Welcome to my weekly Slow Day post, inspired by Monica from The Homespun Heart. My Word for 2018 is Slow and, in the spirit of that word, I’m taking one day each week (Wednesday) off — I’ll be unplugged and offline and plan to move at a slower pace, take time to do things that refresh me, and just really focus on being present and savoring the moment.
Each week, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into my Slow Day. Enjoy a little peek into our lives!
I flew to Fort Smith, Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon to meet up with my friends, MacKenzie and Rebekah. They picked me up at the airport and we drove to Branson, MO and stayed there overnight. I had planned the trip so that my Slow Day would be the day we’d have a full day together — which would allow me to be completely offline and able to just enjoy our time together!
It didn’t go exactly as I had planned (see how it started below). But it ended up being a great day!
I wrote a little about Wednesday on Instagram:
Some days, friendship looks like scheming with another friend to plan a surprise getaway for a mutual friend who has had a really rough year.
Sometimes friendship looks like sitting and crying with a friend who has received devastating news. Sometimes, it looks like helping in very practical ways.
This past week, friendship looked like intentionally setting aside conversations about a pending divorce and looming legal fees and, instead, using free passes to go to Silver Dollar City as three grown women (without our 11 kids!), riding rides, eating amazing apple turnovers, getting soaked on water rides, laughing over ridiculous things, squealing and screaming and holding our hands up on roller coasters, and just having FUN together.
It didn’t erase the heartache or fix the situation or solve a thousand issues that still need to be figured out, but sometimes, friendship doesn’t have to do any of those things. It just needs to say, “I’m here, I love you, and you need a break.”
Monday had been a L-O-N-G day and then I didn’t get much sleep Monday evening because I had stayed up late packing and had an early flight out on Tuesday morning. I didn’t get near the work done that I had hoped to get done on the flights and had some pressing deadlines on Tuesday.
So, on Tuesday evening, after we hung out together and had dinner and the other two ladies went to bed, I stayed up to finish my projects. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up getting them done until 1:45 a.m. Wednesday morning! 🙁
(I love my job. I love blogging. And I love the flexibility that it provides me. But there are definitely times when it is just plain hard work — and you would much rather be sleeping but there are deadlines you have to stick with and projects you have to finish, so you just suck it up and power through!)
I had hoped to sleep well on Tuesday night — once I finally got to bed! — but I think because I stayed up so late (early!) and wasn’t in my own bed, I just struggled to sleep. So I felt exhausted when I pulled myself out of bed on Wednesday morning. But I made myself go down and get on the hotel treadmill — even though I didn’t feel like it at all (as the picture above clearly shows!)
I have learned that exercise is one of the best ways to wake you up — especially when it’s the last thing you feel like doing! It’s amazing what running a mile on the treadmill, drinking water, and getting a shower will do!
While I was on the treadmill, I prayed for strength and grace to be able to have energy to give and love and pour into MacKenzie — and to be a fun person to be around, despite the lack of sleep! And God answered those prayers in a big way!
The view from our hotel.
Hotel breakfast — this is typically what I’ll eat if there aren’t any whole grain/whole wheat options or great fruit options at a complimentary hotel breakfast
We stopped by Starbucks and I ordered a London Fog. I don’t usually do caffeine, but today I made an exception — and it was worth it! (I use Swagbucks to get my Starbucks gift cards for free.)
Rebekah had free guest passes to Silver Dollar City so we had so much fun introducing MacKenzie to this fun park. I grew up going here almost every year so there are so many great memories for me and it’s one of my favorite places!
We went to Grandfather’s Mansion first thing and laughed so hard.
It’s hard to describe this place. You kind of just have to experience it for yourself!
We spent a lot of the day waiting in line — since this was a busy time of year to go (we usually go in September when it’s much less crowded!).
We also watched the very cheesy and corny Saloon Show.
And waited in more lines! 🙂
The one thing I bought at the park was a $4 Apple Turnover that we split. It was so good — and worth the $$. (I brought in my own food — bran muffins, cheese sticks, and oranges. And I brought a water bottle and there were various places throughout the park where you can refill it. I love that they allow you to bring in your own food and drinks!)
Waiting in more lines! This time for one of my favorite rides — Wildfire.
We ended the day by getting soaked on the Great American Plunge. We laughed so hard and it was so good for our souls!
I realized as we were walking back to the car that I had forgotten how tired I was and had been able to just show up fully with lots of energy for the day. It had been so much FUN! And I felt so grateful for this opportunity — and grateful for God answering my prayers!
We drove back to Forth Smith, Arkansas on Wednesday evening so I could catch my flight out the next morning. It was so great to get to talk and catch up and just get to be together and be with MacKenzie and let her know how much we love her and are standing with her during this hard time in her life.
It wasn’t a typical Slow Day, but it was so good to check out from the normal pace of life. I said goodbye to MacKenzie and Rebekah feeling so refreshed and happy! And then I slept really, really well! 🙂