We're on one of those really long family road trips. The kind that parenting experts suggest will imprint fond memories in your children's psyche. And the kind where you never leave home without a bottle of Tylenol and your favorite cup of strongly caffeinated, black coffee.

So, as we're driving and watching the scenic countryside, I try to forget that my cramped legs desperately need a stretch. Instead, I reframe and feel super-proud that I'm providing my children with emotional equilibrium and life-long family memories…

I'm sure they'll never forget the never-ending quests for sugary snacks, the onslaught of ultra-charged comments like: "Are we there yet?" or "I'm soooo bored!" and "Where are we going?!" Not to mention the endless squabbles.

I know I sure won't.

It's getting darker outside. It's a summer rainstorm—huge claps of thunder, frightening streaks of lightening and a flood of heavy rain.

As the noise from the passenger seats of our van gets louder (these must be even fonder family memories being formed), I'm starting to have doubts about whether we really are on the right track. (Not a good idea to share with my stressed-out-in-the-driver's-seat husband.) But doubt has crept into my consciousness and won't go away. Have we missed our exit? Taken a wrong turn? (An even worse suggestion to offer to now-more-stressed-out husband.) And my worst personal fear—are we almost out of gas?

It's been an awfully long time since I spotted the last road sign. And the darker it becomes, the harder I strain to see ahead.

And then, when the despair is almost reaching a fever pitch, I see it. Just another couple of hundred feet away – a rest stop.


Time to stop. Time to stretch. Time to regroup, refocus and remind everyone why we're on this journey, with one another. Time to stock up on cold drinks, new sweets, fuel for the car, and high-powered energy for those driving it.

It's also time to get directions. To reevaluate and make sure we're on the best route.

I heave a sigh of relief. Intuitively, I know that once we get back on the road, everyone will be far more calm and sure of where they are heading.

Our lives, too, are one long journey. Along the way, we each have personal missions to accomplish. Some are big and all-encompassing, while others are smaller, but nevertheless just as important in the overall picture.

As we pass through the various intersections in our lives, sometimes, through it all, life's tediousness bogs us down. The detours along the way cramp our style, make us thirsty, irritated or give us a throbbing headache. Sometimes, we even forget our destination or why we're here. There are moments when the journey seems pointless, monotonous or hopelessly frustrating.

And then, we sight it. Off in the distance, a few days ahead on our desktop calendars, are our rest stops – our holidays, interspersed throughout the year.

These special days are opportunities to restock, to fill up on spiritual nourishment, direction, and reconnection. It's a time to become reinvigorated, refocus on our journey, our purpose, to evaluate where we're heading and if we're on the right route.

So, enjoy the drive. Don't miss out on the glorious beauty of the scenery around (or your kids). And take real good advantage of those rest stops all along the way.