Posts tagged #vacation

Do You Ever Want to Escape?

I look forward to going on vacation.  Do you ever want to escape?

A vacation is an escape from the day-to-day routine where we get to explore, adventure and be alive.  Sometimes I just want to escape this reality I am living in.  In general, I love my life, but don’t you just wish you were somewhere else sometimes?

My family and I recently took a two week vacation to Hawaii thanks, in large part, to my mom.  My husband and I began to await the blessed time from the moment we booked the tickets. We entertained the idea of being together and showing the kids new places.  Every day I began to prepare for our up and coming adventure.

As we boarded the plane, all of us were overwhelmed with excitement.  A trip to Hawaii had been a dream for our kids for as long as we could remember.  When we arrived in the land filled with palm trees, warm and tropical breezes, we settled into a wonderful time.  But two weeks is a long time.

Days passed by. The excitement began to wear off and we began living life in Hawaii.  We were homeschooling, making dinner, doing laundry and dishes, and picking up the home we were living in.  Funny, these are all the same things that I do at home. 

And then my kids began to have attitude, being ungrateful and disobedient.  They argued about doing schoolwork and pestered their siblings.  Sadly, similar to the behaviors we work on at home.  My husband and I, who had been all giddy at first, sank into our regular routine and began to treat each other with familiarity.  I began to see the ugly faces of selfishness and disregard that I fight at home.

I pondered these things one morning.

I realized escaping from reality . . . from marriage . . . from children . . . from life, while blissful at first, will end up right where we were before.  The grass will look greener, but in real life we bring with us all the junk we had at home.  In Hawaii, we had just changed locations.  Sure, we went sightseeing, to the beach, surfing, and made all kinds of wonderful memories.  But the truth is that any ugliness in our hearts travels with us regardless of our location.

I might sit at home any day and just wish to be on vacation.  It is a longing for escape from what I don’t want to face; kind of like TV and movies for me.  But I will still love vacations.  God said to me one morning on the beach that I am a work in progress wherever I am.  My kids and my husband, they too, are His masterpiece that He is creating over time.  All six of us in our family are sinners.  So while I may long for a change of venue to somewhere tropical, I know that a vacation will not change our hearts and our souls and the escape will not have the effect I am hoping for.  Why do I think my kids will be better behaved driving two hours to Volcano National Park than they are here in Southern California?

I came home with a different appreciation for here and now.  Because I should never wish to be somewhere different than where God has me.  The grass is not greener, because it is a mirage.  When I get there, the grass will be the same color as mine.  The escape has all the hype without the follow through.

So for now, no matter if we are in Southern California, Hawaii, Australia, Germany . . . wherever the Lord leads us, I will remember, this is right where God has us.  All our “stuff “has made it to baggage claim with our luggage and we are to deal with it right where we are.  No fancy escape plan, just good old-fashion learning and growing, failing and forgiving, right where God has us.

1 Cor. 7:17 “And don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there!”

Unplugging the Family

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?

Posted on January 29, 2015 and filed under Parenthood, Spiritual Growth.