Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Is Your Suitcase Too Full? Cara Putman, Guest Blogger

Hi! I’d like to introduce today’s guest blogger, Cara Putman—Gen X mom, writer, and attorney! Welcome Cara.

Is your suitcase too full? by Cara Putman

I know this may sound like a strange way to start a post, but bear with me a moment. Recently, my family took a quick trip to Nebraska to visit family. Four days. One in the car. Two there. One in the car back. It took more than eleven hours to get there, and by hour eight, I wondered why it was worth it.

As I packed the night before we left, I filled a suitcase and backpack for each of our children. Cute skirts and shirts for Abigail. Diapers and overalls for Jonathan. Strawberry Shortcake dolls, math books, and Dick and Jane for Abigail. Thomas the Train, cars, and coloring books for Jonathan. I filled a bag with writing books, magazines and a novel for me. Clothes and makeup in my overnight bag. A cooler filled with drinks and snacks. As I looked at all the random bags I’d assembled, I was overwhelmed. Now I knew I hadn’t packed my Bible or one of the Bible Study books I’m working through, but I waved it off. Too much stuff, not enough time.

We spend Saturday at the Nebraska spring scrimmage. Surrounded by 57,000 paying fans, we had a great time reconnecting with my Dad’s siblings and my siblings. Then on Sunday we got to celebrate my Grandma’s 80th birthday with everybody on my mom’s side of the family. We also squeezed in an Easter egg hunt and dinner with my best friends’ family. They were truly wonderful days filled with reconnecting with family and friends that are dear to us.

Even so by day four, I desperately wished I’d packed my Bible and made time to spend with God. By day four, my emotions were frayed from too much running and too little sleep. Why is it that children refuse to sleep when they are in a new environment? Every little thing grated on my nerves.

Are you like me? When you’re headed into something fun, do you pack your bags and schedule so full with good things that you decide you don’t have time or space for the best thing? This year, our family calendar is filled with four day weekends rather than a long vacation. I hope I’ve learned my lesson and that next time I’ll make sure my suitcase isn’t too full for God.


At Tuesday, 02 May, 2006, Blogger Jennifer Tiszai said...

I like the idea of smaller vacations too. It always seems like with all the work it takes to get ready, and all the unpacking and laundry when you get home, that any restfulness flies out the window.

I'm a routine person so the most challenging thing about my being on vacation is getting out of my habit of Bible study. I always bring it but don't always remember to do it.

Good reminder, Cara.

At Tuesday, 02 May, 2006, Blogger Tricia Goyer said...

We went to Disney World for a week and I took my Bible and Bible Study book, yet with the busy schedule I only had quiet time one morning. During the week I was grumpy despite that fact we were finally on the vacation we'd been planning for years. Then I realize why . . . I was being "drained" without being "filled back up." I love your reminder to make sure our suitcases *and our schedules* aren't too full for God!

At Thursday, 04 May, 2006, Blogger Gina said...

Yep, I've been there! If I do remember to pack my Bible, I usually don't read it. But I want to add, that God is full of Grace and understands family vacations. If we can't be in the Word, we need to remember to commune with Him daily.


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