I am in Orlando, Florida this week to attend a Life Coaching forum by AG Coaching and to take part in General Council 2013 for the Assemblies of God.  This week is remarkable for a number of reasons:

  • I am alone.  I can’t remember the last time I travelled alone, stayed in a hotel/condo alone and attended events alone.  You could definitely say I am out of my comfort zone--going to events by myself where I know absolutely no one is a huge stretch for me.
  • My husband is home.  It’s usually the other way around for us.  He travels and I stay home with the children.  This was actually his idea—he made all the arrangements as he knew I wanted to attend the coaching forum and he knew I was in need of some down time.  What a great husband!  To not only understand that a break was needed, but to arrange for the break to actually happen.  What a guy!  I do love him!
  • I am resting.  That doesn’t happen very often.  I am used to people telling me how tired I look.  I tell them, “It’s a permanent condition.  It just varies in intensity from day to day.”  I woke up at 10 am this morning!!  Granted, the folks next door kept me up until 2 am, but I don’t sleep till 10 regardless of what time I go to bed.
  • I have no one to consult or consider regarding my daily activities, but myself.  Now that is strange!  Normally, before every decision I make, great and small, I run five schedules through my brain to first determine if it is physically possible, and then run any number of scenarios through my brain to see if it morally, ethically, spiritually and emotionally possible.  All within milliseconds.
  • This week I am free to come and go as I please (or to stay and do nothing, as I’ve chosen on occasion).  I have no one to consider but my own desires for the week.  I have imagined for many years what that would be like as I have forgotten what it was like to be single and think only of oneself.  So this week I’m able to do that.

And while all of the above are wonderful things and I have enjoyed my time away, there’s but one problem:  I miss my family.

Strange as it may seem, with all the chaos and drama that my family seems to attract, I miss them—every one of them.  I miss my husband dearly.  While being on my own and actually being able to have thoughts I can listen to is great, I miss his company, his conversation, his presence.  I just miss him.

I miss my children.  I don’t miss the running around like a nut in an insane attempt to get them to every activity they want to participate in—oh no, I don’t miss that part.

I miss them.  I miss their personalities, their smiles; I miss their conversations (not their arguing), their company.  Despite the fact I haven’t been able to keep my house clean all summer, I’ve had to referee more than my share of disagreements, I’ve done mountains of laundry daily and I’ve spent countless hours I really don’t have vacuuming the pool for their enjoyment, I so miss having them around.   It feels as though a part of me is missing without my husband and children with me this long.

Who would have thought?  While this was new territory for me, being away for a week by myself, I was looking forward to it, as I knew I desperately needed some time for myself to be refreshed and refilled.

What I didn’t know was just how very much I would miss my family, craziness and all.  Now my family life isn’t for everyone.  The pace at which we take on life is just too much for some folks. But because we are in ministry and we have children with special issues, our life is truly an adventure each moment.  But it’s an adventure I enjoy.

This week I am reminded of how much I love the adventure and how much my family means to me.  How, flaws and all, we are truly a unit, a body, that functions best when all parts are present.

How about you?  What have you learned about yourself and/or your family?  What do you most appreciate about each member of your family?  Have you told them?  I encourage you to spend a few minutes today to tell each member of your family just what you value in them and how much you love them.  You'll make their day--and yours, too!