Main Points In This Episode:
- Ask this key question at the beginning and just before returning home. (Listen to episode)
- Have deep conversations that encourage growth.
- Create a time for reflections and make a list of blessings from the trip
- Pre-frame that the vacation mindset is over and give a vision for being home
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Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show with parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.
Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom, and I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.
We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible, we can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting and. Hey, welcome back to the podcast. Hey, guys, we are still on vacation, aren’t we?
That’s right. But we are in a different part of our vacation where we are contemplating and thinking about what we want to talk to our kids about as we get ready to go home.
And this isn’t theory. These are things we’ve done for many, many years and really to help vacations become permanent, fruitful experiences that create good change in our families. And so the title of this is returning from vacation strategies that create good changes.
That’s right. But before we dive into today’s podcast, we just wanted to remind you guys have some free resources that we have. So you guys know that you can always find the show notes. The one the date night one sheet that we have is on CourageousParenting.com. And you can go there if you just hit the menu at the top. Elsia tab for podcast. You’ll see a bunch of other tabs that have resources that are super helpful. But you guys might not realize this. So I’m bringing this up because, you know, I’m pregnant and I get a lot of moms asking for resources on pregnancy and there are tons of free blog posts with all kinds of links. My ultrasound, a worship birth playlist. And for those who have experienced loss, we also have the worship while weeping grief playlist for miscarriage. So that’s all a CourageousMom.com
So many good resources, a courageous mom. And by the way, anytime you share anything, especially those of you who’ve been through our courses, the parent mentor program, homeschool blueprint, postpartum Christian, postpartum course, all these different things, friendship course, of course, it really, really benefits the ministry because we stopped advertising because we don’t like supporting Facebook and Instagram several months back during the election. So because of the cancer culture. So we don’t want to give to that. But so we really appreciate it. We depend on you and God and making the ministry work. So here is what we’re going be talking about today. How do you want to reenter community and life at home? That is a key question we ask a couple of times during our trip that is crucial to follow up on deep conversations that encourage growth in your kids
Reflection and blessings list. This is an important one that we do every time we come home. Sometimes we do it before we come home and then we do it again once we arrive home
And preframing the vacation mindset is over. Don’t forget that one, right?
Oh, my goodness. This is what we mean by this is that a lot of times moms dread the continual needing to remind their kids that they’re not on vacation anymore, if you know what I mean. We will dig into that a little bit more. But it’s actually a big deal because I would say that that re-entering if moms really thought about it, it’s probably one of the things that they that prevents them from wanting to do vacations in the future. Right. Because they get home sometimes they just they’ve picked up habits, relaxing habits. Yeah. Like hanging around the pool. We don’t do that on a daily basis at home, do we? No, no. We don’t even have a pool. So the point is, is that, you know, sometimes you get home and you’re like, hey guys off the couch. Nope. We got to do chores, we’ve got to do school, we’ve got to do these things. And so we’re going to talk about how to preframe re-entering home so that that vacation mindset does not continue on.
