I’m not sure who coined the term “staycation”, but I’ll bet they didn’t have small children.
For those of you unfamiliar with the word, a “staycation” is a vacation at home, free from the physical and financial stress of travel. Now for someone who works away from home 40+ plus hours a week, this may sound ideal. To a stay-at-home mom of four, a staycation is not appealing.
Because, of course, laundry still has to be done, meals have to be made, and diapers need to be changed.
The “stay” part feels very familiar, but where’s my “cation”??
And it is from precisely this selfish attitude that I find myself in need of Sunday’s message from Colossians.
Because yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Vallier family is on staycation!
If you missed Jon’s message at Alliance Bible Church yesterday, “Home Sweet Home” , (you can catch it on the website, myabc.church/messages), it had to do with the ordering of household relationships from a biblical standpoint.
“ Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers,[do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.” (Colossians 3:18-25, 4:1)
Jon noted the scandalous nature of this message both in ancient times and today. We tend to think of serving one another as debasing ourselves, as making ourselves “less than”, but in reality, Jesus is our example of loving service that does not diminish our own value in the slightest.
Furthermore, verse 24 emphasizes that who we are really serving at the end of the day is JESUS. The same Jesus who left a kingdom to come to earth and be crucified on my behalf.
So back to staycation.
Jon and I plan out our weeks on Sundays, and the week of staycation is no exception. We had both made lists of what we wanted to most do this week and Jon wrote up a rough weekly schedule attempting to incorporate both our desires.
I was not impressed with the result.
Where was the fun stuff?
The ice cream cones?
What’s the point of a staycation when the most exciting activity is painting the deck?
I do believe I have found myself an opportunity to practice what we have learned from Colossians 3.
What is the submissive wife to do?
Say nothing and inwardly resent Jon’s inability to infuse the right amount of excitement into our weekly plan?
Berate him for not reading my mind and knowing that staycation is hard enough without having something more to look forward to than the same old routine of household chores?
Humbly make some suggestions but ultimately trust Jon’s leadership and know that even if staycation is everything I feared, it is okay because I am serving the Lord Christ?
Hmmm. Maybe that last one.
Today has been the first day of staycation.
The children were up at an ungodly hour. I am serving the Lord Christ . The laundry desperately needed to be done. I am serving the Lord Christ. The kids are “hangry”. I am serving the Lord Christ. The two-year-old overflowed his diaper onto the carpet. I am serving the Lord Christ. (Okay, technically JON was serving Jesus on that one).
Jon and I take our coffee to the deck after the tornado that is breakfast preparation, consumption, and cleanup. We read some of our marriage book. Jon holds the baby. The boys play inside “nicely” (there were only a couple of screams). The laundry is in the washing machine. The birds chirp merrily.
There have been no unicorns yet, but I am optimistic that staycation won’t be the worst thing ever.
And if it is, as I feared, a very normal week of cooking, cleaning, and tending children? And if I submit but he doesn’t love and they don’t obey? And if my expectations of the “cation” portion of “staycation” are not met?
“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” -Mother Teresa
I will, by the power of the Holy Spirit, love, serve, and submit anyway.
…but I’m still hoping for a unicorn.