Did you miss me? I thought so.
I was in Amelia Island, Florida. With my husband. Without our kids. Yes, you read that right. Five days of luxury. No finding food for the kids, putting them to bed, or thinking about what they might need. I had actual adult conversation for every meal for four and a half days. It was glorious.
We were there for a conference that connects givers (foundations, wealthy families, etc.) with big ideas and some worthy ministries. It's not a money pitch, just three days of worship, Bible teaching, and breakout sessions on various topics related to world events and generosity.
Some of what I learned may come out in the next few days, but today I'm just thinking about reentry into regular life. I woke up to the early-morning school rush and was immediately hit with reality. Missing gym clothes, kids dragging their feet, no fruit for school lunches . . . the usual stuff. And then I determined that we really do have a moth problem (those meal moths that eat flour--yuck!). So I cleaned and disinfected the cupboard and then went to the grocery store.
About halfway through the afternoon I was reminded of a session I went to this weekend. It was on grief (two couples who lost children, one of which was Steven Curtis and MaryBeth Chapman, who are heroes of mine). One of the dads was talking about how someone told him that in those months of intense grief he would need to intentionally choose to praise God. So every day for a year he spent his hour-long drive to work singing along with a praise tape (this was 20 years ago).
At the time I thought that was a great idea for people who are really struggling. But today as I was inwardly moaning about being back to my boring old life, I realized that I, too, need to choose to praise God. My life is pretty easy, but that doesn't mean praise always comes naturally. Sometimes when life is predictable we start to think we can manage pretty well without God. And we forget to thank him for the many blessings in our lives. I don't think I usually think of praise as something I need to discipline myself to do, but it is.
So this afternoon when I was getting really tired, instead of making another pot of coffee I sat down and played and sang a couple of hymns. It was remarkable how that helped to center me and redirect my thoughts. And those songs stayed with me for the rest of the afternoon, right up until the time my oldest daughter called after her after-school activity to say that she had changed her mind and would like to try out for the musical after all. Today. Meaning that I needed to help her memorize lines and a song in the half hour between the time she got home and the time I had to leave to take the other girls to their piano lessons. Never a dull moment around here, I tell you.
Which means that there's no time like now to take a moment and praise Jesus!