Ok, so let’s get started. This key question, by the way, before you ask a question, if you don’t do this part, do the other two parts in the previous two episodes. But if you don’t do this part, you may be jeopardizing the potential fruitfulness from your vacations and trips. And we’ve done this for years and we’ve seen tremendous growth in our kids because we anchor the vacation into new action and we let the spirit guide all of us in doing that. And that’s what this is talking about. So at the beginning of the trip was the question we want to ask,
How do you want to re-enter community or how do you want to reenter life at home? And so the reason why we put both of those kinds of questions, because they’re similar but different. Yeah, right. I mean, entering life at home could be you know, I think of Ethan, who was six years old the year that we went on a three month RV trip, and he had some really special experiences with God through prayer. It was a faith building, praying without doubt, doubting kind of trip for all of us, but for especially for Ethan. He really grew a lot in that. And I remember when we asked this question, he was like, I want to keep praying the same way. That was his six year old response was I want to keep praying the same way, and then we kind of asked some more questions after that and it came up to and I want to experience God in the same way, like I want to see him answering my prayers in the same way. And then we talked about, well, what about when God doesn’t answer your prayers in that way? And it became this, like, big conversation for the whole family where everyone was challenged to grow because the six year old said this one thing. And so you can really be missing out on some deep, deep spiritual conversations, but also some practical and relational insights that sometimes you don’t know until you go away from home, away from relationships, away from community, and then you are gone for a little bit and you reflect upon that and you’re forced to have to think about how you want to go back and go. You know, I actually don’t really want to hang out that one person as much. They’re not really a good influence. We’ve had some teenagers say stuff like that, but
It’s a recalibration. Every trip when we’re away should be a recalibration for us as parents to our own lives and a recalibration for the marriage and having a marriage discussions and a recalibration for your kids in their lives, too. And obviously, if you have just littles, you might be more directive with that question, meaning that you might be presenting ideas for them, because when they’re younger, they need more direction on these things. But you’d be surprised they might come up with some really good things, too.
I would say even you know, and what you were just saying, that it just dawned on me like when we would go to the beach with just Kelsey in Austin and they were really little. You and I would have these conversations in the car ride home where oftentimes they’d be sleeping on the way home from the beach. And it’s something that is good for young couples to practice this communication of these kinds of questions before their kids are older and involved in requiring leadership and deeper thinking on it. And so this is a really good habit for you to get into in your marriage, actually, because isn’t it true that once you step away from life in your parenting together, sometimes I remember in those early years you were working a lot and I was 100 percent at home and then we would go and we’d be parenting more together for a longer period of time, whether we were at the beach for like a week or four days. And what happens, we become aware of like, oh, there’s little friction in our marriage here, or we don’t see eye to eye on this form of parenting or, oh, how come this is more of a vacation for not for mom or. You know, I’m saying because we get into these old habits of like, oh, well. And change the diapers and nurses babies and I carry in the luggage. But she unloads it and going, hey, you know what? It would be better it’d be more relaxing for me if we did this more as a team together. We talked a little bit about that in the previous podcast, but you have to reflect and communicate, right.
So important. And this question is something you ask in the beginning, but you also ask like a day before you get home or a couple of days before you get home and people start thinking. So you start thinking the beginning. They reflect there’s time for the spirit and you should be praying. God, would you reveal to our kids things that they want to change or attitudes they want to change the relationships. They want to grow in and improve back at home or shift gears with and how we want to show up to the different communities, whether it’s, you know, education or church or, you know, friendships or families we’re friends with or whatever it is.
It’s interesting, as you’re saying, that, you know, that that quote that you have oftentimes quoted, even with the kids, which is familiarity breeds contempt. And I have found that when we’re in closer quarters and we’re doing more stuff together, then all of a sudden it’s like you see the tensions between certain relationships and because you’re together and you can’t just like one of the teenagers can’t just get in the car and go to work and not deal with it or spend time with another friend and not deal with that tension between the brother or sister. Right. Because you’re all together and mom and dad are like, no, you guys have to deal with this situation. And then they reconcile and the conflict is resolved and they’re both humbled in different ways, recognizing, oh, I shouldn’t do that. They have to be apologetic. The relationship grows closer. And then you ask this question, how do you want to enter into life? Some of them may go, I don’t want our relationship to go back to the way it was when we were at home. I like how it is now while we’re on vacation. How can we keep our relationship? At the same level of intentionality and respect and dealing with our issues so that we don’t fall back into old habits when we are home because familiarity breeds contempt,
Hey, man. So so keep that question in mind and use it so important. And as you said earlier, it fuels our next point, which is deep conversations that encourage growth. It sets our intentionality as parents in the right frame of mind. Remember, sometimes we’re reminding you to tell your kids things more, even for yourself. It’s actually amazing. Like when you lead something, you’re more intentional about everything, about that thing you’re leading. So if you’re leading that question at the beginning or trip, what are we now intentional about? Right.
