Summertime. What would be summer without a little family get-away? For years we have taken a family vacation during the summer. Some years it was just a day trip to a theme park, or perhaps camping a few days. Other years we splurged and went out of state on a grand road trip. No matter which of the above you ask our boys about I think they will say that they have fond memories and treasure those times we spent just being together. I mean, who could forget the hours of car games we’ve played such as ‘Who am I thinking of’, Which is Worse, or Would You Rather?…’
There was the time we went to Santa Claus and Jasper Indiana and to Holiday World, that one was such an enjoyable time we went back a second year! There was the camping trips to Mark Twain Lake and down to Mammoth Springs, Arkansas. There were also the little adventures of camping at my parent’s farm. Those were certainly peaceful and different! One year my youngest son and I spent a week with my grandmother which is one I particularly treasure. Time well spent.
Wherever we’ve gone or whatever we’ve done it has led to many treasured memories and we love to sit around talking about those times. I think making memories for your kids is so important and I’ve always made an effort to make every event a memorable one. So when my oldest son graduated high school we took one of our most loved trips to Colorado so it was only fitting that this year, as my youngest son prepares for his senior year of high school, we are planning another ‘grand adventure’. Being a history buff of sorts we thought he would particularly enjoy a trip to the South and tour Civil War battlegrounds, old antebellum homes, and see the Gulf of Mexico. So, tomorrow we are heading to Mississippi. Not necessarily a place many would consider for a vacation, but I have a feeling it will be pretty memorable. Not only will this be a trip to mark Samuel’s graduation year, but also it will most likely be the last vacation we take as a family of four and that has its own importance. I’m not sure anyone else in the family has had this thought, but being the mother I have and I can tear up at just the thought of it. My family has always been my first priority, after God of course. My husband and I adore our sons and find them to be a blessing from the Lord. The thought of them not being at home or going on trips with us is one I’m not quite used to yet, but know I must prepare for. My oldest son is 21 years old now, a junior in college and is more than ready to be out on his own, and should be I don’t deny. My youngest soon will head off to college, be it near home or far away, he too is growing up and I must allow them both to spread their wings as I sweep out the feathers from the nest. At times I’ve thought to myself that I no longer enjoy being a mother, of course I don’t mean that literally, but when the children you have spent your life on are out the door (or at least have the door open) you must allow them to go and that can be hard on a mother’s heart.
I was reminded the other day of how it really never changes for moms. I was visiting a dear friend who just happens to be a new mother. Yes, I’m blessed to have friends who are younger than I and I treasure that. She was preparing to put her little boy in his own bed for the first time, he is 3 months old. She was nervous and a bit apprehensive and I knew exactly how she felt. How many times we as mothers have to deal with these firsts. First night in their bed, first steps alone, first time with a sitter, first day of school, first day of college…on and on. It never gets easy and they are all scary times for parents, but I have learned through all of these firsts to trust God all the more. I think God uses our children to teach us how to be better Children ourselves. By turning my children over to Him, even though at times it has seemed He has had to almost pry them out of my hands, I have learned how loving our Father is. How perfect of a plan He really has for those who love Him.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
So, with mixed feelings I begin to pack for this vacation. We are all excited to get away and spend time together uninterrupted, but in the back of my mind I’ll be tucking away moments to ponder on in later years. Of course, we’ll have more vacations together, but eventually they will include spouses, then grandchildren; which will be wonderful in its own way, but gone will be the days of the “Martin Four” and that is certainly worth pondering on.
Diligently Seeking Him,