SOOOOOOOOOOO, not that long ago I took a trip to Vegas, this is a huge stretch for me!  Remember me?  Country girl, simple, knows nothing about pop culture and lives in the heartbeat of the Bible belt!? Yap, I went to Vegas.  Not ONLY did I go to Vegas, I went sans husband and children (SAY WHAT!?).  Yap; me…solo; on a plane all by myself for the first time in my life, me in L.A. for the first time in my life then me in Vegas on a trip alone for the first time in my life.  You get the picture, right?  A whole buncha firsts!  Do you have any idea how guilty I felt? It was terrible!

The weeks leading up to the trip I was a wreck and kept trying to talk my way out of it, but you remember that awesome guy I told you about? My hubba hubby was NOT letting me get out of this, ESPECIALLY after I had already saved and scraped and PAID for tickets and a show and a house!  I just felt so guilty like maybe I was abandoning my children and what if my husband didn’t do things EXACTLY my way and then there’s the still nursing baby, how on earth was she going to survive (or how was daddy going to survive with a nursling)!? Don’t worry, everyone survived and even fared well! BUT my mommy mind did NOT think it was going to happen that way because my mommy mind (with Satan whispering) just knew someone was going to drown or run into the street (in our fully fenced yard) or the great fire of 2016 would consume my family before I got home to them. Seriously, moms, why are we so hard on ourselves, and why all the guilt? And WHY in the WORLD do dads get so little credit?  That’s another post, but I am quite happy to say that none of the above happened and even the nursing baby survived without mommy for a few days, though she is still mad at me I think.

SOOOO…here is the story:

Ok, so I have obviously had a LOT of mommy guilt over my recent trip, but after talking with my lovely grandma I realized I really don’t have to feel guilty. One big thing I remembered on my trip was that I was me too. I will ALWAYS be a wifey and mommy and those are the two most important roles in my life and I wouldn’t change them for all the girl trips in the world, but it was fun to remember who I was. Once upon a time I was a girl who wasn’t afraid to try new things. A long time ago I was a girl who didn’t plan her wardrobe around wearing layers so nursing life is easier. I even ate meals without worrying if the kids didn’t like mushrooms (or escargot) because I didn’t have to share lol! I got to do those things on my trip. I got to connect with friends and have girl time and talk about God and everything in His earth (really), and I was SO blessed to be able to do all of this without worrying about anyone but myself. I KNOW that sounds terrible, horrible, no good, very bad and selfish of me, BUT, it was nice. I recharged my battery for the first time in years and (GASP) it felt good. It was nice to be…me. I remembered that I used to write…a LOT…and I used to listen to grown up (secular even) music and I LOVED wearing boots! Anyway, so I felt SO guilty during the days leading up to my trip.  THEN I was terrified because I have never IN MY LIFE flown alone…THEN I was a little afraid of Vegas!  I mean, have you met me??? I am a moderately conservative gal from Central Oklahoma, we do NOT let kids into casinos and we don’t sell alcohol on Sundays (or in anything but a liquor store or after 9pm any other day of the week…no, really, this is our law).  Vegas scared me, but my layover in LA terrified me (HAHAHAHA).  I think this trip kind of allowed me to grow up a bit AND remember myself again.

So anyway, back to the matter at hand, you know, that guilt I was overwhelmed with…the minute I saw my friends in the airport the guilt went away.  I mean, sure I hid while I pumped (remember, I’m still a nursing mommy!) because I cried, I mean, my family pretty much defines me anymore! But the things my husband had been saying for months finally sank in; I deserved this.  I mean, I still don’t know that I actually DESERVED it, but he told me I did so I better not waste that time feeling guilty, right?  So I chose not to and I had a blast.  I saw those girls in the airport and my fears left me and my guilt left me and the weight holding me down just blew away.

I don’t know about those girls, but for me it was a soul cleanse…in good ole Sin City!  And I think I speak for all of us when I say we left so much more full than when we arrived. God was with us that weekend. I prayed all the way on the plane that in some way God would be glorified on that trip and I believe He was. Stories were shared that changed lives forever.  Bonds were made that will never be broken.  Friendships were formed in a unique way that nobody can come between.  My weekend began with a nervous country girl being full of guilt and ended with the heart of a sinner realizing that change is ALWAYS taking place and remembering that God brings each and every person into our lives for a reason.

What in the world is the moral of this story, you ask.  Well, my friends let go of the guilt.  I mean, with all the sin running rampant there is PLENTY to feel guilty for!  So let go of this crazy mommy (or daddy) guilt that rules our lives. WHY is it when we become parents we absolutely forget who we were before that as if we will be harshly judged because we used to be…well, not a parent? You were a couple before you were parents, you were a person before you were a couple, so, mommies (and daddies), don’t forget who you are.  In this crazy time we call parenthood, take some time for you. I KNOW that is SO cliché, but it is the honest to God truth.  Nurture your marriage and yourself so you are able to nurture your family.  Take a time out, spend some time alone (or with friends!) to find yourself again.  You may begin the time out being wrought with guilt, but I promise you can learn to let go of that guilt and leave renewed with a completely new outlook on life.  That, my friends, is a blessing.
Ok, so that was not the Vegas story you wanted, right!? Just remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!!! BUT, I’ll for sure share a few pictures (and sure, even some stories…especially about FOOD) sometime soon!

“Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there, if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139:7-12 NIV).  See, God is everywhere.


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