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My family and I recently returned from a 3-week, 4000-mile road trip to the Grand Canyon National Park’s North rim, several parts of Utah, and Grand Teton National Park. It was an amazing journey, not easily summed up when friends ask me, “How was your trip?” I usually have no other words of response other than, “It was amazing.”

How was my trip? It was amazing to be gone for so very long. We had taken a similar trip five years ago, but it was only two weeks. This trip was 18 days—almost 3 times the length of a normal vacation, this span gave us the time to get used to being gone and long to come back. I’m grateful to have gone, to have had the people to support our going, and to have our people to whom we return.

How was my trip? It was amazing to connect with my family for 18 days of almost uninterrupted time together. Joel and I decided we needed this trip as our eldest will be starting her senior year in high school. How many more chances will we get? It turns out that this intentional time together, this distraction-free journey revealed a deeper love for my family than even I could realize. My husband is so incredibly kind and patient and steady. Each of my three children is witty and deep and fascinating in his or her own way. I’m grateful for each person in my family and how they love me.

How was my trip? It was amazing to get to see some of the most spectacular places in our country as well as some of the most mundane. There are gifts everywhere. When we drove through my “homeland” of west Texas, my children were attempting to convince me of the beauty of the mesquite tree. We saw not-our-usual wildflowers and critters, including the fattest chipmunk in the world. The variety and beauty that our Creator has placed in the world is a gift, and we saw it. I’m grateful that we are able to see it.

How was my trip? It was amazing to have so much leisure time, with nothing much to fill it. I joke that my brain is still in the mountains because I feel so easygoing about things, but I think it is because of that intentional time of “reset”—that pause from the influx of all the messages, from all the emails, from all the whirlwind of noise that happens so easily unless we intentionally escape it. I’m grateful to return with my mind renewed and my spirit refreshed.

How was my trip? It was amazing to see with open eyes the faithfulness of God and his provision for us each step of the way. Even when our “Silver Girl’s” battery conked out in Wyoming, that kind stranger that gave us a jump, that one shop still open with one battery to fit, that kind mechanic that took the old battery from us---there was a provision. I’m grateful that He revealed himself in so many ways.

I hope we all find this kind of time again, to do the work to leave things behind for a while, to have the trust in God to provide, to have the people that support it, to have the means and the spirit of adventure to take it, but most of all, to have the people who bring us back.

How was my trip? It was amazing.


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