#FamilyFriday | Unplugged

Last night, got back into town from a short vacation. We went down to Carolina Beach (where we honeymooned!) and took on all those sharks that are supposedly swimming rampant. (Hint: sometimes, the media just slightly exaggerates things. I know, shocking.) Our lives have been so insane the last couple of months, this was a desperately-needed time for our family to reconnect, to get to know each other once again, and to spend some serious Quality (with a capital Q) time together. The Lord really laid on my heart that, in order to do that, we were going to need to unplug. 

First, we booked a condo without Wifi. *insert gasps of horror here*. Before you call child protective services on us for losing our minds, we knew that this was a must in order to accomplish our ultimate goal. Binge-watching Netflix binging would have to happen some other time.

Second, we said no social media, no e-mail, and our phones would stay in the room. Whoa! You mean that we can live our life without letting the world know what we're doing!? What about that instagram photo of my lunch? What about the photo of my feet at the pool, hashtag-blessed? And what about work? How on earth did you not email for FOUR days!?! Well, guess what - the businesses didn't fall apart on us, and there were no fires to put out when we got back.

And third, the only camera we brought was our Fuji Instax. Film. No digital. We LOVE being behind the camera. We truly believe it's crazy important to document life as it's happening. But what's even more important is living life and being present in the moment. So we brought the camera with the most expensive film, so that we would only take a very few precious pictures that we would keep to remember this special time.

Did it all pay off? The take-away was incredible! It truly was one of the best vacations we've ever taken, and that was with a 14-month old girl who's cutting four teeth! We could not have had a better time. We weren't anxious. We weren't distracted. We weren't freaking out about Sharkmageddon. We were content to be at rest. So am I going to go delete my Facebook account now? Stop using e-mail? Cut off our internet service? No. All those things have a purpose and can be used for good in the world. What I want to encourage you to do, though, is to set aside specific times where you unplug. The whole purpose of Family Fridays is for you to have some serious, wholesome conversations with your family. You can't do that if your head is buried in your phone. (If you need to stop reading the blog right now in order to put your phone down and engage with your family, that's okay. We'll be here when you get back. We'll just play some cards while we wait. Go ahead.)

This was made especially heavy on my heart after I saw the flip-side. We were able to be on the beach for a whole 3 hours one day. If you have a young toddler, you understand how incredible that is. And there was a family of four who was on the beach before we got there and they were still there when we left. The teenage daughter, preteen son, and dad were having an amazing time together; swimming, playing frisbee, splashing each other, and goofing off like nerds. During all of this, the mom was sitting on a towel, glued to her phone the entire time. At this point in the trip, we had gotten over the withdrawals of no outside world. I was truly grateful for the time we were having together. And it broke my heart that this mother just gave up those 3+ hours of her family having an amazing time. Now, to judge in her favor, she may have been texting her sick father in the hospital, or she herself could have been ill, I don't know, but I couldn't help but think that God gave me this little piece of reality check that this is what life is like when we don't unplug. Hours slip by and you don't even know that the people sitting right in front of you are making memories together and missing you. 

So here we are at the eve of the Shabbat, our time to unplug. It hasn't always been easy to unplug, and sadly, some weeks it doesn't happen at all, but I can't even begin to tell you how grateful and excited I am to have this opportunity every week to disconnect and focus on what really matters. Peace, and be blessed!