Our family vision/get-away trip
Isn’t it so easy to get so swept up in the things of daily life that, when you finally stop to breathe, you aren’t even really sure why you’re doing the things you are? These are the times when you forget the purpose(s) for investing in the specific things and/or people in your life and feel a bit direction-less. I find that such times require a bit of reexamining the things you have chosen to (or not to) pour your time and energy into in order to remember the direction you’re heading so that you can adjust priorities and/or direction if needbe.
Lately, Shun-Luoi and I realized we were needing such a time to reexamine life. Because of this, my husband came up with the brilliant idea of taking a few days to get away to spend intentional time brainstorming, asking the hard questions, and praying about different aspects of our lives, both as individuals, and as a family unit. However, we also set out to have some great family times and fun as well, lest you get scared off by the serious-sounding nature of our trip. 😉
So, off we went this past weekend to beautiful Pagosa Springs, CO, for 3 full days. We stayed at a great property where we have some connections and it was perfect. Our “home” for this particular trip was a 20-minute drive from town and out in pretty, hilly area complete with an aspen grove, some great trails for hiking, and no one else on the property. Like I said, perfect for what we were hoping to accomplish on the trip!
On the way down to Pagosa, Shun-Luoi and I discussed our individual expectations for our time away – looking back, this was a key conversation to have prior to arriving at the lodge because if we hadn’t had it, either of us could have been easily frustrated by the weekend. Although we wanted to be flexible as needed, we planned to spend the kids’ nap times and the evenings talking together and asking the questions that needed to be asked. The rest of the time would be spent exploring the property where we were staying, a few specific activities off-property, and just enjoying the simple things of being together as a family.
I know I can speak for both Shun-Luoi and myself when I say that we are incredibly grateful for the intentional times we had to talk and pray with each other. The Lord gave us some really sweet times of connecting and we talked openly and honestly about different aspects of our lives. A few of the questions we discussed included:
- Are we geographically located where we need to be right now? (both smaller picture, as in our particular community as well as larger picture, as in the state and/or country we are currently in). This question was looked at in regards to Shun-Luoi’s career, our desire to live life in close community with other, like-minded people, and for the things we desire for our family.
- What are each of our specific skill sets and giftings? Is each being used in the manner in which it is supposed to be at this time in our family’s life?
- What or who are we each giving the majority of our emotional and physical time and energy to? In the same vein, what are the specific things we feel God has entrusted to us right now (relationships, activities, etc)? Are we being faithful to those specific things and people? If not, why not?
- Are we cultivating both our individual and family spiritual lives/life in the manner in which we should be?
- Do we allow time for things that are “life-giving” to us or are we only involved in things that deplete us emotionally, mentally, and physically?
If you’re thinking, “Whew. That is some serious stuff,” you are right. It was intentional and it was intense. There was a lot of verbal processing going on, a lot of feverish note-taking and list-making happening (by me – I love that kind of thing … yes, I am a list nerd), and praying that God would make sense of it all and lead us as we went. Some questions were answered. Some questions brought up more questions. It was messy. But … it was great. I realized that we should have more similar trips in order to really make sure we’re doing and going where we should be.
AND, we got in some fun. Shun-Luoi and I played numerous games of ping-pong and don’t worry, this Swedish girl held her own against the usually dominating Chinese player. 🙂 Our family went on a great hike to Opal Lake, picnicked down by the San Juan River in the heart of Pagosa Springs, and visited the Archuleta County Fair (our first fair experience as a family!). We enjoyed simple meals that we mostly fixed ourselves and ate chocolate cake with ice cream almost daily. It was awesome. And yes, our kids still fought, Shun-Luoi and I disagreed at times, and other things went “wrong,” because unfortunately, our sin came with us to Pagosa (sigh). Nonetheless, those are not the things I will remember when I think back on our trip.
Instead, I will think of words like, “sweet” and “connection,” and “purposeful,” when looking back on our time. And now that we’re back, I am looking forward to asking the follow-up questions that need to be asked, making adjustments where they need to be made, and moving together as a family in the direction we need to be headed.