Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been having babies every two years or the warnings from other well-meaning parents who remind us that vacations with young kids often leave us more tired than refreshed, but either way, going on a real family vacation hasn’t happened often for our growing family.
This year, however, it became a priority.
In January of this year, I poured out my heart to God and sought His guidance on what my priorities needed to be this year: where I needed to say yes more and where I needed to hold a firmer no.
Intentional time creating memories with my family was at the top of the list. As I looked at how to do this well, God impressed two things on my heart for my family for this year: every day memories and taking a family vacation.
So 3,000 miles, over 48 hrs of driving, 8 months pregnant, and 3 kids in tow, our family went on our first official family vacation last month!
Friends, I am living testimony to tell you that not only did we survive, we thrived! I can’t tell you what a blessing it was to have time away, together as a family.
Here’s the hard reality: I knew we needed the time away as a family, but I am good at making excuses, and with vacation, there can be a lot of them:
- we don’t have the time,
- we don’t have the money,
- it will be really hard.
- Is it really worth it?
So I put it off. I kept making excuses. This family vacation was a step of faith for me. Because of work loads, time schedules, financial concerns, and a baby coming, I honestly didn’t know how we would be able to make it work, but I trusted and God provided.
While we were away, I was reminded of why getting away together is so important.
Why Family Vacation is so Important
1. Shared memories and experiences unite us.
You and your family will have these memories forever. From pictures and souvenirs to sights and sounds and smells that jog our memories, you are creating shared moments with your family that will always be a part of each person’s life.
2. Leaving our everyday responsibilities refreshes us.
The commitments of work and school and extra activities can be overwhelming. Taking a break and having an extended amount of time away — even from the cooking and cleaning and folding laundry — is often just what we need in order to come home with renewed vigor, focus and purpose.
3. Uninterrupted family time refuels us.
Just about everything in our culture and our calendars seems to pull the family apart. Carving out space to be together as a family, uninterrupted by sports and schedules and familiar surroundings, gives us an opportunity connect again, enjoy each other’s company, and take our relationships to a deeper level — we gain the fuel we need to keep going!
I know a vacation isn’t possible for everyone, and some of you are dreaming and praying and brainstorming how to make a vacation possible for your family. Please know that I am praying with you, Friend. I have been there and know that this year’s trip was a gift of God. I also want to encourage you, though, that creating memories as a family is so much more than just a vacation.
Thinking back to some of my favorite memories as a kid, most were in the everyday rhythm and routine of living — lazy summers at my grandparent’s pool, catching fireflies in the evening, camping out in the backyard — those things that don’t require a lot of time or money or even effort. Yet now as a parent, it’s easy to forget how powerful those everyday memories can be. I’m writing about that over at For the Family today. Click over to get some great ideas of how we’re working on everyday family memories in our home.