Celebrate and Vacate

Today is my daughter’s Golden Birthday: 12 on the 12th! Yeah for Gabrielle! So today’s A Life Overseas post is dedicated to celebrations… and vacations!

Washington kids (Gabrielle is in the middle)
Washington kids (Gabrielle is in the middle)

Celebrate the small stuff! Celebrate the big stuff!

Don’t let the work take up so much room that you “don’t have (make) time” for: celebrations, travel, relaxing, fun, vacations, parties… breathing.

When one finds themselves in a long season of frustration the reasons can come from two different places:

#1 – – One has lost the vision / passion / motivation and must return to face the question eyeball to eyeball: why? Why am I here? Why have I sacrificed? Why can I hope?

#2 – – One is exhausted and needs to combat the fatigue with exhaling.


Work is like inhaling. We inhale stress. We inhale troubles. We suck it up and push through and that taxes our beings.

Exhaling is breathing out all that we have sucked up. It takes the form of a break. Because, really, if the work is breaking our backs maybe that is a sign we need to take a break from the work.

Little breaks are vital. Take one day off a week. Contrary to the opinion of some, I do not believe that two half days constitute a full day off. I say a day off is: no work from the time you lay your head down to sleep one night until you lay your head down to sleep the next night.

Make space for margins in your life. Anticipate holidays and enjoy them. Put birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days on your calendar and in your budget so that you can fully embrace the importance of the days.

7 – 7 – 7

Every 7 days how about you take a break? (I know you’ve heard it before… but you need to hear it again: Even God took a rest.)

Every 7 weeks how about you get away for a few days? (It’s about every other month.)

Every 7 months how about you take a vacation? (But that is almost 2 vacations a year!?!? Yes. I hear you. Please keep reading…)


Here’s a nice way to look at it.

Single? Once a year do a vacation just for you. And then once a year do a vacation with friends or family.

Married? Once a year do a vacation with your spouse. And then once a year do a vacation with another married couple or a group of friends.

Kids? Once a year do a vacation with the whole family. And then once a year do a vacation by yourself (if you are a single parent) or just with your spouse.

family vacation

Furloughs are NOT vacations

When you travel back to your passport country and you are speaking in churches, meeting with potential donors, and going to conferences you are working. That is not a vacation. If you would like to combine your vacation time within your furlough time, by all means do so. Be sure you, and others, can distinguish vacation from furlough, though. Maybe a week of vacation before furlough or a week after. Maybe the middle week to break up the work time. Guard it. Value it. Enjoy it!

What’s the next celebration on your calendar?

What creative ways have you found to “exhale”?

– Angie Washington, missionary living in Bolivia, South America

blog: angiewashington.com twitter: @atangie  facebook: atangie

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Angie Washington

Co-Founder, Editor of this collaborative blog site: A Life Overseas

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