Monday, June 09, 2008

Beach Vacation

We were blessed to have a beach vacation the last week of May. It’s been 10 years since Brian and I have been to the beach and our kids have never been at all! Needless to say, we were all excited about taking a ‘real’ vacation. Brian’s parents, along with his 2 siblings and their families, also had condos at the same place.

Thankfully, before we left, CJ Mahaney started this series of blogposts entitled “Leadership and Family Vacations.” Unfortunately, we were only able to read the first post before we left (not having internet access while we there we didn't read the others until later) but there was enough wisdom in that first post to guide us as we entered this special week.

Vacation = relaxation right? Well, not exactly. Momma first spends at least a week packing for that kind of trip (I sort of felt like I needed a vacation just from packing for vacation, know what I mean?). Then while there, the family still needs to be fed and laundry still needs to be done. So, while I may still have some ‘work’ to do during the week, I made up my mind ahead of time to do that work joyfully, while enjoying my family.

Family vacations are an opportunity to create memories for the family and CJ reminded us that we are the ones that set the tone for that. His first point of instruction focused on servant leadership. “Husbands are called by God to serve and lead…And you will know you are serving and leading effectively on your vacation when you fall into bed at night more exhausted than at the end of the most grueling day of work. The father must enter family vacations committed to serve, lead, plan, initiate, and work, and do all this with joy.”

Well, we did just that. We were exhausted at the end of each day, but it was such a good, relaxing exhaustion. We spent the entire day making special memories together as a family. It can be exhausting making memories with 4 small children especially when you include swimming, boogey boarding, Nascar riding, tiger watching, shopping, etc. But they were so excited about every-single-thing and to share those times with them was pricless.

The second point we were able to discuss before we left was that of a ‘Tone-Setting Attitude.’ The Father and Mother are the ones responsible for setting the tone for the family vacation. There would be plenty of opportunities to let circumstances rule the day, but we wanted to be intentional about trying to exhibit grace throughout our trip. CJ says, “no one should be happier on vacation than we are. During our vacation our children should repeatedly observe us smiling and laughing, and throughout the vacation they should be the objects of our affection and appreciation. Your attitude on family vacation will be changed when you perceive the graciousness of God that surrounds you in the form of your family.”

So true. I knew I was still to serve my family and do so with joy. We did what we could to keep things simple, like cereal of frozen waffles for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. We tried to make sure everyone had a chance to spend time doing what they enjoyed (one child LOVED the ocean waves while another LOVED the pool). It helped us to set out with the mindset that we were going to serve one another during this special trip and we were able to do just that.
We have come back refreshed and relaxed and are longing to return! More stories and pictures to come!

We were able to recognize so many evidences of God’s grace in our lives through this special time with family. We are truly blessed. Even though we


Wendy said...

That sounds wonderful!
This is such a great picture!

Anonymous said...

Y'all look so cute!!! Thanks for sharing how you guys applied CJ's wisdom. I read those posts and wondered to myself exactly how all that works itself out in a "real" family. Ha ha. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to reading more about it.

Kelly said...

Glad you had a great trip!

10 years... too long!!

We are going next month and I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

You look great - that healthy, vacation glow!

i fell completely off of the running wagon. i need inspiration. Help!!!

Kim said...

I am so glad you guys had such a sweet time! Precious memories for you and your kiddos :)

Renae said...

There can be nothing better than a beach family holiday trip to me.