“I miss the kids.”
Not surprisingly, this is the statement a finally-all-alone mommy and daddy utter most on the ever-elusive tropical island we all dream of visiting. Ironically, the very first word spoken to me by a local on the US Virgin Islands was “mamita.” I’m going to hope the denotation – “mommy” – was meant given the context.
Still, St. Thomas is altogether beautiful – a paradise of sorts. The sun is always out, the weather is always warm, and the water is always clear.
The picture (above) was hanging in the kitchen where we stayed. There is a little boy and a little girl under a tree. When we were young, my husband and I would always buy cards with the little boy and girl for one another and say it was us. If you look closely, you’ll see a man sitting off to the right. “Who’s the man?” “Easy. That’s God. He’s with us.”
My husband and I went alone and stayed in a small cottage atop one of the ubiquitous steep hills. Living on Red Hook Mountain for a week had its share of ups and downs if you know what I mean. We learned quickly that you need to rent a car unless you like walking the Summit three times a day, you need a driver like MacGyver to park it up there, and passengers should just shut their eyes and pray while MacGyver drivers attempt three point turns alongside the cliff.
That said, we absolutely adored the cottage. The view was magnificent – just like the pictures you see on tv. Every morning the sunrise woke us up to what felt like our second honeymoon. From the flower the husband found floating randomly underwater for me to his mispronunciation of St. Croix – St. Crooks, St. Crow, and my personal favorite, St. Croaks, every day was perfect. Little wonder – we spent most of our time in “Nazareth.” Of course it was not the Nazareth, but there is absolutely no doubt that my redeemer was there with us.
We spent a lot of time snorkeling and exploring the different beaches. We saw a lot of unique sea life, corral reefs, and even went out on a sailboat one day.
Taking a trip like this alone with your spouse sends you back – especially when you’ve been together for almost 18 years. It really just reminded me of when we first met and fell in love. No cares or worries – just hot summer days and time with one another.
As we stood in line to go through customs in the airport before we left, a man asked where we were from. He told us he’d gone to seminary in Ambridge, PA and we ended up having a mutual friend. Before our flights whisked us all back to the snow and cold, this man sat and listened to us, offered great encouragement, and prayed for us right there in the airport. There is no doubt the Lord sent him to us. Thank you, Pastor Dana for praying for us. God answered.
And I couldn’t be more thankful. I could not be more thankful. We had an amazing trip. I have an amazing husband. We have a very concerned, involved, caring, and amazing God. We found him walking on the beaches in Nazareth last week and he made sure we knew he was leading us home.
Thank you, Father, for your mercy and grace upon our marriage. Thank you, husband, for your generosity and sacrifice for me all the time. Thank you, parents, for taking care of our children, dogs, and home. Thank you, pastor, for your prayers. Thank you, St. Thomas, for renewing our love. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.