Guest Post: A big thank you to Ben Pratt for helping out this week and sharing his wisdom to inspire and encourage Dads. Ben is a father of four and a devoted husband who hails from Armidale in rural NSW. He is currently studying ministry and is a keen advocate for men’s issues at a local, national, and international level.
The last time I wrote for this Newsletter, it was about Moments that Matter: making space in our lives to be real with those we love. And what better way to make space in our lives than to take holidays! Why, just this very week I packed up my four children and wife, and we drove to the coast for a few days of time together without the external distractions that exist in our day to day existence, although there are still plenty of distractions within the family!
From the time of our honeymoon twelve years ago we’ve made time to get away from the everyday at least twice a year, whether they were private breaks to the coast (a great Australian tradition if ever there was one) or to see extended family in the bush. My wife Thea and I talk fondly of “babymoons” (a holiday prior to the birth of a child to help reconnect as a couple) and trips caving, of tourist drives and quiet nights on the harbour.
Since the children came along our holidays have been a little different, with accommodation and meals becoming simpler in nature, but far more complex to organise. Questions arise about how often we can find a toilet on the road, and how much further it is, not to mention whatever random thought happens to pop in their little heads.
Each of us remembers different highlights from each holiday, but the one thing that ties it all together is that as we remember what happened, where we went, who we met, and what we did, our shared memories jog one another’s remembrance of the events and together we create a tapestry of joy that helps sustain our relationships for the years to come.
Yes, holidays are something that we as a family hold as very special to us. They are important, and for a number of reasons:
1. To know each other better: It can be really hard to get to know the other members of your family without spending solid blocks of time with them. When we’re on holidays, we have the opportunity to do this without the distractions of everyday life (hey, I think I mentioned that as one of my motivations!)
2. To rest: This one is so important, that it has its own article further down in the newsletter. In short, resting helps you be healthier in almost every way; physically, mentally, and relationally.
3. To explore life together: For many people, life occurs in a space about 50 kilometres in diameter, and the only time they go beyond that is when on holidays. Thus it is that when they go on holidays as a family, they have the opportunity to explore life in a different setting with different foods, sights, smells, sounds, ideas, and people.
4. To create memories: As we get to know one another better, enjoy rest, and explore life together, we create memories that will last a lifetime. Holidays are like a week-long moment that matters, and that’s something that everyone needs from time to time.
When was the last time you had a holiday with your family? Whether your children are 2, 22, or 42, it’s never too late to reach out to them and take the time to get away from the grind of the day to day to have a holiday together. And if you’re a son who hasn’t connected with your father recently, why not call Dad and ask him to go on a fishing or camping trip with you?
You may have just taken a holiday with your family, or it may have been many months or years since the last time, but that doesn’t matter. Talk with your family about the memories you created together of those holidays, and begin to plan your next holiday.
Who knows, it may just be the thing you need to draw closer to one another, to rest and relax, to experience parts of life you’ve missed, and to create wonderful memories for the future.
Yours for creating precious memories,