Last weekend we boarded a plane for the middle of the Pacific Ocean for a week in paradise. Just me and that guy that I like so much and 45 of his best and brightest.
During hour 5 of the flight, they offered a complimentary Mai Tai and, well...who am I to say no?
Truth is, we needed this little get away. Sure, there has been lots of work involved for that guy that I like so much, but there has also been lots of down time...time for us to hang on the beach and just to be Michael and Michele and nothing more than that.
Our hotel is amazing...absolutely amazing. You walk out the front door and the beach is RIGHT THERE. Like, right there.
And yes, I know I live 6 miles from the Pacific back home but my Pacific is freezing cold year round. Our sand gets warm but the water temp never does and there is just something about warm ocean water that I (along with sharks) love.
I'm a beach girl through and through...until you put me in the mountains and I become a mountain girl.
I'm complicated...or multi faceted.
I tagged along with the choir for the first part of the trip and on the second morning we sang at the church of some old friends. I love the kind of friends where you totally start talking like you had seen each other for coffee the day before even though it had been 8 years.
Have I mentioned that I am blessed in the friend department?
After that I sort of disappeared for a bit of the trip. They spent a day giving more performances and I parked myself on a beach chair and didn't move for a whole day...I read and people watched and napped and swam and repeated that whole scenario over and over throughout the day.
And the next one, too.
I love how sometimes God shouts to me...not quiet gentle whispers but all out, in my face shouting. That's how this trip has been to me. He has shown me my fears in such clear ways...in this case, I have been surrounded by young military guys everywhere I 've looked.
Do you know how many military bases are on this island?
We have a boy who is entering that world and is neck deep in the process. It's him. It's who he is and what he's wanted to do since he was in high school but he waited because we asked him to. He waited a few years, working hard and saving lots of money and basically growing from a boy who wanted that life to a man who wants that life.
We've been a part of the whole process because he's including us in it. Nothing is set yet because of some fun stories I'll tell once he's a bit farther in but things are moving quickly.
And I've been feeling distant from God. I have plans for my boys and I'm also afraid. Of what, I'm not sure...but then again yes I am.
So God sent me along on a trip with that guy that I like so much where I have spent the last week watching young men like my son play on the beach on their down time. Watching them laugh and play around and act normal has been the greatest gift I could have been given at this stage of the game.
As a mom, I needed to see that more than I ever begin to tell you.
Other than that I've worked and caught up on bible study and just played the role of beach bum to the best of my ability.
We've also had a lot of fun dinners out with new friends and old friends and have had quite a few mai tai's. And, thanks to my sister in law, another new favorite...chi's chi's, which are pina colada's with vodka instead of rum. My oh my...I love them so very, very much.
My other new favorite thing in the whole wide world is an acai bowl. OH MY. I had never had one before...frozen acai berries blended with other berries and topped with granola and fresh banana. I've eaten one every single day and I am almost teary eyed thinking I won't be able to find them back home.
When the sun becomes a bit too much (or I need a bathroom break), I simply head to the banyon tree hotel for a mahi mahi sandwich before heading back to the chair and umbrella I'd rented for the day.
And at night we venture back for the really great music and man oh man, re-entry into real life is going to be really, really hard.
But for a few more hours I am not moving.
I am going to bottle some of this and bring it home with me...some of this peaceful, easy feeling. The slow pace, the vacation feeling, the aloha spirit.
Remind me of this next week...ok?