Months ago I fantasized about going to Hawaii over spring break. Or somewhere tropical. Anywhere warm with a beach, really.
I did not leave the chilly, spring-faking midwest.
Last week, as I was planning my trip to visit my sister and brother-in-law for a few days, I thought I would bring a big bag of work. I would read about teaching reading, and make next week’s lesson plans, and finally correct some social studies tests that have been taunting me.
I didn’t open the bag.
I packed running clothes. I planned to finally run outside, in the daytime, no treadmill, just run wild and free, not counting minutes or speed. Walking when I feel like it, and running when I feel like it.
I just put all the running clothes, clean and unworn, back into my dresser.
What did I do?
I ran errands with my sister. Target, Lowe’s, the doctor, etc. Running errands is actually fun when we do it together.
I read. And read, and read. I finished a library book. I am halfway through a borrowed book. I started a new “daily devotional” type book.
I drank tea.
I soaked up the calm and quiet of an empty house. Why is that so much easier when it’s not my house? In my house, there is always the noise of the TV or music. In someone else’s house, I hear the quiet before I automatically turn things on. I can’t take a lot of quiet…I would NOT make a good cloistered nun! In fact, I have found myself sharpening pencils at work because the loudness of it is soothing to me in the middle of a really bad day. I play music loud when I need to soak up pain and fear and exhaustion. I love the loud bustle at the gym and it takes my stress and frustration right out of me. But in the busy-ness of the school year, my soul cries out for a little more balance between loud and quiet. A few days like this in between the weeks of crazy.
Lest you think I was alone the whole time… I spent time with my sister and brother-in-law. Carried boxes with them. Unpacked a few of those boxes. Built basement shelves. Talked. Cooked…not really. Went out to eat…a lot. Cleaned the oven. Cleaned the fridge. Cleaned the walls.
I spent time with Jesus. I was reminded that every single thing I can see, every relationship I have or will ever have, everything I own, every plan I make, every accomplishment I achieve … all of it is temporary. And I was reminded that it’s okay, because I already have my forever.