Every year Lacey and I take a trip somewhere with our husbands. We like to do this to maintain a balance and take the time away with our husbands since we live a unique and busy lifestyle! Two years ago we went to Costa Rica and something about it was so special we decided we would return this year! Being in such a beautiful setting gives you time to reflect on so many things and I feel in just being here I have learned so much from this culture!
So I want to share with you a few of the things I have learned from Costa Ricans:
Well this goes without saying in a lot of ways but I think that Costa Ricans love their babies in a way that spoke to this American momma. They embraced having their babies (and kids) with them no matter the surroundings.Their babies seem to be an added bonus to their already beautiful life not necessarily a to-do list or something needing vacation from. They take them to fancy restaurants, let them play, sip wine with their spouse while feeding their little ones and seem to actually enjoy it. They don’t seem to get their feathers ruffled by kids being kids and you know, neither do those around them. You don’t see sneers or whispers from waiters loathing that a family is coming their way, instead you see a warm welcome and smiles from all. Now, my vacation glimmer may just be reflecting a little brightly making it hard to see reality, but I feel like that this place really loves and embraces families and I love that! Our guide in the rainforest told us that there was a new adults-only resort coming to Costa Rica and no one understood this- for some reason this stood out to me so much! I love a good adults only resort- but these people- they want to have children all around- they want their kids engaging in the atmosphere. This spoke to me in so many ways because I want my kids to experience life, engage with people and cultures and learn that the world is a beautiful place.
Now this is something I have literally sat back in awe of being here the past few days. These women LOVE their bodies. They are beautifully curvy and they are completely comfortable in their skin! You can tell they are happy, healthy and free in that little bikini right after they just dominated the buffet and they didn't hold back the ceviche! (which by the way, could be the most amazing thing I have EVER put in my mouth!) Their men adore them and they know it. You know, this made me hold my birthed two babies head a little higher this week. I know that I have a husband that adores me and these women and their courage helped me rock that high-waisted retro two-piece bathing suit a little more confidently-now you won’t see me in a Brazilian-booty-hanging-out bathing suit anytime soon but I do appreciate a girl that feels confident in her own skin. I think in the “American this and that” we get so wrapped up in “lose weight, be happy” that I think we have missed the mark. We need to live healthy and live happy.
I have seen so much beauty this week- not only in the sunsets and beaches and the rainforest but how these people revel in it. They see the beauty in it all and I think that is amazing. We come from different parts of the world but we all have beauty where we are right? Whether it is a beautiful rainforest, a hilly plain or my backyard with my crazies running around- there is beauty everywhere we are willing to look right? One of the hostesses we were talking with tonight at dinner said how lovely the resort is and how she loves working here. I loved that! She was so thankful she is able to work in such a beautifully kept place. Man I think that is amazing. I think we often feel our surroundings are owed us or “of course this place would be nice” rather than appreciating we get to take in such beauty day to day. That is a choice my friends- finding beauty all around you. Just like us, I am sure she could find a number of things to nitpick or complain about but instead she chooses beauty and joy. I love it and I made a mental note sweet hostess lady that asks me to fill out a survey every time as we sit for dinner. noted.
Now this is something that I learned from experience more so from observation. So the shore where we are staying here in Costa Rica is very shelly and the waves are CRAZY! If you are near where the waves are breaking you will get swept away and thrown to and fro. If you are resisting and swimming away you come up totally exhausted and beat- but if you just submit to the tide and roll with it you will experience a thrilling ride. If you are trying to get out of the water when the tide is coming back you might-as-well just give up- that water will not let you pass and you will end up like a washed up mermaid. I think this mirrors what it is like to truly follow Christ. Often in the lives of Christ followers we resist God’s tide. We resist letting God lead us. This is where we can experience the most thrilling ride. Now, that is not to say you won’t experience roughness or a few hits on the sand but you will come out better, stronger and learning to trust Him more. If you submit to the ebs and flows that following Christ brings you will draw closer to Him, therefore closer to the goal of our lives- to love God and to love others.
I hope and pray that this trip has opened my eyes a little wider to the beauty in the every day. The beauty in my little crazy ones that fill my house and my heart. The love that my man brings home everyday, the body that God has given me to live this life and the dependence I can have on the ultimate protector, my God. My hope is that we can all take a lesson from the Costa Ricans and from one another- be well, love well and eat the ceviche-it’s heavenly. I am thankful for the pockets of God's grace in this life. I have had so many and this week I had it in the form of naps, beaches, amazing friends and conversation, huge waves and stunning scenery. Where are the pockets of grace in your life? Open your eyes to them- if we are willing to look we will see them, God presents them daily.
Some snaps from our beautiful time in Costa Rica
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