Gratitude Day 868
Deuteronomy 5:12 – Keep the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, just as the Lord your God has commanded you.
It was a year in the making and wow! Has it been worth it!
A little over a year ago, I asked my friend Barb if her family might be interested in going on a trip with Hubby Rick and me to Hawaii! We’ve traveled together previously and always had a great time. Should we consider another trip?
Well, here we are. In Hawaii. Having a fabulous time. And so glad we decided to do this trip together.
Yes, the trip feels a lot bigger than any trip we have taken before. Yes, we planned a year in advance so we could make it work. Yes, it has been so worth it.
When I think of trips like this, I think of them as Sabbath. Why? Because, honestly, they restore my soul. My heart. My very being. It is amazing what some time away, seeing new things, creating memories and sharing things together can do for one’s soul. Let’s also be honest. Loads of sunlight and warm weather in January for those from the upper Midwest is also extremely therapeutic. We’ve had so many cloudy days in Wisconsin of late. Just the pure sunshine feels luxurious. Throw in some 80 degrees days? It feels like a little slice of heaven. Literally.
For all of us traveling together, this was our first trip to Hawaii. Not sure that we would ever get back, we decided to squeeze in as much as possible. Multiple islands. Discovering the rainforests and the volcanos and the different foliage all in one trip. Along the way, we’ve also had lots of beach time, snorkeling and sunsets. It’s been a fabulous combination of everything Hawaii.
There is a reason Hawaii is sometimes called, “Paradise.” Certainly, this has only enhanced the whole Sabbath experience. While we have taken in so many fun and different experiences, we’ve also allowed for naps, card games, and watched endless waves crash upon the shore. When each of us needed some down time or quiet time, it has been granted; no questions asked.
It’s been a fabulous way to start 2024. Have I always been consistent with my morning routine? Hmm, no. My exercise has consistent of lots and lots of walking. Yes, I have ate too much. Honestly? I’ve granted myself permission to not let any of these things occupy too much of my headspace and instead, drink in all the blue colors of the ocean. Be overwhelmed with all the different vegetation than what we see in Wisconsin. Breathe in the smells that I would never get during an upper Midwest winter.
Yes, we spent a quiet afternoon at Pearl Harbor. Tried not to complain when it rained and we didn’t get to see our planned itinerary for the day because the clouds were too low. And chose other options when the rain kept us from a breathtaking canyon that was doused in fog.
Will I ever get back to Hawaii? I’m not sure. What I do know is that these experiences of Sabbath will help sustain me in the months ahead. When life feels a little too full and decisions a bit difficult, I pray that I’ll walk myself back to the nights we watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and how peaceful it was. When I am tried, I’ll recall how the sea turtles simply napped on the beach, no explanation needed. If the cold and wind bring me down, I’ll remember the slight sunburn and how seemingly every freckle on my body burst out while sitting under the Hawaiian rays.
Getting away on a dream vacation may not be possible for you. Not everyone can travel or feels the desire to visit these places right now. And that is OK. Nonetheless, find some moments of Sabbath this winter. Discover how you can refresh your soul. Take in experiences that will bring back fantastic memories on days that are a bit more challenging. Grant yourself permission to shift gears and take in things that are new, interesting and FUN.
Sabbath comes in many different ways. My prayer is that my recent Sabbath experience will encourage you to plan for and create meaningful Sabath opportunities for you and our loved ones.
Loving God – Thank you for creating such an amazing world where there are so many beautiful, wonderful and creative creations that we can experience. Thank you for allowing us to experience so many of these. Thank you for this experience of Sabbath and the refreshing of my heart and soul. Amen.
P.S. – Thanks for the Mickelsons for letting us tag along and planning so many wonderful opportunities for us to experience on this Sabbath trip!
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