nest is on the horizon. Yet, FAMILY is all we’ve ever lived for — second only to Jesus. Papa Gene always said, “at the end of the day, all you really have is the LORD and FAMILY”. He was right. He was always right, it seemed.

As we enter this next season, we are determined to make better choices. Non-negotiable hardline choices.

I am determined to choose Joy. As I read Kay’s book, I shudder to imagine what the cost of Joy could be for my little family. Yet, I will choose … Joy.

Sheryl and I are going to crash chatterboxes. Those pesky, haunting, demonic voices in our heads that lie to us as we press towards the call that God has placed on us. We are His. He covers us. That is all that matters.

We choose to believe for better days. We choose to overcome. We choose to succeed. We hope you will too.

Thank you God for our heritage, for the fathers in our lives, for our precious family, and for the Call. Thank You for choosing us. Thank you for making a Way. Thank you for sunshine. Thank you for rain. Thank you for beaches. Thank you for seasons. Thank you for friends. Thank you for your Word. Thank you for Heaven. Thank you for Life. Thank you for LOVE. That is all. For now.  🙂

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