We love to get away.
My husband and I love to travel. We love to explore and be adventurers. We love to leave the worries of home, the to-do lists and the constant pressure of life behind and “get out of Dodge”. Sometimes we hop on a plane or jump in the car for a long road trip, but most of the time we go just a hour or two from our home to somewhere close to nature. Anywhere that God’s creation is close enough to touch the senses and join together in the harmony of life.
This last weekend, we headed up to our local mountains. We took away cell phones, Ipads and went wireless for the weekend. This is a Young family rule for getaways. With two thirteen-year-old boys on the trip (my son and a friend), it is always a stretch to get them to leave behind their cyber world. I find even my girls and my six-year-old son blossom in the non-technical world of yesteryear.
Have you ever wanted to grab away their phones and yell “Look at me!”?
Do you ever feel like the invisible friends they are texting are capturing their hearts?
How did my six-year-old learn to love all these online games?
Yeah, me, too!
But when we get away and unplug – something magical happens. Sure, they complain at first, but eventually, my kids are my kids again. This weekend, we played games – old-fashioned board games. They played for hours in the creek behind the house. The older kids found freedom biking around the lake and through the very small mountain community. They were bored for awhile, but then their God-given creativity took hold and they built forts. They baked. They cleaned up the cabin. They created memories.
As a family, we reconnected hiking to a near by waterfall. We went biking and antiquing and bowling. We watched a couple of family friendly movies together by the fire. We laughed and we joked. The young men come up with very silly ways to express themselves. We had home church on Sunday.
Why is this important?
There are so many great reasons to unplug from technology and get back to the simpler things in life. We have seen Matt. 6:21 come to life “For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also”.
First, I see the addictive personalities in my kids and in myself. This lesson is only really learned when we take away the object of our obsession. It is funny how they act like a minute away is a death sentence, but after the weekend they tend to need it less. Second, I feel like life is happening all around my kids and they may miss it! The true experiences and conversations are happening in the moment. I work hard to help my kids understand that these minutes in time will not be repeated. Next, when we are always connected it is harder to experience the quiet times need to spend time with the Lord and evaluate our own lives. Something is always beeping or flashing to get our attention. They seem to always interrupt our family conversation times. Lastly, there is something entirely unique and wonderful about being face-to-face with others. Yes, we can text and facebook, but nothing will replace the experience of looking at another person in the eye and sharing our heart and dreams. Family time is meant to be shared together and not all co-existing in our own worlds.
Our family has decided that family vacations and getaways are our times together. We also take off certain days at home too as “non-tech days”. We hold on to them tightly because we know the world wants to rob us of these special times together. So unplug with your kids and see what happens.
Do you need an “unplugged” vacation?