Last week my husband and I took a little vacation to Newport Beach, California. It was actually a Texas Mortgage Bankers Board Meeting and I tagged along because Newport Beach is Newport Beach no matter how ya get there!! We left our girls with a friend and took the Bubbas with us so they could spend a few days with Grandma and Papa who live 15 minutes south of our hotel . I usually complain that my mom lives so far away in California but it does come in handy sometimes I must say. We stayed at the Pelican Hill Golf Resort that is like nothing I have ever experienced. Every room was a private bungalow and the customer service was out of this world. If you know me you know that I enjoy the finer things of life. I LOVE room service, and bell men, and people who say, “What else can I do for you Mrs. Overhauser?” “Right away Mrs. Overhauser!” and “My pleasure Mrs. Overhauser!” Who doesn’t love that? In this season of my life it felt particularly refreshing because I do all these things at home and am usually only addresses as “Mom”, “Hey Mom”, “MOMMMMY!!!!!!” or “Hey Hun….” In all honesty? It nourishes my soul to be waited on. Even with all this going on at our fabulous resort, my favorite part of this trip was being minutes from the beach. I grew up in Southern California and spent every day of my summer at the beach. Most days I would ride the bus, meeting my friends at subsequent stops until I was old enough to drive. It was always just me, my bathing suit and a towel without a care in the world! These days, just to go to the pool in the Texas heat, finds me with toys, a cooler, snacks, sunscreen, goggles, footballs, kick boards, water jugs, 6 towels, and a partridge in a pear tree!! It makes me laugh at myself often and sometimes want to cry when I think about the simplicity of my youth and all the responsibilities I now bear.
But for a day at Crystal Cove it all went away. We hopped on the shuttle to the private beach with nothing but a towel to carry. ( Ok, Ok, and a book and a bottle of water but no toys!) Upon arrival we were greeted by hotel employees who provided us with a beach umbrella and two chairs, took our beach bag and said, “May I carry that for you Mrs. Overhauser?” ” Why yes, yes you may!!” We walked really far down the beach away from the crowds so I could relive my youth and feel like a local again. I walked and walked with nothing to carry but my towel. I may have starting skipping perhaps, not sure, but I think my husband was smiling apologetically at the guy who had to carry our things so far as if to say… “I am so sorry, my wife is a crazy loon!” None the less I finally found the perfect spot where he set up our umbrella and chairs while we ran to the water and basked in the fresh air. I took a deep breath and smiled, smiled because getting to the beach is never this easy, nothing is ever this easy any more.
No wonder I am tired, stressed, achy and weary. Because no one ever says, “Can I carry that for you Mrs. Overhauser?” I am not just talking about diaper bags and groceries, pool toys or luggage, but the weight we all bear as adults; responsibilities, worries and stress for our families and our futures. These are things that no one can really carry for you, and that no day at the beach, spa treatment, or soothing bubble bath can magically make go away. I mean, maybe for a moment or for a day but as I sat quietly looking at the ocean, the sand, the seagulls, and all that God had created for me to enjoy, I was reminded of how much He cares for us and that He does ask, “May I carry that for you my daughter…. Mrs. Overhauser, can I carry your burdens, your cares and your worries? Give them to me, I want to lighten your load, I want you to run free like a child without a care in the world, like a teenager with just a towel to carry, the sun at your back and a bright future ahead.” Jesus said “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Elsewhere in the Bible we are instructed to ‘Cast our cares upon the Lord because he cares for us.’
This is like a breathe of fresh air for me and sometimes why I think the Bible is called The “Good News”. When I sit before God I remember that I don’t have to do this alone. I have help! God is for me and on my side and He wants to lighten my load, free me from worry and stress, and things I have no control over anyway, and allow me to trust Him with my life. I can hand Him my “stuff” respectfully and feel the relief of a lighter load. All be it short, this was one of the best vacations I have ever had and although my relaxed attitude will soon fade as I have to come back to reality, I am taking with me the invigorating and refreshing reminder that beyond my vacation, beyond the employees at Pelican Hill, somebody greater, the God who created me and everything around me, knows my name and wants to carry my burdens.
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore- Psalms 139:17-18