We arrived at Fort Walton Beach, Florida Friday after an almost 20 hour drive through the night. It never ceases to amaze me how a change of scenery can do wonders for my spirits.
Up until just hours before we left we were still teetering back and forth whether or not this trip was the best thing for us. I had been so stressed out that I had made myself physically ill. Stress can be a very powerful, debilitating enemy to our bodies.
After some serious thought I realized that there is so much we cannot change in this life. There are so many things that happen to us that are outside of our control. I have no control over the outcome of this house in Utah or the middle school that little man has to attend. I will continue to let my voice be heard, but at the end of the day… what happens happens regardless of what I say or do. I have to be at peace with that and not allow it to eat away at me.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” –Charles R. Swindell
We all have junk in our lives, the kind that weighs us down and burdens us. Some things bigger than others. Some people struggle with outward burdens while others carry deep, inward ones that would never be evident to any onlooker. We all have them… trials to one degree or another.
Then it dawned on me, this trip was something I could control. Even though it is cooler than normal for this time of year it would still be better than anything we’ve had in Iowa in months. I realized that I had a say in whether or not we decided to go. And I wanted to.
So, here we are at the beach. For those of you who showed interest in a beach trip, sorry I didn’t cue you in, but you’re welcome to meet me here. I’ll be at Fort Walton Beach for several more days (sandwiched between Pensacola and Destin). I had no idea it’d be this nice. My sister’s condo is amazing. The kids have their own little bunk room and we have a beautiful suite with an amazing view.
The sand is as white as snow and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The waves might not be the surfing kind, but I could sit on the beach and listen to them all day. There is nothing quite as healing as sitting on a beach. It is so peaceful and calming… I can actually hear myself think- everything seems so much clearer. And as I look at the beauty around me I can’t help but think that there is a greater hand in all of this. It is truly breathtaking.
Highlights include: feeling the sand between my toes, watching beautiful sunsets, sitting poolside and soaking up rays watching the kids swim, shell hunting, fishing, spending time with Rena and Chris, and enjoying lazy days.
Here's a sneak peak at our first couple days. (More pics to come later.)
This photo was taken our first night in Florida after a very long drive... looking a little tired.
This makes it all worth it.
For breakfast we hit a little joint called Camellia Grill, a quaint little French diner oceanside. I tried their beignets, sorta like moon craters, and their omelettes. Yum.
Little Man went in the ocean for a dollar from Uncle Chris. What he won't do for money. Temps were mid 60s, a little too cool for me. Call me what you will.
Please overlook the blinding white skin... it's been a while since this girl's seen the sun and there was no time for self tanning.
I appreciate all the concern and words of comfort that have been sent my way… I have amazing family and friends. Thank you. Unfortunately, we all have our bad days and our moments of weakness. I guess we just need to power through and not let it get the best of us. I’ve heard so many times how trials help us grow and that there are always some greater life lessons to be learned. It’s hard to have that perspective as you go through them. And you may even come out the other side and never be the wiser. So, my greatest challenge in life is learning how to act and not react as I am subjected to circumstances and trials beyond my control; learning to think of them as opportunities rather than impossible situations. And to enjoy the ride regardless.
I have many blessings to be grateful for that I have a tendency to take for granted, so I've decided to keep a gratitude journal. I think the daily reminders will be good for me because regardless of how it may feel at times, I have a really good life.
Today I am most thankful for a wonderful husband who works overtime to ensure my happiness, gainful employment, family, wonderful friendships, new days, fresh starts, a diverse, beautiful country, the opportunity to travel and explore new sites, and many good days ahead.
Please bare with me as I attempt to work through the complications and mysteries of "project Alicia".