Right. Well, and I have deep conversations, you know, and as we as we think about this, I think about growth because we’re talking about these two really do go hand in hand, right. Because you’re asking your kids when you want to change, when you re-enter community or what what what how do you want to reenter life at home? Like, what changes would you want? What things do you want to continue on that were not in existence before this vacation? So that was something that for Ethan was like a big deal, like I want to continue praying and faith the same way I did on vacation. So it’s like a continuation of something that grew on vacation. Yeah. That he wanted to continue on life. But then there’s there was there were different answers. Right. I remember one time one of our teenage daughters was saying, I would like to be respected more as a woman. I would like to go to the women’s Bible studies. I would like to be viewed more as a woman and realizing that, guess what? All kids go through a period of time, somewhere between 12 and 14 ish, depending on the maturity of your kids, where they desire that, they desire other people to view them more respectfully, less like a child, giving them more responsibility, trusting them more, spending time with them in a different kind of way, not as a kid, but as like, hey, you’re my younger sister in Christ.
And and so hearing that from one of our kids, it was like, whoa, I had no idea that that was a desire on your heart for growth in relationships with older women in our community who are maybe to me were older, but to our daughters were older. And then it helped me to go, OK, when I get home, I reach out to this person, this person, and kind of give them a vision for being like a mentor. Big sister. Yeah. And ask them if it’s OK, if she can come to Bible study with us and maybe you need to do that. Maybe, you know, a lot of times guys don’t have like a men’s Bible study or men’s meeting, if you will, that they’re going to on a regular basis. But what if Dad heard the young guy say, I really wish that I had some older guys that I could be learning from, too, that are just a little bit younger than you, Dad? And then what if you were able if you knew that was a desire, you could set something up?
Hey, man, it’s so good. So I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one. She is a beautiful document you can download that Will has some key questions on it for your date night. Just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to CourageousParenting.com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything, a CourageousParenting.com. And I also just want to share real quick about the Parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement for us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more at CourageousParenting.com.
Stephen, I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children, but Angie and Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal.
This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications.
This concept has just really rocked my world. It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids physically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things at the heart. We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind. It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is. Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it. One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more. We’re no longer fearing
Dark days ahead, but
We’re so excited to raise lights, to be leaders for the next generation. And then what’s really important when you get home is to reflect, to have a family meeting where there’s no distractions or urgent things needing to. Happen, right, and you’re relaxed and you maybe pray at the beginning and thank God for the trip and safety and all the things and the blessings and reveal to us all the things that happened. And then you go into a time of reflection, just candid reflection, talking in a circle about the trip, the fun things, the things we got to do, how God showed up, most importantly, and then maybe dads or moms, you have a whiteboard next to you or a sheet of paper or something to make a list. I like everybody be on to see the list, go to chalkboard work and you start making a list of what are what are the ways got shut up. And usually, like I can think of top of my head, you know, a dozen things, but I’ve seen it get to like we had 30 plus we’ll.
Do you remember that? I mean, the three month RV trip, we had the dry erase board out and we had so many we had over a second we had to get a second race where because it was it was over a hundred. The blessings, the answers to prayer, the divine appointments, all the things. And you don’t want your kids to forget that and to see like obviously, if you listen to a couple of podcasts ago we were talking one of our recommendations was that you have a mission minded aspect towards your vacation, and that’s one of the expectations that you set with your kids. Well, then obviously, if you’re doing that, then you doing this reflection time when you get home and you’re writing out the blessings and they’re like, hey, remember when we gave that extra meal to the homeless guy on the road? Or do you remember when we had that amazing conversation with that person at the pool and we were able to witness to them or Domar when we visited that church or when God answered this prayer? It’s just it’s a powerful you guys. It’s powerful to anchor those memories in your kids minds, because I’ll tell you something, one of the things that I learned from myself and my memories of my childhood, and I think that everybody struggles with this when you look back, it’s easier to remember the hard things than it is to remember the good things. We’ve also learned that as we’ve had kids grow up is that sometimes they have an inaccurate memory of something right. Of a vacation or something. And then you actually show them other pictures and you remind them, you tell them the story and they’re like, oh, yeah, that did happen that way. And so doing these reflection times where everybody’s sitting around and recounting the stories of how God moved and worked and how they grew, how they were challenged in a character quality or whatever it was, those are the things that anchor family in
Unity, such good stuff. And I love it. And it is so important to do this and you’ll just be blown away. Your kids will come up with things you don’t you didn’t even think of or didn’t remember to. And I love that anchoring. And if we don’t do this too, how can we glorify God? Isn’t that the purpose of our life is to make sure we share God with others and glorify him in everything we do. So it’s a practice of doing that, too. And if they remember, then they’re able to glorify God when they’re sharing with their friends about their trip or people asking about the trip, they’re able to glorify God.
