Many things we have as traditions in our family have grown from a single circumstance.
Years ago, when we only had one very small girl, my mom and I went to the coast.
We wanted to visit a garden that originally was private property, but now belongs to the state.
As well as do a little shopping.
The garden has it’s own private beach and is a beautiful place to visit.
After that time, I tried to take the kids to the same place every summer.
Sometimes, my Mom would go too.
Sometimes, my husband would.
A few years some of our close friends (we call them our UK family) went with us.
The first year Tim joined the family, he came with us.
Of course there were a few years we missed our annual trip.
Last year was one of those.
Since our move, I’ve been wondering what God would have me do about our summer day trip.
We could travel down there, but the time would be much less at the garden and much more on driving.
So, taking into account many current factors, I’ve simply prayed and let go of my expectations.
The last two years we’ve added a New Year’s tradition to our family.
We head for the Aquarium and stay in a hotel on the beach with an indoor swimming pool.
We always eat at my favorite seafood restaurant.
It’s a trip we talk about all year.
Honestly, I thought we would simply trade one tradition for another.
But God answered me differently.
After church Sis looked at me and asked, “Do you guys want to come with us? We are going to the beach.”
I was so surprised.
I prayed and felt this was the answer to my prayers, at least for this summer.
We packed our sun screen and towels.
Made sandwiches and fruit salad.
It was such a blessing.
Our granddaughter learned how to dig in the sand with a spoon.
Anne, Jase, and Tim all played in the surf.
They built a sand castle.
It was all lovely.
I’m so thankful for the opportunity to go to the beach.
But I’m holding it lightly.
I know that sometimes we will continue to follow our family traditions and other times we won’t.
Every year is different and that is how it should be.
I love it when we get to do some of our favorite things, but I’m alright with letting them go.
Because God’s plans are best and when one door shuts, He always leads me to another which is open.
And the journey from one to another is really precious.
It’s where I learn how to let Him lead.
Stubborn refusal to relinquish my past to Him is waiting at a closed door trying to force it open on my own.
It never works.
So, I’d rather walk with my hand in His, and enjoy the journey.
It’s a two fold blessing.
I get to bring my memories along while experiencing healthy change.
Most importantly, I learn how to walk with Jesus.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for past traditions and new memories. Thank You that You are doing something new today. Although it is not easy to let go of expectation, please continue to help me surrender all my wants and desires into Your perfect will. I know Your ways are far better. They are life eternal. Thank You for saving my soul. Lord, as I step forward into today, I’m reaching up my hand. Please take it and lead me. Thank You. Amen.