“Something Really Fancy for My Family”

I just spent a few days off, a brief spring break, with my wife Joanne, and our two boys Jose III and Joel Benjamin. For many years now, our family has held the tradition of working really hard for 11 months and then take a long vacation in December. Though we’ve enjoyed this beautiful tradition, we realized it was time for a change. At the end of last year, we decided that we would break our yearly vacation time into several shorter breaks. What made us take this decision? We love each other too much to just enjoy our only exclusive time together once a year, at the end of the year. We thought we needed to do this more often. So far, we are loving it.

During our break we did something awesome every day, the only requirement was that all four of us would be together the entire day and a big part of the night. This is impossible on regular days. Beginning with family worship every morning, to walks on the beach, skipping rocks on the water, you should see Joanne’s rocks skipping 5-7 times in one shot. We ate each single meal together, had our daily visits to the playground. I raced my boys till all energy, well all my energy was gone, and that’s hard. We played as a family, built lego cities, played Wii Tennis, golf, exercised together, read books, and at times just sat down and talked. Every night, I kissed my two sons good night while they were still awake and slept by their side till they were both asleep. As our break ended, each one of us, including the kids, thought this was an awesome vacation. We thought we had not planned anything too fancy, but it turns out we did. We spent time together with each other, and there is nothing fancier than that.

“But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.” (I Timothy 5:8)

God has given families a clear mandate to care for each other, especially for those in the household. If we don’t, our spiritual lifestyle is worthless. Many wrongly think that taking care of those in the family is limited to roof, food, clothing, transport, and things (such as toys, gifts, and other goods). All of these are very important and on many occasions demonstrate love. However, there is something that husbands and wives, parents and children, grandparents and kids desperately need: time together, playing together, praying together, eating together, talking together, reading together, sleeping together; there is nothing, no amount of money, toys, gifts, trips, nothing that can replace that.

If you really like to do something fancy for you and your family, plan special times together, as many as you can through your year; times when you can turn off your phone, forget about the outside world, and dedicate it absolutely and exclusively to your family. Don’t let work, school, or even church take away from your special time with your family, this is a mandate from God. Don’t leave everything for December, begin to enjoy your dad, mom, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparent, grandkid today. That’s fancy.

Prayer: God, thank you for my beautiful family. Thank you for the time you allow us to spend together, enjoying each other’s company. Keep us together, healthy, and happy for many years to come. Be with the families who need to make changes to enjoy each other more often. Give us the strength to keep our families a priority. AMEN.

Jose