Genesis 2:2–” And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.”
Just as some wonder if God exists, I wondered for the first 35 years of my life if vacations existed.
Growing up I don’t remember taking actual “vacations”—where you packed a bag, left town and ate food somewhere else for a week or so.
I grew up in Destin, Florida “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” where EVERYONE was on vacation except me. Even our family business was centered around “vacation”. My step-father was a famous charter boat captain for over 50 years. I watched him cater to, get paid by and solicit vacationers for years.
I waited tables at fancy restaurants and watched family after family throw down huge sums of money for a meal. It all seemed so gluttonous and extravagant me.
Why was everyone doing this but me? How on earth did people find the time and the money to do this?
What I had observed was people resting—–taking a break from whatever they do normally. It still made me resentful and angry in a weird way, though.
I heard European after European say,
“Oh, our whole family is on holiday for a month here at a beach house.”
“We just needed the sunshine.”
“We are going to tour all of Italy for a few weeks.”
WHAT???? How did they do this?
It’s built into their thinking. Americans don’t think like this. At all.
The most modest income earning folks in Europe, South America, you name it, take a “holiday”. Lots of them. It’s like paying the water bill to them. It’s like buying milk at the grocery store.
Imagine if we started looking at vacations like this–required for living.
He tells us to rest weekly.
I believe we can also rest on vacation as long as our expectations are adjusted.
Most would say that vacationing with children can sort of be stressful. OK really stressful. How is that supposed to make us rest? It’s more about doing something out of the ordinary in order to reset our brains.
It’s not sipping Mimosas by the beach. It’s about getting out of a rut, if you will.
One of my most memorable (I-can-do-this-because-I-should-be-able-to-do-vacation-with-kids) moments was taking Max (21 months old) and Paul (4 months old) to San Francisco for a medical conference with my husband. I had no excuse. The residency program was going to pay airfare and hotel. We just had to eat and be happy.
I can tell you that my most memorable moments of that trip were three:
- Getting to hear Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers) do the keynote address to a banquet hall of Pediatricians. Everyone was in a puddle by the time he finished. His address was emotional and so spiritual.
- Nursing Paul in the San Francisco Zoo in front of the lions. They looked at me with very curious stares.
- Max locking himself in the bathroom of the hotel about 5 minutes after we got into the room. I’ve never seen hotel staff move that fast.
Since then, our family has taken vacations–some real ones, some not so real ones.
If you are planning your “vacation” time this summer, takes God’s lead and rest. Somehow, someway. But remember that as moms, we have to adjust our expectations about how our vacations are going to pan out.
Keep the memories. Ditch the inconveniences. Embrace the change of pace, no matter which direction it heads. You will be better off when you return home–even if it’s not the holiday you imagined.
Where are you headed this summer?
Why did you choose to go there?
What has been the best memory builder for your family on vacation?