It’s official. If it weren’t for Mark Groutas, I would be all work and no play. We’ve been in the midst of life upheaval this year to say the least, and last week as I was in the throws of working from sun up to sun down in order to get our new house unpacked and settled he booked a condo in Breckenridge for our family to get away this week. My initial reaction (in my head): “Are you smoking crack?! We are in the middle of trying to unpack and settle this house which is exactly HALF the size of our house in Austin which means we have to purge half the stuff we have. We are not even close to finishing that job, and you want to go to the mountains for 5 days right before a 4-6 week stretch of having out-of-town house guests coming and going from this new home???!!!!!” Notice. This was the reaction IN MY HEAD. If there is only one thing I’ve learned in almost 15 years of marriage to my wonderful, glass-more-than-half-full, fun-loving, when-I’m-not-on-vacation-I’m-planning-a-vacation man, it’s that I better not have a negative response to the idea of something he’s excited about. Now, friends, I must admit that most of the time I fail at keeping my knee-jerk reactions of sarcasm to myself. Fortunately, this time (by the grace of God) I was initially able to keep my doubts to myself.
Can I just be fully transparent with all of you for a minute? This has been a hard year. We have been through more trials than I would ever wish on my worst enemy. I’m not even kidding. My new God-given friend, Jenny, asks me every week, “How are you? You know what you all are going through right now is NOT normal, right? You know that this isn’t the way life is going to be forever, right? You know not everybody could do what you’re doing, right?” Thank you, Jesus, for someone who is speaking truth to me and trying to keep me sane!
Friends, I’m warning you now. Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it. And, when you get what you ask for, you might realize that you really didn’t know what you were asking for. We asked God to show us what He wants us to do. We told Him that our lives, our family, our livelihood, everything is His. We asked Him to do what He wanted with us. We didn’t know what we were asking for. We still don’t know all that He has in store, but the ride so far has been AMAZING. It hasn’t been easy, clean, seamless, or what we planned. It’s been challenging, scary, sometimes heart-breaking, but it’s also been beautiful. God truly brings beauty from ashes!
So, here I sit in Breckenridge, CO after having been here for 4 days. I thought Mark was crazy for booking this trip. I have to admit that I even let him know the day before we left home that I wasn’t so sure this was the wisest choice. There is SO MUCH TO GET DONE AT HOME! I drove away from Denver not sure that I would be able to enjoy this little vacation, but now I’m here to publicly confess that this getaway was just what I needed. Look! Here I am writing for the first time in months. Getting away from the chaos of everyday life has helped me take a deep breath, sleep, relax, and enjoy my husband and kids. We will jump right back into the chaos tomorrow when we get back to Denver, but maybe we will be able to approach it all with a better perspective. It looks like after all these years Mark sometimes knows what I need more than I do. All work and no play makes Stephanie a very cranky girl. Here’s to opposites attracting!