My husband and I ventured out for a 5 day, 4 night trip to Cancun Mexico with a four-fold list of expectations:
And we did all 4 and it was incredible. But that was not to say there weren't many moments of intentional pursuit of those 4 things.
Reason #1 being that I was lay-on-the-couch sick for the 3 days leading up to the trip and woke up on the morning of the our departure day at 2:30am with an ear infections. Nonetheless, we persisted and I found the joy each day.
Reason #2 being that we found ourselves to be at a pretty hardcore party hotel. It was lovely and all-inclusive and had 11 restaurants and multiple pools. But it was like... party central. And I forgot to mention.... topless. Yep, we started seeing boobs all over the place and were so perplexed. Then we saw the "topless" signs all around the pools and beach and it became clear. I wonder why none of the hotel reviews mentioned this little fact.
On Day 1 of our trip, we found ourselves trying to keep up with the flow of the hotel. Our surroundings were energetic and loud. And it was all around us and there was this inner urge andpull to keep up with it all. And by the evening, I felt so depleted. As I awoke the next morning and dug into the Word and did some journaling on our balcony overlooking the ocean waves, God revealed some truths to me.
It was so paralled with regular life. Society deems how we must live and function and we feel this need to keep up with it all. And yet, my innermost being does not often desire what the rest of the world does. The hustle and bustle of busy life. My soul yearns for a peace and calm that only God can provide. And in that first day on our trip, I had forgotten about what my heart really desired on this trip because I was trying to keep up with everyone else around me instead of leaving room for my real purpose there.
We created the pace for the rest of our trip. We had to purposely seek out those places where rest, relaxation, rejuvenation and reconnection could happen because of our surroundings. And it we definitely found those places and relished those times together.
We learned the simplicity of just sitting next to each other on the beach and reading. Not needing to say a word. But just being in each others presence. Every so often we would turn to each other and share a portion of words we were reading and then share our thoughts with one another. There was something so serene about it.
I'm usually pretty good about respecting my husbands desire for privacy but I am going to kind of expose him here, because really, he blew me away on this trip.
Over the years of marriage and kids, he has become what we like to call, "emotionally constipated." We always joke together how emotional intimacy makes him super uncomfortable. And all I want him to do is sit down and talk to me about his hopes and dreams and share his innermost desires with me. (I know, so manly, right?)
On our 3rd night in Mexico, we sat down to our lovely second dinner of the night and did a cheers with a our glasses of wine and my husband looked up at me and said, "Meghan, tell me what you are passionate about? Where do you see yourself and our family in 5 years." I was blown away. And so we sat there, for the next hour or two and we shared our dreams and our goals and poured our hearts out to each other in a word song. It was exactly what my soul was craving. That reconnection with my man on a very intimate and vulnerable level.
On our departure day, we sat down to our last Mexican lunch and Seborn asked me what my favorite moments on our trip were and he shared his favorites with me. All of ours matched up perfectly.
1. Reading on the beach every morning together
2. Walking along the beach in the afternoons and evenings
3. Swimming and crashing in the waves together and laughing hysterically
4. Having intimate conversations about life
He had one other thing he said was his favorite, and that was watching me play volleyball on the beach because he knows how much I enjoy playing and don't get to do it often.
The one last great lesson we learned happened at lunch one day. It was maybe our second day there and we went to this outdoor grill where they have maybe 7 picnic tables so you are seated with 2-4 other people and eat lunch with them at the same table. We got seated with another couple around the same age as us and an older gentlemen, in about his 60's and all alone.
I found it rather odd to sit at a table with strangers and just eat and pretend you are not actually sitting at a table together and partaking of food, without speaking to one another. So, I did what came naturally to me and said hello and asked where they were coming from and a few other questions. Everyone shared a little bit about their time at the resort. We talked on and off throughout our time together at the community table and had some lovely chats getting to know them. The one couple was from Texas and the older man, from Canada. Upon finishing their food, the couple got up to leave and we said, "See you around!"
The older gentlemen then looked at us and said, "I just have to tell you. You are very nice people. This couple drove on the bus with me from the airport and have seen me for the past few days and have not said a word to me. Thank you for caring and just talking to me too."
We continued to chat with the man and he told us how he had gotten divorced 2 years ago and he has always wanted to take a trip somewhere by the ocean and so he booked a 10 day trip here by himself and although he doesn't regret it, he would never do it again. He was so lonely. He then began to pour wisdom on us. He told us how the decades of his life have flown by. And that if we want to do something in life, DO IT and DO IT WELL. We left that lunch table feeling the greatness of connecting with another human.
I thought in my mind of how often I disregard someone because maybe I feel we wouldn't have anything in common. It could have been simple to just talk to the couple that was our age and completely ignored the old man alone in the corner. I am so glad we got to meet him and talk about life with him. And pour some sort of love and joy into his day and life. I share this to encourage you to look beyond the comfortable and find the people who may be lost in the shuffle or easily ignored. You might be just what they are needing today.
I went into this trip with expectation. It was not just a tropical vacation away. And I came back from this trip fulfilled, rested and maybe even a tiny bit wiser. That's what life experiences are supposed to do, right? God can work in the most mysterious ways and when we least expect it. And can teach you things from the most unsuspecting people. Allow those moments to happen. Make room for God to move in your life. He will do it anyways, because well, He is God. But clear some space mentally- be purposeful to allow Him to speak to you however He chooses. And grow and learn from it. You never know when and how He is going to show up.