Sunday, April 13, 2014
Our Epic Florida Trip: Day 9- Changing Expectations
This was our last full day at the beach and it was our only full day "off." I say "off" because we knew that we would still spend this day (at least partially) with our students and in years past we have always found something fun to do together on this day.
But before Joe and I really had a chance to discuss it it was decided that our group would be spending the day at a nearby beach and taking the ferry out to Shell Island. I wasn't necessarily thrilled with this idea, but it was done and decided by the group before I really knew it.
And I thought it would be okay until that morning when I quickly realized that it just wasn't going to work for the baby. The time the group was leaving was right when the baby needed to be napping. Not only that but because the ferry only ran at certain times during the day it would be challenging for me to come later and meet them and we also ran the risk that even if we did that we could be stuck on the island with a fussy baby (who up until this point hadn't been doing so well on the beach with his ear infection and all).
Joe was kind and offered to stay back with the baby, but since I'm still nursing I knew that it just wouldn't work for me to be away from him for most of the day. And to be honest I was pretty frustrated. As I sat there in the bedroom rocking the baby it was easy to start to feel sorry for myself...after all, this trip hadn't gone exactly as planned and here I was having to stay behind again. And then I felt the Lord gently remind me that this, sometimes, is the life/role/calling of a mama...to sacrifice in the best interests of her babies. So once again this week I decided to let go of my expectations. Let's face it...not many of my expectations had been met this week. But God was still in control and I still trusted Him and as hard as it was I was willing to surrender my expectations.
So instead of playing the victim I decided to let Joe and Lily and Eli head to the island with joy and just make the best of what the Lord had given me that day.
I missed sharing that day with them and the students. They saw an alligator, dolphins while they were on the ferry, and they collected buckets FULL of shells from the island. They came back glowing with excitement (and sunburn)!
Thanks to Brittany for these great photos (and a glimpse at what I missed)! I really did miss them, but God also honored my willingness to let them go and have a good attitude with a really lovely day! I was able to just relax and rest a bit while the baby was sleeping and when he got up just the two of us went to the beach...it was beautiful and fun and easy and just all around good. Liam was FINALLY feeling okay and was back to being himself (the sweetest little babe ever)! I was able to even get out my camera and get his 8 month photos in! There will be more to come, but here is a sneak peek...
This was the first time that I had left him to sit in the sand all on his own (without a blanket underneath him or a sibling nearby) and he wasn't quite sure what to make of it at first. He just kept gently batting at the sand and then quickly pulling his hand away (as if he was afraid of it)- it was adorable! He quickly got used to the sand and the beach and was genuinely enjoying it...
And if that's not cute enough...
The two of us walked on the beach and dipped our toes in the ocean and it was just wonderful! And then, with strawberry shake in hand, we returned to the condo and while he napped I packed and watched HGTV. Not a bad afternoon after all!:) We did get to join in with everybody for dinner and after there was this... This is my Happily Ever After!