What Not To Do The Night Before Vacation

Nothing bonds and relaxes our family more than a vacation. We all turn it down a few notches. We sleep more, read more, talk more and play more together. The kids fight less, I cook less and Mark is on the computer less. It’s bliss and I live for these trips together.

The only part I dislike is getting ready for them.

We recently returned from a trip to Florida. The night before we left, our daughter Anastasia, had a swim meet. Weeks before I had promised her that we could still make the meet. I would work extra hard to get the packing done so we could leave for the meet with the suitcases packed and all we had to do after it was sleep, shower and head out the next day.

As you can imagine, life didn’t work out that way. I underestimated my “to do” list and overestimated the time I had to do it in.

Our pet sitter needed to stay a few nights at our house so I wanted to do deep cleaning of the house. However, my ADHD often goes in hyper drive when I clean. There is always so much to distract me from what needs doing.

The night of the swim meet was no different. I had just finished cleaning our tub and decided to clean the drain. I turned the water on full force to speed the process.

Squirrel! We’re late!! I better get Anastasia going!!

Six hours later we returned from the swim meet. Anastasia headed downstairs to hang up her towel. “Ew…it’s wet down here.”

Aw man! Did one of the dogs wet the floor. That’s ALL I need right now.

I headed downstairst to assess the damage when my foot steps on the carpet and is immediately covered with water. “The tub…I left it running!!! #$@!*&%$#” (I’m pretty sure that’s how you spell it.) Two inches of water covered the entire downstairs.

The next hours were spent moving all our furniture and belongings from the downstairs to the upstairs, calling a restoration crew and then finishing the packing at 2:00 in the morning.

Everyone worked together and no one complained – well, except for me. I was beating myself up, “What an idiot! What was I thinking? I need more margin in my life. I’m sooo sorry…”

I’ve heard it said that one of the tests of someone’s character is how they react in stressful situations. I’ve gotta say, my husband and kids have great character. This flood was the last thing we needed before leaving town. Not to mention that it the insurance deductible took a big chunk out of our play money. But no one pointed that out.

I share all this, not to brag on my family (although I am J). Mark remained calm and didn’t get angry at me for making a stupid mistake and this helped me to move beyond it. Beating myself up would not make it better but only drain me of energy – energy that was needed to move furniture that night too!

Being on the receiving line of Mark’s grace was a gift and it reminded me that I need to keep my pointer finger on my hand and not in someone else’s face. So the next time one of my kids feeds the dog the rest of their taco and then forgets to let them out or when Mark balls up his sweaty clothes and leaves them under our bed for a couple of weeks – instead of pointing a finger, I’ll use them instead to help clean up the mess.

Jesus seldom used his fingers to point blame. Instead He used them to help, hug, heal and to show the way.

When others screw up around you, what is your natural response?

Have you ever been on the receiving end of grace from another?


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