10. When there’s a problem, someone else has to fix it! No breaking out the tools when something is wrong. One word to a hotel staff member and within five minutes the handyman shows up with his own tool box.
9. How excited your kids get about every little thing: There’s a tiny refrigerator!! And a microwave!!! And a TV!!!! And a couch with a pull-out bed!!! There’s a closet!!! And a bathroom!!! Everything is more exciting in a hotel room. Add in some luxuries like a hotel swimming pool, electronic key cards, and elevators with buttons to push, and you have kid-paradise.
8. Styrofoam cups with lids: Our hotel has a little hospitality bar in the lobby with packets of tea, hot cocoa, creamer, sugar and more. One night after swimming in the pool, I grabbed some hot chocolate packets as a treat for the girls. The best part? The cups they supplied came with plastic lids. Hot cocoa at home ALWAYS involves huge messes and near-industrial-sized spill clean-up. Why didn’t I think of travel mugs with lids long ago?
7. The Indoor Pool: We don’t the fanciest hotel with the most expensive amenities available; we just need access to an indoor pool. Happiest kids ever.
6. Short-Order Cook Breakfasts: At home, I sometimes feel like I should snap my hair into a bun, tuck a pencil behind my ear, don an apron and take down breakfast orders in a tiny notebook. At the hotel, we had buffet-style breakfasts where everyone found something yummy—well, except for the child who prefers breakfast at home with her favorite cereal every . . . . single . . . . day.
5. Someone else washes all the towels and sheets.
4. Someone else vacuums the floor.
3. Someone else washes the dishes.
2. Someone else scrubs the toilets. Sensing a trend here? I sure did. We’ve tried stay-cations before, but do you know what I still have to do then? That’s right—laundry, dishes, cooking, and general clean up. For a few days in the hotel, I picked up mess but never once pulled out the bleach or loaded a dishwasher or washing machine. Of course, we carried home a trash bag full of laundry that I washed the night we got home, but I had a few days of respite.
1. Being together: Our house is pretty small, so it’s not like we spread out and never see each other when we’re home. Still, there’s something special about experiencing time together without my husband heading off to work, propping up our feet and watching a movie together, making plans for the day, and sharing in a nighttime snack.
School starts up for the year far too soon. So does ballet, play practice, activities at church and more.
When life gets packed so full, it’s so hard to appreciate every little thing—like escalators and the electronic keys in hotels and cocoa cups with spill-proof lids. We lose child-like wonder and excitement about the little things
Almost ten years ago, I held my first baby girl in a hospital room and now, after what seems like a blink of the eyes, I’m about to send her off to fourth grade.
How does it all happen so fast? How do we miss so much?
In her book, A Sudden Glory, Sharon Jaynes says:
“The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life. As the Psalmist wrote, ‘We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing’ (Psalm 39:6 NLT).”
All this month, I’m learning to Retreat and Refresh so I can pursue the presence of God. And I’m thinking of Moses, who prayed: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
We can pray the same.
Lord, help us to number our days. Help us to make each one count. Don’t let a single one slip by us unnoticed and unappreciated.
Don’t let us ever miss or skip time—One, two . . . twenty . . .fifty–and not be able to account for the days in between.
Don’t let us get so wrapped up in doing laundry and dishes that we forget to thank you for the clothes and food you’ve given us.
Help us not to get so focused on the minutiae of everyday worries and stressors that we forget to have joy.
Show us how to slow down each day, rest, pay attention—yes, notice Your grace, Your beauty, and the gifts You’ve placed in our lives.
To sit with our children a moment longer. Linger over a cup of tea. Breathe in the scent of a garden. Notice the beauty. Enjoy deep down the laughter of our children.
To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below! Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Retreat and Refresh?
- Finding Room to Breathe: A 12-month pursuit of the presence of Christ
- January: Be Still and Know
- February: Pray Simply
- March: Unplug
- April: Enjoy Beauty
- May: Create Beauty
- June: Invest in Friendship
- July: Retreat and Refresh
Originally posted August 31, 2012
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King