The Caudells are BACK in the Ville! We had a fantastic vacation and we thank you all for the prayers lifted as we traveled (those who’ve ridden with me know the importance of praying for us when we drive anywhere…whether it be to a destination hours…or minutes away!). We’re rest, recharged and ready to take on hell with a water pistol!
That being said, even on Vacation, the Pastoral heart in my began to thump with a desire to bring back some life lessons from the beach that I could share with my sheep that maybe would help some of you in the long run.
So, here goes…..
Lessons From Vacation
*If you are taking multiple children on Vaca, and it’s a long drive (anything over 45 minutes is a LONG drive when multiple children are involved), you can take portable DVD players/DS/Magazines/Books/Ect but nothing will capture a child’s attention and put a stop to “Are We There yet?” like 8 hermit crabs. Yes. 8 new Caudells. Lady, Shelly, Larry, Curly, Moe, Phil, Uncle Si and Thorny Caudell. (Side note-the large Hermit Crabs are out for blood. Ask Kade).
*Boardwalks, when wet, are extremely slippery. When your feet slide out from under you, they’re very hard too.
*Your family can be cruel- speaking of slippery boardwalks, we witnessed a lady experience the aforementioned painful fall and my entire family rushed to the rescue with heartfelt compassion and concern for her well-being. Seconds later, dear old dad hit the deck and their response included laughter to the point of tears. Cruel. Just cruel.
*When at the beach you’ll notice that very little thought is given to attire. One wonders if some even glance into a mirror before heading into public. If it don’t fit, please…please don’t try to make it happen. If you do, it looks like canned biscuits just halfway exploded. If it does fit and there is simply not enough of it, it reveals a problem on the inside…immodesty. Not attractive.
*Saw an old gas station on the highway that hasn’t changed it’s sign since gas was $1.10 a gallon. My, how things have changed. Sigh.
*Be sure and do your homework before reserving a room. Our last night, Mrs. Nette finagled (not sure that’s an actual word but it’s mine and applies here) her way into a 5 Star hotel for $70. Wow, it was nice. Maybe too nice. We were really uncomfortable there with the feathered beds, room service, valet parking, spa, gym, resturaunt, beautiful view and all. Uh, actually no, we weren’t. At all.
*You Don’t Have To Go In Debt To Enjoy Vacation. Call us cheap (I prefer frugal), boring or redneck if you will, but carrying peanut butter/Jelly and fresh Maters for sandwiches in the room instead of overpriced restaurants on the strip saves money and allows for the opportunity to chill out, talk and enjoy the privacy of one another’s company (should have seen the looks of the 5 Star Hotels Concierge and bell hops as the Caudells came strolling through with make shift grocery bags!). We didn’t check out any of the theaters or shows or even the Pirate ship Putt Put courses either. Just enjoyed the beautiful creation God has blessed us with and quality time with each other. I’m concerned with todays cultures inability to enjoy life without outside, fabricated “entertainment”. Seems we’ve lost our own imaginations. God has given us a wonderous playground. Such a gift in His creation. Enjoy it. It’s enough.
*On that note – one of the cheapest, yet insanely fun activities at the beach is people watching (you know you enjoy it). The beach is the BEST place for this because of the infamous “beach waddle”. You know what I’m talking about. The locals laugh at it. Tourist turned beach bums, unaccustomed to the sun, sand and the salt develop a rash from the chaffing of the inner thigh and commence to walking like a duck for the rest of the week to avoid the pain. Hilarious! Countless men, women and children with brightly colored bare backs, and Bermuda shorts resembling a flock of ducks waddling down the beach.
*Children are observant – At the beach, there are a lot of things you can count on seeing and one of them is the abundance of “Beach romance” seeking teenage boys. A good number of the boys we noticed had in their mind that “busting slack” was still cool (not sure it ever was but I digress). Upon noticing them, KendylAnne (our youngest) would point and yell, “Mom, Dad look! You can see his panties!” To which Kaylyn would reply, “Wow, That looks kind of stupid!”. I LOVE my daughters!
*Another quick note on fashion at the beach – all fellas at the beach wear their hats backwards. Even those who are 30+ years old (saw a couple of 60+ guys sporting the style as well). Look, I get it and as a teen (when dad wasn’t around) I wore it backwards some too. No problem but I do need to make an honest observation here – people really don’t take “HatTurnedbackwardsGuy” seriously. Case in point…ever seen a CEO, Senior Leader, Company President who sported the backwards hat? OK, maybe Russell Simmons but that’s about it. “HatTurnedBackwardsGuy” usually works for the guys who don’t wear it that way. I’m not saying it’s right. BUT it’s true. Just an observation.
*Vacations are awesome – but home is, well, home. No place like it.
*I’m grateful that our family tans well. We don’t burn, we darken. Tans are great. Leather skin is not. We saw a lot of leather skin.
*It’s also true that no matter if you take the same route, make the same stops and by your watches calculations are on the road for the same amount of time (down to the second)…somehow, in some unexplainable way, it DOES take longer to get home from VACA than to get there.
*Saw lots of T-Shirts imprinted with the letters YOLO. Took me a while to figure out what that meant (SOOO out of the loop). You Only Live Once. Seems to be a t-shirt that serves as a billboard for our intentions while at the beach…”This week, the gloves are off, inhibitions cast aside, restraint and good sense all but forgotten. I’m going all out and doing what I please, regardless of the long-term consequences because after all You Only Live Once”. I get it, and in a way, that’s true. Yet I can’t help but be reminded of living that way myself for a time and reaping the consequences of “anything goes”. What we sow, we reap…even if we sow it during a week surrounded by a sea of people we’ll probably never encounter again.
We do have but one life here and we had best make the most of it but making the most shouldn’t be confused with making a mess. This YOLO thing should serve as a reminder to believers that our lives really are a “mist and vapor” and because of that…Kingdom minded living, making the name of Jesus famous as possible with our words and actions is by far, the best use of the relatively short existence that we have. Don’t waste a moment. After all, YOLO.
With that, we’re home and looking forward to seeing what Jesus does with recharged soldiers here in Townville and the world over.
Soli Deo Gloria!