We’ve had a whirlwind of a week as a family. Each day was filled to the brim with new discoveries, learning, and connecting. (We spent the past week traveling for The Relevant Conference, and then extended our trip by a few extra days.)
During our trip, we focused on the simple things. We didn’t fill our days with a crazy schedule for our little ones. We cherished the journey, instead of the destination.
In Lancaster County, PA, Our children had so much fun exploring a museum with Amish/local history, including trying out a printing press and playing with Amish wooden toys. They also loved participating with a street corner band at a Farmer’s Market, and tasting delicious treats!
On our return flight home, we volunteered to get bumped from the flight during our layover in Newark. (They needed volunteers for the over-booked flight, our little ones were already tired of air travel for the day, and we were up for the adventure!)
So, at 8:30 am, we were given a day’s vacation.
We were handed vouchers for hotel and meal expenses, and shuttled to our hotel by a kind driver. (He drove the shuttle for a competing hotel, but took compassion on our wiggly children waiting on the sidewalk! He carried our bags into the hotel, and even came back later to return the little purple backpack that Gen had left in his van.)
After a nap for Enoch (in the Ergo), and some food for everyone, we began studying our travel options. We were amazed to discover that another part of our nation’s history was also close at hand!
We navigated the train/bus system (yep, we were being frugal, at around $1.75 for adults/children free). Gen was thrilled to see the gorgeous Penn Station, with the busy train schedules, “just like George.” Our ride eventually popped us out into lower Manhattan, NY at “Ground Zero” of the World Trade Center site.
The WTC attacks of September 11, 2001 had occurred early in our courtship, and were a defining moment in our relationship. As we sat there, mulling over that time together, I cuddled our children, holding them close.
Gen had fallen asleep on the train ride, and I had carried her out of the underground transit center, and up to a small little park area. While she slowly awakened, I nursed Enoch; giving him that precious gift of life at a place where so many had died those years ago.
We rode a free “Connections” bus to start touring the area in our limited time. Arriving at Battery Park, we had our first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. It was incredible to be able to teach Gen about the significance of this area, as we explored the historic sites and saw the Hudson River.
We stopped by a Whole Foods store to pick up some toothbrushes for the night (we didn’t have access to our checked baggage), and began the trek back to our hotel. As we turned the corner to the underground transit system, we were awed to see the crowd pouring down the street (foot traffic rush hour?), filling the street as far as we could see, going home at the end of the workday.
The next morning, when we departed for our flight home, we were blessed by being seated in first class, as a thanks for giving up our seats the previous day! Our children loved having the extra room to quietly play with their toy cars on the floor, munching on all the delicious food served (a multi-course breakfast!), and peering out the windows amid the clouds.
The surrounding passengers, in their ties and suits, frequently commented with smiles, sharing their appreciation for our children’s polite and quiet behavior (oh, God showed us His grace that day!). A sweet flight attendant connected with our family, and took every spare moment to chat with us. We enjoyed sharing our life with her, and bringing some smiles to her melancholy heart.
I have a stack of notes from all the incredible conference seminars and speakers at Relevant. I’m looking forward to processing through everything on a cold winter’s day sometime soon! I have books given to me by the lovely Sally Clarkson, which I am eager to peruse, and a preview copy of gracious Ann Voskamp’s new book, One Thousand Gifts.
We truly felt like our Lord was leading us, as our Abba (Daddy) this week. He poured out His blessings with a daddy’s love and sense of humor, and we just placed our hands in His to see where He would lead. Thank you all for your prayers!
Speaking of daddies… I get to see mine tomorrow! My dad will be visiting us for the next couple of weeks, and we’re so excited to spend time with him. (Visits are rare, since we are 3000 miles apart.) We have some fun projects planned for the next month; I’m looking forward to sharing them with you soon! My posting might be a bit sparse, so you may want to subscribe for free so you can follow along.
Join me each Thursday for a new post in my Simple Living series! This is post #108.