They are. It’s not just this. Oh, yeah. I got to sit by the beach and just do nothing or I got it’s not like their focus becomes it comes off of the more selfish things like, yeah, they might go, oh, we have this fun memory with that fun memory. But you know what? Sometimes the stories that they share is like, well, God parted the clouds and removed the rain. So we can see the Grand Tetons right after we prayed. Yeah. Or he stopped all the haling in the snow so we could go up to Mt. Rushmore or I mean, there was just like, you know, thinking back, it’s like I remember coming home from different trips and kind of in the background. I’m just kind of listening to the kids have conversations with other people at church or in our community. And they’d say, so what was the most what was your favorite part of your trip is like the most common thing that family and friends will ask your kids. Right. What was the most favorite part of your trip? And when you hear your little kid go, Oh, when God answered our prayer, bla bla bla bla versus I got to go to an amusement park.
Not that that’s bad, but like we do those things, we do do those things. But for like why was this six year old answering that way instead of first thing he thinks of the amusement park. Right. It’s because of the time that was spent on reflecting on all of God’s blessings in the ways that God was glorified and how it was actually more like a missions trip, that that we were on a mission to be a light wherever we went. And so I just think that it can be so incredibly powerful and also teaches your kids to have their spiritual eyes open and that what we all pray for our kids in all things, that they would have their spiritual eyes open, that they would be able to see other people’s needs, whether that’s within your family or outside of your family, and that they would take time to actually meet those needs or at least pray for them.
Wow. So important. I hope everybody gets to listen to this because. The other two were really good and helpful, and they really set the stage for this last one of applications, but you got to do the stuff in this episode. It’s so important why we see so many things. And the changes that happen for our family have been huge. We’ve made life altering decisions for our entire family in our own reflections and hearing reflections from our kids.
Sometimes you just have to get away from all the distractions, all the voices, all the noise. To hear God and for there to be true unity and alignment in your family, which can only happen by the power of the Holy Spirit, can I just say that I say that as a mom who’s about to have her ninth child and my oldest is almost twenty one. Can you imagine when Isaac and I were our three month old trip and we really we were visiting churches on the RV trip, we tried every week to find a church to go to. And you guys, like there were times where we deeply missed our community back home. We did it because we love them. But we also, you know, what the Holy Spirit did on that three month trip? He literally took every single one of our hearts and put us all into alignment that God was calling us to plant a church. Yeah. And that I mean, we had teenagers, young adults all the way down to Little Solomon was two at the time. And so I just look at that and go. Only the Holy Spirit can put 10 people in alignment like that when they’ve got friends and all these things. It was a selfless desire that they all agreed upon. And I honestly don’t know if that kind of unity in alignment would have happened if we didn’t get away from the normal. And do you know what I’m saying?
