One of the most memorable spring break vacations I’ve been on is when my older kids were four and five years old. We took them to North Carolina to visit my sister and her family, and joined them on a trip to Orlando. We went to Disneyworld and saw all of the sights there. We waited in lines, took the kids on rides, and ate the popular foods. It was exciting, but the park and the crowd were overwhelming.
At another time (not on spring break), my husband and I took the kids and went to Chicago. He’d always wanted to see the Sears Tower (as it was called at the time). I’m scared of heights, and being so far up with glass windows and small children gave me anxiety. There was much about the trip that I loved, but at the time I was really nervous and again overwhelmed.
I could go into detail about other trips we went on, like Niagara Falls,and Brockway Mountain and Lake of the Clouds in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where my anxiety kept me from enjoying myself.
You can see that crowds and high places make me nervous. That’s why I like quiet vacations on the water.
Living in Michigan, we are surrounded by the Great Lakes. I’ve seen most of them. My favorite is Lake Superior. Despite the water being cold, it is so pure that you can see the rocks on the bottom clearly.
We’ve stayed in motels along Lake Huron in both Mackinac City and St. Ignace. I enjoyed sitting on the beach there, especially in the mornings when it was quiet all around.
I’ve visited Lake Michigan many times and waded in the water close to shore.
One of my favorite places is surrounded by calm water, Mackinac Island in Michigan. I don’t mind the ferry ride to get there. I’ve gone on a bike ride around the island twice, taking in the beautiful shoreline.
Psalm 23 reads:
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters; He restores my soul… Psalm 23: 1-3a.
There is more to the Psalm than that, but those two sentences, He leads me beside the still waters; He restores my soul, are meaningful to me. I struggle with social anxiety. I’m nervous in groups of people, no matter how many are around. I have a hard time going to unfamiliar places. Sitting and looking out over still waters calms my soul.
I don’t want to let anxiety rule my life, however. I need to remember that even if I’m not sitting beside still waters, the Holy Spirit in me can bring me peace, even in the midst of a crowd.
This pandemic has made me even more isolated than I was before. Now a difficult winter is behind me and the weather is getting nicer, I’m tired of being at home.
I want to get out and go on adventures. I want to return to Mackinac Island this summer. I’d also like to take the train to Chicago and visit the Navy Pier. Will it give me anxiety? Most likely. Will it be worth the effort? Most definitely.
My daughter has taken the train to Chicago and Ubered around downtown for a conference. I’d like to take her with me, because she’s already been there and will know her way around. I want to trust that even in a crowded city, my soul will remain calm.
Do you have an adventure you’d like to go on this spring or summer?