(Last year's family beach vacation photo)


“For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish.” Hebrews 4:10-11 (NIV)


I start to write this blog as I sit on the balcony outside my bedroom, watching my sister-in-law, Lisa, gather up toys, towels, trash, beach bags and baby hats off the beach and carrying them up the walk toward our beach house.  Just a few years ago, we were in each other’s place as I was the one rounding up all my children’s “beach stuff” that they would leave behind on the beach.  Now she is doing the same for the next generation: her grandkids. 


Rest takes work.


(View after the nightly beach clean-up.) 


Miss Kay and her sister, Aunt Ann, will be driving up any minute from their annual run to the farmer’s market in town where they have stocked up on fresh fruits and vegetables and will be starting on tonight’s dinner of homemade chicken and dumplings, corn on the cob, black eyed peas and hot water cornbread (after bribing John Luke to carry up their bags from the car, no doubt). 


Rest takes work.


This is all expected on this single day during our annual Robertson beach vacation. This is Year 22. Reed had just had his first birthday when we started this tradition (we didn’t know it would turn into a tradition then), and we just celebrated his 22nd birthday a couple of nights ago.  I still remember the first condo we stayed in, with three bedrooms and a loft that Miss Kay rented for us. There were 12 of us then, and we thought we were a big family. There are 40 of us now, with one on the way. We take up 18 bedrooms plus 4 hall bunks, and we all pitch in to make it happen.


Rest takes work.


How many of you can relate on how much work goes into planning and preparing for vacation? Lisa spends hours just trying to find a house every year that will accommodate our small army!  When my boys were little, I would start washing clothes and making a list of items to bring days before we left. Then it’s a run to Wal-Mart for sunscreen, snacks, medicine, etc. Suitcases were the least of what was packed.  There were the floaties, life jackets, baby hats, portable crib, stroller, formula, etc.  Oh yeah, then there were Jase’s and my stuff! Jase would end up calling me out each year because he could see that I was completely stressed by the time we got into the car! But by the time we pulled out onto the highway, I would feel the stress start to dissipate. 


Rest takes work.


This week we have a three-year-old, a two-year-old and two one-year-olds. It can be a little loud at times and a lot dirty, especially with 11 other kids fifteen and under running in and out of the house constantly.  Let’s just say you grow another layer on the bottom of your feet that exists completely of sand (and maybe a few smashed Cheerios). No matter how much you sweep or vacuum, you can never get completely rid of it.   


Rest takes work.


There isn’t a whole lot in the Bible that talks about the importance of rest except for one day a week, the Sabbath.  That stemmed from what would be considered the most famous passage about resting after work, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”  - Genesis 2:2-3


Yesterday morning, all 40 of us gathered together with our coffee, Bible and Reed with his guitar.  We sang worship songs like, “What A Beautiful Name” and “Good Good Father” and listened as Jase lead our thoughts through scripture of how we need to look to Jesus for our ultimate healing. He read from Numbers 21:9 when Moses made a bronze snake and told the Israelites that anyone who was bitten by a snake would be healed when they looked at the sculpture.  Jesus referred to it again in John 3:14.  Was there power in the bronze snake? No. The power was their belief that God could heal them.  God heals us now through his son Jesus.  We were reminded as a family to keep looking to Jesus for our eternal healing. 


To hear from Miss Kay, Alan, Sadie and others who shared their hearts was both inspiring and comforting.  Knowing that, even with all our individual flaws and continual mess-ups, when we listen to each other’s hearts, we understand and are reminded that we are all trying to keep Jesus front and center.


It’s not easy getting 40 of us (and growing) together in the same week each year with all our kids, grandkids, gear, golf clubs, etc. to “rest”, and honestly, I’m not sure how long God will continue to grant this time to us, but I pray that He will. 


God encouraged His people to take one day out of the week to rest and focus on Him.  In today’s lifestyle, Sundays are quite full of work.  We usually find ourselves working 7 days a week.  That’s why our vacation is so important to us.  Even now, on vacation, I’m working on my blog and checking in all day long with my business back home.  I’m not sure we, as Americans, can really and truly separate rest from work.  But I believe we should try. 


Yesterday morning, it was refreshing to see everyone in our family focused on God and not on a smart phone, all at the same time.  We were focused on the scripture and listening to His word.  Even rounding everyone up to stop and focus took some effort.


Rest takes work.


But even God rested. 


Plan a week of rest and focus. You’ll be glad you did.


Have a wonderful week!


Garrett barringer :

Just saw your Instagram post about your blog. Decided to check it out. As a 15 year old boy it can be hard to understand stuff like this sometimes. Like friends texting you and asking you to go places all the time, or basketball 7 days a week. Then I realize all this stuff I think is a necessity is just temporary, and that my one goal is to grow with jesus. I love this post because it shows the importance of the little things. Not only resting but working. When god realized the work he did was good he rested! My coach always tells me it’s the little things. But anyhow I loved this post and what your family stands for. I pray one day I can have a family that stands for the same values as yours in this crazy world.

May 22, 2017

Hope y'all have a great vacation :

Hope y’all have a great vacation and I love y’all

May 22, 2017

Bev Dillinger:

I love this story, what an amazing family you have!

May 22, 2017


Missy, you are such an inspiration and truly a breath of fresh air.
I enjoyed reading your blog as it is quite similar to our growing family vacations. We have been going to the beach year after year and would not trade one second of any of our family vacations. Much like you, we have a very close family and our relationships are very strong. However, being in a house with all family members for a week can be a little testy at times but the love, fun and happy times definitely outweigh the testy moments. And we will continue to go ever year and make our beautiful memories.
God Bless you and your beautiful family.
brandy Brocato
Shreveport Louisiana

May 22, 2017


Loved this!! Very encouraging! ❤️

May 22, 2017

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