What Does It Really Mean To Vacate?

181-191:  Items Purchased: (1 pair of shoes, which of course were not a part of my original “shall not” list, thus my justification. I’ll explain.) Temptation Radar: 10++ only because I shopped a lot on the vacation. Being out of routine makes fasting harder. You know…kind of like a diet while traveling.

Long time, no blog. Long time, NO CLOTHES TOO. Just in case any one was wondering. It’s been over a week since my last writing and I feel like I could submit a small novella on the happenings of the week. While tempted to discuss all of the grand retail findings I left behind during my travels, my heart directs me elsewhere to a reservoir deep with syrupy sweet remembrances of yet another heartwarming family vacation. My heart, a little bossy at times, makes a compelling plea for me to flood the pages of this blog with a gentle admonition to make time for your family. It is one I cannot very well ignore.

Let me first begin by explaining the Jack Rogers wedges I purchased, boldly and without guilt or reservation. It was upon the review of vacation’s definition that I discovered the necessary justification to snag me some shoes. According to dictionary.com,

Vacation: a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity,usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; it is also termed a recess or holiday. Of course my favorite meaning was: freedom or release from duty, business, or activity.

Coincidentally while reading this, I happened to be vacationing in Myrtle Beach, SC,  and determined that Shopfast had become, well, a bit dutiful. Commitment to the agreement made at the beginning of the year along with vow to blog often, leaves me feeling, at times, bound up. So, without stemming too far away from the original goal, which let’s remember, is to go 365 days without buying any clothes unless purchased with a gift card, I allowed myself a pair of new gold sandals. Fair? I think so.  That, my friends, was my only purchase, save some Tervis Tumblers for the family to drink from on the beach. But, like I said before, today’s words aren’t to be focused upon the topic of shopping sprees or lack thereof. Rather, they desire a whisper to each and every person who would would read them: Take the time to be present with your family.

A memory made is the most treasured gift. A family heritage that is strong and secure will be a lighthouse for future generations gazing upon it in the distance.

I am thankful for my father’s family heritage. The Owens group is just about the most loyal, genuine, unassuming, good-natured and loving collection of people you could ever encounter. Hardworking and honest, sincere and steadfast are characteristics that come to mind when describing the 9, 1st generation members. We meet every year, at the same location to celebrate and draw on the strength of family. This time also allows me time to get off the roller coaster of life and hunker down with my own family of 4, uninhibited by everyday demands. Below are a few pictures of my favorite morning on the beach.

What was I watching?????

My little peanuts, of course!!!!

In this moment, I remembered that spending time with family doesn’t have to be an elaborate adventure. My kids reminded me today that theme parks, exciting restaurants and expensive sports or hobbies won’t create a more memorable or fun childhood. They showed me that imagination and love from extended family are, in fact, the key to their happiness. This week, Owen fished with his papa off the shore and had his Uncle Mark teach him to Body Surf. Olivia made sand castles with Uncle Bryan and enjoyed playing beauty parlor simply by borrowing a brush and engaging the cooperation of her Aunt Kristin.  Honestly, nothing could have been better.

And what could be more amazing than getting cuddles from your great-great uncle. Here you see a 1st generation with a 4th generation and it’s easy to understand why we so desperately must preserve the togetherness of family.

When I think about ways I’ve been influenced and loved by my aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, I’m encouraged be present for my nieces and nephews. Here is my sister, holding my brand new niece Annabelle, and wearing our Great-Grandmother’s Hat.

My love tank is bubbling because I was able to spend, in great abundance, the most valuable resource available on the ones I love the very most: Time.

So, I vacated. Everything…. from work, home,  shopfast (just some shoes), and got some much needed rest and refreshing. I am back now. Let the shopfast continue……

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