How a trip to Arkansas made me miss my messy life

A Good and Perfect Gift came out in September of 2011, and I embarked on a year of promotional interviews and speaking gigs from Virginia to Washington D.C. to North Carolina to New York City to Michigan to Chicago, and to various local venues in New Jersey and Connecticut. But this year, given our family’s move, I decided to suspend my travel schedule indefinitely.

Except this week. On Wednesday, I traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas, for an interview session with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine, cohosts of Family Life Radio. Singer/songwriter/author Jennifer Shaw joined me, and together we recorded two shows about parenting children with special needs. The shows will air in March or April (and I will share a link then).

It felt like going on vacation. Getting from Connecticut to Arkansas is a travel feat, so I left my home on Tuesday morning and I returned Thursday afternoon. I had four hours of time with Family Life, which left dozens of hours on my own.

I got two gloriously uninterrupted nights of sleep.

I read Philippians 1 and prayed for my husband and children and friends in need.

I ran on the treadmill.

I responded to nearly one hundred emails.

I ordered room service.

I read books and magazines.

I sat outside in the sunlight and chatted with an old friend by phone.

I finished editing my upcoming ebook on prenatal testing, wrote a few blog posts, commented on a few other writer’s book proposals, and wrote a letter supporting a new Friendship House initiative in Durham, NC.

Oh, and I started writing a proposal for my next book.

I felt productive, mature, balanced.

And I missed my family.

I missed Marilee’s rendition of Old MacDonald and her insistence that I sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider (“pidah!”) instead of a lullaby at bedtime.

I missed William’s mix of four-year old and grown-up words: “Mom, I don’t think that’s a great option. What if we goed somewhere else?”

I missed Penny’s insistence on a bear hug morning, noon, and night.

I’m incredibly grateful for the break. And incredibly grateful to return to my messy, inefficient, bordering-on-chaotic, life of love.

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).

Comments

  1. Remember that song from the 80s, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago? It starts with the line: “Everybody needs a little time away.” I love my family but there is nothing like a little time away to live into what I’ve also been called to do alongside being a mom to re-energize me for the everyday challenges, and joys, of motherhood! =) Thanks for sharing and I’m excited to hear more about your next book project!

  2. I had some of that time away stuff going on last month, spending a long weekend in Monterey for a judicial conference. Monterey’s great and the conference was productive, but I sure missed home.
    Tim

  3. My kids are nearly grown now, but I remember traveling to speak when they were small. It was so wonderful to have time to myself–and yet I missed them and felt a bit guilty for leaving. But I realized that I was a better mom when I was there, if I took some time away once in a while. Time without my kids made me a better parent when I was with them.

  4. Feeling jealous! Glad you enjoyed yourself, you deserved it!


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