Been suffering from the blahs?
But not so much anymore. Not after all this.
Here’s what offered just the pick-me-up I needed (but rest assured, you really don’t need a beach or even a trip. What you need is faith, hope, and unhurried time with your family. Good food doesn’t hurt either.):
Take one understanding and amazing husband who takes it upon himself to plan a little detour during a scheduled trip to see friends. The detour lands him and his girls at the beach where they’re all refreshed by a much-needed change of scenery.
Sprinkle in some soft sand for little feet to tread upon.
Add a feisty toddler with ragamuffin hair who wants to eat said sand.
Some ridiculously big sunglasses help to keep you smiling, too, because they make you feel like a dork yet chic at the same time.
And don’t forget the frilly, little girl swimsuits.
Stir in some gratitude for the scent of your friend’s baby – so fresh out of the oven and scrumptiously edible.
“Are you smelling his head?” Your husband asks.
“You bet I am,” you say taking one last whiff of the rainbow baby.
Breathe in the baby and then inhale the salty sea air. Walk into the gust and listen to the soundtrack of Creation: the Atlantic’s waves and your children’s peals of laughter.
Search the sands for shells, and marvel at the beach’s bounty.
Then, after a lazy day of burying your feet in the sand and collecting shells side-by-side your little girls, look out to the ocean. Pay attention to the waves that never stop and the far-flung water that seems to go on forever, and know that God is greater, vaster, closer, and more constant and more powerful than any ocean. His love for you never stops, never wavers. Neither will your love for that little lost soul who’s behind your blues.
Feel the warmth of the sun that doesn’t ever get too hot because there’s a nice breeze, a harbinger of the cooler weather ahead. Yes, it’s true what a friend once said, that sunny, fall days are God’s way of cheering us up.
Go on an evening walk and sip the sunset. Drink it all up – the pink blush of dusk. The end to another day where you found joy. Or maybe it found you.
After the beach and spending an evening with good friends, wake up refreshed. Add a spinach and feta omelet and some good, strong coffee. Note your children’s berry-stained fingers and lips from the blueberry pancakes they gobbled up. Spend time with this family you love. Hop in the car. Drive a bit and take another spontaneous detour. Mosey on into the town where you spent your first years of marriage. Show your daughter the little cottage you were renting when she made her big debut. Head to you and your husband’s favorite restaurant that you loved to eat at when you were newlyweds and had no idea how much time you really had to just talk over tapas. Eat the same meal (goatcheese bruschetta, tortilla espanola, and coconut curry panang) you had the night you went into labor for the first time and your life changed in ways you could never have imagined. You think of your tired but happy new-mom friend who says parenting is more exhausting and wonderful than she ever could have guessed, and you think, “Yes, that’s it.” More exhausting and wonderful than you ever could have guessed and you keep on guessing, thinking you’ll have an idea of what the next stage is like.
But you have absolutely no clue.
There are so many things you have no clue about (like are those ridiculously big sunglasses really still cool to wear?). You didn’t realize how raw you’d feel after losing a baby. But you also didn’t realize how the prayers and kindness of others and the love of your husband and his thoughtfulness to bring you to the beach – one of your most favorite places in the world – could warm you up and soften up the rough edges of your heart.
Once you make it home in the dark of the night with three sleeping children, you unload the bags. You notice your home doesn’t feel quite as empty as it did before you left. Kiss your sweet girls good-night. Then kiss that husband of yours whose very presence in your life is a benediction, and be thankful for the simple but not quite cure for the blues.
“At dusk weeping comes for the night; but at dawn there is rejoicing.” Psalm 30:5 (Thank you, friend.)
I’m enjoying my dawn.