January 18, 2015

Thoughts on Cruising

We just spent a week on a cruise in the Caribbean. It was glorious. Fun. Exciting. Breath-taking. Heart-breaking. Guilt inducing. Eye opening. So many things.

While I missed my sweet kiddos, it was so mice to have that week with my husband. We rarely get that much time together without children (as most parents.) Since we homeschool and Kevin works at home, we spend LOTS of time together. It was nice to pull away and just be the two of us for awhile. What a gift I've been given in my husband. He is a hard worker and loves me even when I know I'm very hard to love. We had fun this week laughing, relaxing, and enjoying this beautiful planter God has made. He pushed me to keep going on a difficult obstacle course that included walking on several high wires, climbing in trees, and zip lining (I so wish I had pictures to prove I did this, but none of us really had any free hands to do that, so you'll just have to trust me!) I really wanted to just quit and wait for everyone else to finish, but he kept encouraging me and I made it (and I didn't even fall!)

It was also fun to spend time with family. There was lots of laughter, and even some ugly crying (that's what the Hazelwood family does best!) Supper times were truly a time of fellowship, testimony sharing, and just getting to know each other better. It was so fun.

It was also more scheduled that I imagined it would be. We were up early every morning to be able to do all that we wanted. There was no sleeping in on this cruise! Totally not expecting that!

This trip was also heart-breaking and guilt inducing as my eyes were opened to just how privileged and wealthy I am. The crew and staff on that boat work so hard and long, every day, spend months separated from family, and barely make enough ti send back to their families. I know there were times I should have asked to pray for them or tried to serve them in some way, but I didn't. It was difficult to realize at each port that we were living it up and just a few miles away whole families were going to bed hungry for lack of food and money. All the while, I was doing nothing to serve them, love them, or help them.

On the plane ride home we had about 15 or so current or former Cardinals baseball players with us (including Ozzie Smith.) I am embarrassed at the at the "fan girl" I became for a group of people I don't even know and, for the most part, had never even seen before that trip, simply because other people say their are special. It reminded me of a quote I read in Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter. She talked about being captivated by the grand and bug without even knowing it. That's totally what I was doing. Oh, Father, forgive me for the times that I choose the big, bold, and worldly over the humble and godly. Help me to dwell on that which is noble, pure, and right. Lord, draw me to You. Give me a hunger for You, Your word, and Your people. Help me to declare You to my children and all I meet. Lord, keep my eyes, heart, and mind focused on You alone. Use that focus to make me the wife, mother, friend, church member, and human You desire me to be.

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