This is how I enjoyed an incredibly refreshing stay-cation…and I even learned a few things!
On June 20 I left my office in pursuit of a great vacation. My focus for this break was not for travel, sightseeing, or exploring uncharted places. This was what some have dubbed a “stay-cation” . My break from my regular responsibilities has allowed me to focus my complete, undivided attention on my family.
During my regular routine I devote the “best of my time” (I wrote about this valuable asset here) when I’m the freshest and most energized to my work allowing more quality and quantity performance. This usually gives whatever time and energy are leftover for my family at the end of the day.
I have thoroughly enjoyed giving all of me to my family for the past two weeks. Here are just a few of the things I’ve enjoyed about my Family Stay-cation:
*Breaking my scheduled routine (but reestablishing my Bible reading routine – read more here )
*Sleeping in a few times
*Eating breakfast everyday while watching Sesame Street with my 2 year old daughter, Ella Joy
*Eating our favorite foods (including our favorite restaurants)
*Spontaneous trips to the mall just to walk (since it was so hot outside)
*Attending Church (even as a Guest – read about this here)
*Reading (and completing) a few really encouraging books
*Quality conversation with my bride
And of course, the birth of my new baby girl! (to meet Liana Grace, click here)
I really enjoyed this break. And unlike many vacations I’ve taken, I am really refreshed and ready to get back to work! I have accomplished everything I hoped to on this break. But this did not happen by accident. I made a few intentional decisions going into my vacation that has made this a successful break.
1. Unplug from Communication
In preparation for my vacation, I let everyone know in advance that I would be out of the office for an extended period of time. For example, my Youth Pastor (read his blog here) and I prepped for weeks about our summer preaching schedule so that we both were comfortable with what he would preach while I was gone.
At the onset of my vacation, I setup an email response notifying everyone who sent me an email three things: 1) That I was on vacation and would not be responding to email while on vacation, 2) Who to contact now if they need to, 3) When I would be back to respond to their email request. I posted on my Social Media channels these same items. I learned that when you empower other people to lead, they are capable of doing great work without my direct involvement! Way to go team.
For the first week, I completely unplugged from Facebook and Twitter. I still maintained my blog because I have personally been growing from writing. So other than an automatic update that a new blog post was written, I didn’t even open my Social Media. In fact, I signed out and turned off the notifications on my iPhone and iPad. This was awesome to break my social media addiction and I learned that I really didn’t miss anything!
2. Practiced Saying “NO”
While I was on break, life still happened outside my little world. Our Church had some great opportunities to serve and do ministry and the “pastor” side of me wanted to go get involved. But I said “no” while I was on vacation. Even after notifying everyone in every way I was able that I was away on vacation, I still had a few phone calls and emails. It was really tempting to check them and respond. But I said “no” while I was on vacation. And I learned that great ministry still happens even though I am not involved!
3. Practiced Saying “YES”
During my family stay-cation I said “yes” as often as I could to my family. If my wife wanted to go out to eat, without hesitation I said “yes”. If my daughter wanted to lay on the floor and do a puzzle, I said “yes”. My family has to hear “not right now” too often. I am not a workaholic by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I am very intentional about guarding my family time so that they get quality and quantity from me. That being said I often do have to say “no” because I do have to go to work. So while I was home focusing on my family, if they wanted anything, I tried to say “yes”. And I learned how much fun it was to bless my family with all of me-my time, my energy, my everything!
Summer is a great time for vacations. If you have some vacation time coming up soon, I want to challenge you to be intentional about what you want to accomplish while you’re on vacation. Decide BEFORE your vacation starts, who or what will be your focus. And strive to be intentional every day of your break to keep focused. You work too hard to have a vacation be unsuccessful. You will be glad you planned ahead of time for a great vacation.
What will you do to make your vacation intentionally awesome? Keep the conversation going by leaving a comment!
If you are being blessed by the content of this blog, I want to invite you to SUBSCRIBE by typing your email in the box in the upper right hand column of my blog…Thanks!