A Team Japan Unplugged, vol. 1

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The view from the balcony of the house

Last month we went on a family holiday for 2 weeks – what a treat! We stayed at one of the OMF holiday homes which are provided so missionaries can get away for an inexpensive break.

 

It was the first time we have had a 2 week holiday as a family. In the past, we have had 1 week holidays as a family. But, invariably, it takes us several days to unwind and get into holiday mode. Often in those first few days, we’re tense and there is a lot of bickering. Then just as we’re beginning to rest and relax, we have to start thinking about packing up and getting back to work! And whether we go away for 1 or 2 weeks it takes the same effort with all the packing. It was great to have 2 weeks  – we had time to properly unwind.
IMG_9004As part of my efforts to be disciplined in resting well, I decided that apart from just keeping in touch with immediate family, I wouldn’t look at any email or social media; no facebook, twitter, Instagram, LINE… I didn’t take my laptop with me. I turned off all my phone’s notifications and avoided using the internet (apart from things like weather apps and maps). Most of those things are often work-related for me, and I’ve heard that screen time is tiring and not relaxing, something I can attest to from personal experience.
It was an interesting experiment. I found that I was still often instinctively digging into my pocket and checking my phone for any notifications, even though I knew there wouldn’t be any! I tried not to have it in my pocket, which was made easier by getting my swimming trunks on and going in the sea!
I’ve also heard someone say (can’t remember who) that in order to have “Aha!” moments you need “Aah!” moments. In other words, to have more creative ideas come to mind, you need mental space, for example, those moments when you relax in the tub and say “Aaaah!” Those moments when you are not actively using your brain, so your subconscious has the freedom to get to work thinking up good ideas.
I found that to be the case too. After a period of writer’s block for this blog, on this holiday I got ideas for about 3 blog posts of material without even meaning to!
After we’d been there a week, sure enough, it felt like we were just starting to relax. We were so grateful for another week to enjoy resting.
Here are some memories:
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After the break, I turned the notifications back on…

  • Leisurely walks along the beach
  • Collecting shells with the kids
  • Finding rock pools swimming with life – hermit crabs galore, tiny fish and sea anemones
  • Having some lie-ins
  • Reading some fiction – now there’s a novel idea (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
  • Learning new magic tricks to amaze the kids
  • Eating Ghengis Kahn (traditional Hokkaido meal of lamb cooked on a metal helmet)
  • Going for a couple of longer runs
  • Braving the cold water for a swim with the boys
  • Playing on the beach and making sand castles
  • Noting the little stream down the beach changing it’s meandering course every day
  • Playing with the kids in the inflatable rowboat
  • The mysterious disappearance of the inflatable rowboat (probably quietly blown out to sea)
  • Seeing lots of different kinds of birds (not just crows!)
  • Seeing a drone flying just above our heads
  • Visiting the local shell museum
  • Seeing beautifully crisp rainbows that felt so close
  • Making campfires in the evenings
  • Having our own mini fireworks display
  • Celebrating our daughter’s first birthday
After returning home, it took me a while to catch up on all the emails and social media, but it was definitely worth the effort to have unplugged for the holiday. I felt much better rested than I have for a long time.
How do you make sure you rest well during holidays?
  • Praise God for OMF holiday homes!
  • Pray for missionaries to get the rest they need to keep going with their work.
  • Pray that God will give us the energy we need to do the good works He has prepared for us to walk in each day.
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Enjoying an early evening walk along the beach

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