In my last post, I discussed three ways you can fight off the “Summertime Blues.” I’m currently dealing with the blues, but this time around I was smart and planned ahead to take a vacation, which starts next week! I’m really excited about this; and of course, I’m making all the preparations for everything to run without me while I’m gone. At the same time, I’m also preparing myself for vacation. One thing I learned from my last vacation is you that can do it wrong. Vacations are like ministry; if you want it to be good then you have prepare and be intentional about what you are going to do. So here are six intentional things that you can do to have a great vacation!
I’m just as a bad about social media as my teenagers, and my wife lets me know it. So this year I decided to disconnect from social media for the week. This also includes giving up my phone so that I’m not tempted to get on my social media outlets.
Moreover, disconnect from the office. It’s really easy to take work with you because of all the things that have to get done. If you’re working on vacation, then you are doing it wrong. Make sure everyone you work with knows you are on vacation. If you have to, change your voice message to make sure those who missed the memo know what’s going on. If a church member, student, or staff member (except my pastor), calls then decline it. My rule of thumb is: if they leave a message, then it is something important and you should give them a call back. If they don’t leave a message, then it really wasn’t important and there’s no need to call back.
Reading is one of the best things you can do to grow as a minister. If you’re like me, then you have a ton of books starting to pile up on your desk. If that’s the case, take a few books with you on your vacation. If you don’t read, then consider getting a book to take with you. Reading makes you sit down and be still for a little bit, something we all need to do to gather some rest.
Furthermore, make sure you include your Bible as one of your books. It’s really easy to skip out on your time with God while you’re on vacation, but don’t do that. God provides the ultimate nourishment our souls need so we can come back refreshed and ready to serve.
Its really easy to throw your workout routine out the window while you go on vacation. That’s a no-no. If you like to run, which I find very weird, then find some running routes people use where you are going. If you’re staying in a hotel, make the most of their gym and take an hour to pump some iron. Or if you have workout DVDs, take them with you so you can continue your regiment. The best part about working out on vacation is, there’s no rush to wake up early in the morning to workout. Set your alarm at a later time so you actually get to sleep in for once!
Take a Nap
Do I really have to write a paragraph on why you should do this? My spiritual formation professor told our class one of the most spiritual things you can do is take a nap. While on a retreat, the speaker said, “Naps are like hugs from Jesus.” Get your Jesus hug on– take a nap!
Do Some Activities
Vacations are about family time, so make sure you plan to do some fun activities with them. Get on the website of the city you’re visiting and find out what they have for recreation. Do something out of the norm, that you and your family would never do on a regular basis.
Moreover, take time during the vacation to make sure each member of your family gets some time with you. My wife and I will be going on some dates, and my daughter and I will be hitting up some ice cream time together. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have some serious one-on-one time with your family!
Have Sex With Your Spouse
Family and work life can get busy, so busy that we become too tired to want to have sex. If this is the case, use your vacation to re-establish intimacy with your spouse. Having a healthy sex life is crucial to having a successful marriage, and it’s easy to go on vacation and forget about this part. Sex is a good thing. I’ll even go as far as to say it’s a godly thing because God created it for marriage. If you and your spouse are not having sex the way you think you should, talk to them about it and let them know how you feel. If necessary, plan out which nights you two will have sex and commit make sure it will take place. Don’t let broken intimacy continue on in your marriage. Have sex on your vacation; it will do you and your spouse some good!
In the end, everyone needs a vacation. More importantly, everyone needs to have an intentional vacation that fills the souls of everyone who is involved. We give too much to let our vacations go to waste, and we owe it to ourselves and our family to make sure our opportunity to rest isn’t lost because of bad planning. Take your vacation seriously so you can come back refreshed and ready to serve!