When you’re married with children, and you also happen to be partners as creatives, ministers, and entrepreneurs, you need to have time to get away, clear your head, rest, recover and reconnect. So we decided to go on a short staycation.

Our 5 days and 4 nights away immediately turned into only 4 days and 4 nights because mommy dearest has many, many, several preparations for the kids every time she leaves them for more than 3 days. So we began the staycation with a reduction. Our 2-hour ride to our destination was filled with conversation, laughter and junk food. We finally arrived at our villa at midnight. Hubby’s sheer exhaustion and wifey’s late night scrolling on Instagram trumped the desire for each other, so we both laid down at the same time but went to sleep at separate times and not in each other’s arms. Not exactly the kick off we had expected since our imaginations were running wild for each other the weekend before we left.

Morning 1 started off ‘special’ because we had a couple of unmet business obligations that we neglected to handle prior to leaving. Soooo, we awoke early to work and deadlines which caused tension on our 1st day of R & R. First we lost a day before we even got there, then we lost this morning after, then venting and lightweight arguing ensued and became the soundtrack of our day, so we lost that, too. Our attempt at a truce could have been aided by a “special wrestling” match, but wifey’s unwanted monthly visitor impeded the consummation of our truce. Just great! So then there was tension about that. We didn’t go to sleep mad but we didn’t necessarily go to sleep happy. We just prayed and went to sleep. If only we had meant what we prayed, we probably wouldn’t have awakened somewhere in the middle.

So two nights and 1 day is gone and no rest nor relaxation has happened. Now we’re on day 2 realizing that wifey’s pent-up frustrations need to be dealt with and hubby’s silent avoidance needs to speak. So we spend the day working through that and we end the night with intimate conversation, much understanding, affection, and prayer, but genuine this time. Yet still no “special wrestling” thanks to wifey’s unwanted visitor that is still very present. Nevertheless, we go to sleep happy and in each other’s arms and we rest well on night 3.

Now it’s day 3 and we didn’t sleep long but we slept sound. We wake to some good prayer, bible and book reading and then decide to explore the city a little bit. Wifey’s not fond of heights but hubby hang glides off of 3600 feet mountains, so there’s inconsistent feelings about taking a tram ride 8500 ft up into the mountains, yet we decided to go ahead and dangle in the air while hanging on those cables and in between those rocks up where the eagles fly. While hubby is enjoying the view and the ride up, wifey’s low key having anxiety attacks, closing her eyes, holding the bars in the tram all super tight, and totally considering the possibility of falling. Meanwhile, the tram driver tells us to “lean in” whenever we get to the bumpy parts of the ride, and when he said that, the lights came on. He was talking about the tram ride up the mountain but we hear it as divine advice for our life.

Back at home, there are the challenges associated with caring for multiple children and all the responsibilities of home-life, a marriage that requires daily maintenance, professional demands, ministry demands, and the overall establishment and facilitation of vision. But all of these challenges can be conquered with a decision to just lean into them.

See the purpose of the staycation was to escape them, maybe even ignore them (at least for a couple of days) and definitely not have to discuss them. The purpose of the staycation was to deal with being overwhelmed and overburdened by them. But after the tram ride, we realized that the purpose of the staycation was to have a shift in perspective so that we could go back home and began to lean into them.

God gives us the grace to handle all that we have, all that we are, and all that we must be. Many of us desire to grow and go to higher levels but then we resist some of the demands and challenges that come with it. We believe that what we learned on that tram ride was to lean into the challenges, as opposed to running or resisting or complaining or crumbling under the pressure. We also learned that we should lean into God for the grace to manage, to handle, to be stretched, and to rise and shine for his glory, in all aspects of our being. That’s spiritually, relationally, professionally, financially and otherwise. We had to be 8500 ft above the ground dangling in the sky on a tram to hear the wisdom and take the advice but we heard it, we took it, and now we’re leaning in.

So our advice to you is, don’t let fear and frustration make you flee. Let faith make you face your self, your life and “lean in” to God for the grace to handle it all.

“May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:2-3 (New Living Translation).