And only we can think of these things as our lives. But I’m just telling you all kinds of positive change that only God could bring about in our lives. And blessing and fruitfulness came, I believe, because we’re obedient in that decision. And the second we might not have been woken up to that because we’re so we have so much collusion in our rhythm of our Life. Or even just can I say comfort? Yeah. Because when I look back on that period of time, like, you know, anybody could have been looking at our life from the outside and gone, well, what you have in that community is super special and it was special. But what’s important to realize is that sometimes we allow our comfort to dictate our decisions in life to the point where we aren’t willing to actually obey God. And we had to come to a point where it was like, OK, this is all well and good, but doesn’t God want to grow us? And that like he like, are we growing? Yeah. You know, and to realize it took us getting away to realize. Actually, there’s an element of lack of growth for some of our kids even. Yeah, there’s a stuntedness that could potentially happen if we were to stay. That was a reality conversation that we had. Even for us. We felt like we have these gifts God’s given to us. Oh, imagine how the kingdom could advance if we were just willing to say yes.
And this last summer, our six week RV trip planted the seeds for what we eventually did. Two weeks later, after getting home of deciding
To move, it took getting away from it for you to see that it’s different in other places and to see how how much it impacted our children’s lives. Actually, you guys, we we do this like yearly annual RV trip, OK? And because of covid last year, it got delayed from May to June, which normally we always start our RV trip to April or in May. And so that we kind of avoid like the rush of school and public schoolers and all the stuff, you know, it’s easier for us to vacation as a family and keep an eye on everybody, all the things. So we ended up having to delay it. But because of covid, hardly anyone was vacationing last year and we went to eight different states in six weeks. And it just opened our eyes. It opened our eyes to see how local government affected and impacted and literally controlled local citizens ways of life on such a huge level. And then being in places that were not as strict as Oregon was, like every place, Oregon was the worst. Out of all of the places we went to, we realized how that impacted our family. We realized how it impacted our kids lives. And we really had to go legacy wise. Like we have older kids that are thinking about getting married some day. We can’t advocate that they raise a family under a government that is like this. And then we came back and it gotten worse.
Yeah. And then we’re like, OK, but
You can’t see that once you remove yourself from it long enough. Yeah. Otherwise you think everywhere’s like it. I call it a positive disruption. You have to break the rhythms of your life or business long enough to see where you need something that’s completely disruptive for a positive reason
And you have to do it with your kids. Again, about alignment. Can I just say that if, like, we have never been the type of parents that have been like, oh, we’re moving? Yeah, we don’t care, we think we’re doing this like that is not how Tolpins do things. And so we kind of take the harder route and we take our kids with us on a trip to figure out where. So we then went on a two week trip because we felt like Idaho would be a more free place to be. There are other states that are also more free, not just Idaho, but ingoing. Our our kids got to see and got to be a part of it. And their conviction grew even more to where at the end of the day, we were all in alignment to move. Yeah, right. And so, like, I can’t imagine again, I think that we would not have taken them then because there was one there were two kids that didn’t come with us and they were they were more hesitant to move.
But yeah. So good. Last point and a very, very important point. Got to do this. One is preframe that the vacation mindset is over.
Oh, my goodness. For moms, this is like a big thing that, yes, you need to do. But can I just say we need the husband’s leadership on this one, so we need help on this. Otherwise it is so easy for us once we get home, husband goes back to work or whatever, and mom is at home to be the one that is the clanging cymbal repeating herself, the broken record over and over and over again. Going guys went on vacation. Any more time to do chores, time to do school, got to get out of bed. It’s not vacation. You don’t get a sleep in anymore. Come on. We got family Bible time, whatever it is. Right. And so I just think that there is it it is hard for moms to stay consistent in getting back to the normal way of doing things if they’re the only ones that are seeing it. And so I know that as we’ve returned home, it’s been a huge help for me to have Isaac be drilling this in just before we even get home. Yeah. So, guys, remember, when we get home, went on vacation and we’re going to need
Like we’re going to help getting laundry done, chores. We’re back on the tour system. You know, here’s the things we’re going to do right when we arrive, you know, or the next morning after we arrive. Depending on the timing, you know, obviously, dad’s going back to work or, you know, their school, whatever, whatever their expectations are talking about everything and that we that we want to be productive and fruitful for the kingdom of God. And I think it might be even a good idea to just go. What do you guys love about being home? We talked about what we loved about the vacation, but what do you love about being home?
