Spring Break Week Meets Return Week of Breaking Points

Last week our school system was on spring break.  We had a much anticipated vacation.  Our family and my father in law went on a week long Disney cruise.  It was incredible, busy, and yet relaxing.  We did a lot each day, and we stopped in four different ports of call…Key West, FL

DSC_2711

Grand Cayman

DSC_2803

Cozumel, Mexico

DSC_2855 DSC_2862

and Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Caribbean/Bahamas chain).

DSC_2893 DSC_2897 DSC_2938

The break was so needed.  Our kids needed some time away from school, away from couches/computer screens.  They played in the pools, on water slides, on beaches, and we explored shops and cities that they and we had never seen before (or likely will again).  My father in law (who lives alone) was able to talk with us daily and with strangers who were eager to chit chat as well.  My husband and I could lock our ipad and smart phones in the room safe.  We read books, we took naps, we had movie dates (while the kids played in the kid area), and we went to the Senses spa for sauna time.

Seeing sunsets, dolphins, sailboats, other cruise chips, and fireworks from our balcony was incredible.  Memories for a lifetime for sure.  We will not forget this spring break.  A break can be good.

However, a break can be bad too.  Reality is we don’t live on a cruise ship where someone is always there to serve you food and do the dishes.  There is work and homework to be done.  There are chores…no cleaning staff working in this house for pay.  We don’t stay up late with no reason to wake early.  The break of last week has caused breaking points this week.

I’m surprised our washer and dryer can handle multiple loads of laundry for days on end.  My suitcase is still not unpacked a week later.  The rest of the family is checked off, but this morning we had a fiasco over our eight year old somehow having no socks to wear.  We were 30 minutes off schedule, and my patience and my husband’s had reached the breaking point.  Kids were growling and yelling about breakfast and clothing…adults were shouting that screens were now banned again for mornings and maybe today and tomorrow!  Kids crying…adults slamming dishes around…and yet they made the bus.  We all break at some point.  God knows we cannot sustain our own selfish agendas.

Dear God,

You came as Christ and broke your body for me.  Thank you.  We did not deserve this act of pain, sacrifice, and grace.  You love us when we are unlovable. You break because we break.  In the time we reconnect to You, you restore our peace and our ability to love others again.  Your love is merciful, enduring, and eternal.  Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18).  Amen.

The PLAN in Planting

God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants, Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.” And there it was. Earth produced green seed-bearing plants, all varieties, And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts. God saw that it was good. It was evening, it was morning— Day Three.
For as long as Earth lasts, planting and harvest, cold and heat, Summer and winter, day and night will never stop.”
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and worshiped God there, praying to the Eternal God. Abraham lived in Philistine country for a long time.

Psalm 92:12-15

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Yesterday, I was challenged by a friend to share scripture on Facebook for a week.  I found the Psalm above to share.  Today, Kate Motaung challenged us to write about PLAN for a Five Minute Friday word prompt.  So when I went to Biblegateway and found that PLAN is in plant, planting, etc…I saw God connect the dots!

I love it when these Spirit filled words seem to flow together in my brain and heart.  God is THE PLAN.  God is in PLANting.  He was from the beginning.  He is today.

Spring is happening in Florida where we live, and my favorite yellow blossomed tree is blooming around town.  The tree is called the Tabebuia.  They are stunning.  They are simple.  The spindly frail branches give birth once a year to beautiful yellow blooms.  They are color pops.  They are hope to me.  I wrote about them a year ago. 

I write about them again today.  Our youngest son, Bryan, helps me each year play “I Spy a Tabebuia.”  He’s five years old so this simple game is still fun for him (and me).  Yesterday he won the “gold medal” for finding more than me on our car rides.  We planted one in our own yard the first year we lived in this house.  Three years ago it was tiny…now it is a tad bigger.  My hope is that we can watch it grown and bloom through the years.  Our sons will grow knowing that is a tree we planted.

Dear God,

You commanded that there be plants!

Forgive us when we fail to notice the plants or give you credit for their creation.

Thank you for the beauty unfolding in spring.

Help us to spy the beauty with child like eyes and tend to our faith with care also.  May YOUR plans be greater than MY plans today.

Amen.

ah