Several years ago my family was going to the beach for spring break. It was a really hectic time at work, conferences were coming, deadlines were looming, and I didn’t feel like I could be gone for a week. So I decided to bring work with me and explain to the kids that I would need to work during our vacation. I would still be with them. This could work.
As you can imagine it didn’t work so well. I was constantly encouraging them to go on without me, or explaining why I couldn’t come to the beach and watch them, or telling them that I would be right back because I was going to head over to Starbucks and work for a little while.
I felt like a terrible parent by the end of the week. I vowed to never try to combine work with my family’s vacation again. I know some people are able to juggle both worlds, but not me.
This past week we went to my husband’s family farm in Virginia. My Montana friends would be insulted that I call this a farm. But there are 3 cows, a hand full of chickens, and mountains, fields, and trees surround you. If you don’t want to see anyone else, you don’t have to. You have no cell service and no Internet connection. It’s the wilderness, I tell you!
It was a great break for our family after a really hectic few weeks. As the days went on, I really took notice of what was happening with my children and my husband as we all slowed down the pace. I was really convicted by how many things we miss in the rushing.
The smile of a baby dressed in her first summer hat.
Taking hours to catch fish, just to throw them back in the pond.
Listening to a grandmother give my teenage daughter advice about boys.
Reading a great book.
Swinging on the limb of a huge tree.
Giving a muddy puppy a bath.
Taking a nap.
Sleeping outside in a camper.
Listening to the rain and the thunder.
Taking long walks.
We are all busy for short seasons. It’s unavoidable. But don’t let a week turn into two. Or “a few weeks” turn into…”just until summer.” If you’re not careful, you will spend your life rushing from one thing to the next.
When life gets crazy and you are unwilling to slow it down, ask yourself, what are you missing?