So. There’s some good anticipation. Usually they’ll go, oh, my own bed, we’re all squished in the RV, but yeah, that’s definitely something they all look forward to, right. And so it’s it I think that this aspect, though, is one of those things that the entrance can become a dread, but it does not have to be. And that’s why we’re bringing it up. Coming home from vacation can be an easy entrance, but you have to be proactive about communicating with your kids, about the negative potential habits that could continue.
And hey, guys, I would warn you that I think a lot of just from hearing from Hanji, actually a lot of the motivation to do a vacation again or how long or how many vacations to do in the future will be either the mom will be more motivated if this transition happens well and you help lead and less likely to ever want to do something if it all falls on her shoulders. And so how this finishes, it’s not when the vacation finishes is the week following, how that week following goes for mom has a big level of whether she’s motivated to do it again.
You’re totally right. I mean, let’s all just use our situation. You can if you don’t have an RV, think about like your camping tents. There need to be wiped down the coolers that need to be cleaned out, the food that needs get put away, the laundry that needs to be done. Time for you to go shopping, get groceries in the fridge again. Right, right, right, right. So if there is bad attitudes about, you know, older siblings babysitting younger siblings, a mom can go to the grocery store. If there’s bad attitudes from from one of the kids, when you go, hey, can go wash out the cooler with soap. Right? And they’re like, oh, I mean, it’s it’s the attitudes that actually affect me more than anything. Yeah. And so talking about it with your kids ahead of time and going, hey, guys, listen, we got to have a good attitude. We have to because these are our jurisdictions. We have to steward the things we have. Well, we have to take care of them, otherwise we will ruin them and they won’t be useful in the future. Do you guys like vacationing? Yeah, you do. Well, we got to take care of our vacationing equipment, so therefore we got to clean the RV all together, not just mom, you know, which I will actually say I can’t remember the last time I cleaned the RV. I think it’s been years because you have always led the teams on who’s cleaning before we go, get in and out of storage and who’s cleaning when we get back. And then the other people are on my team with the unload, put things back, get groceries, get laundry going, and we kind of do this tag team thing. Yeah, it’s definitely Team Tulpan. Yeah. And so you guys need to figure out what your rhythm is and you need to be a team because if it all falls on mom, though, it’s going to be less likely that she’s going to want to go boating, camping, Arshavin,
Whatever it is. Maybe this means getting back a day before Dad goes back to work, or if he does get back to work right away, you just even though you’re working in the evening, as soon as you get home, you’re helping.
And right now, here’s another one. I’m just going to say that’s like my one of my biggest pet peeves is a messy vehicle. I cannot stand messy cars. And right now it’s very difficult for me to clean them because of how pregnant I am. I’m talking about like garbage left in there or just even if something spills when you’re on a road trip, because a lot of people road trip, they don’t actually have RVs. Right. So coming home, unloading things, but leaving the car a mess is a negative reminder for mom. Yeah, I’m just going to say. And so one thing that can be super helpful is if Dad was to take that car and go get it detailed, like the next day or that next weekend and giving wife vision, hey, I’m going to take care of the car. It’s going to be pristine or do you know what I mean? Or do it with your kids and that alone, because let’s just face it, sometimes mom is taxicab and like being in a dirty place. It’s just this remnants of the mess of vacation makes you not want vacation.
Well, hey, so glad you joined us. And there’s each of these episodes stand alone. But these last three were how to set up your vacation, what to do during a vacation, sop you thrive and then how to re-enter effectively for great, good change. And so we hope you enjoyed it.
Give us a shout out if you guys like today’s podcast. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to CourageousParenting.com and CourageousMom.com For free online workshops, blog posts and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program, Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting package to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.
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