About the Author

Emily P. Freeman is a writer who creates space for souls to breathe. She is the author of four books, including her most recent release, Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their twin daughters and twinless son.

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  1. Thank you for this timely post! I’m going to London for a one week plus training/vacation. I was already thinking of how much project work I will be able to accomplish with free time but now that you’ve talked about leaving our obsessions behind, that is just what I’l do. I do pray to be able to really slow down and enjoy the summer. Thanks!

  2. Emily,
    When my kids were little, we always tried to make the “getting there” fun and refreshing as well. I always packed contemporary Christian cd’s and plenty of Veggie Tales movies so that from the get go…we had our mind on the one who was giving us this time of rest. Nothing like a captive audience in the car for hours lol. Thanks for your vacationing tips – like Lolu above I struggle with leaving my obsessions behind. They will always be there when I return, but for now I need the Sabbath found in a change of scenery and thoughts.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. All of these point are great!! I love the idea of bringing peace with me on vacation. I always bring a little something along with me to get done, hoping for some free time, but rarely find it. I have never heard of breath prayers but think it is wonderful. I will certainly take time to discover my breath prayer.
    My kids are old enough to have a small camera of their own and I have found myself in a few of their pictures, thank goodness there is some record of me on our trips, LOL.

  4. The one thing I have recently decided shouldn’t be invited to any special occasion is EXPECTATIONS. These will wreck any vacation, birthday, holiday or run to Target. I love your suggestions.

  5. I try to let go of schedules and relax the rules a little when we travel. So they want to party all night and sleep all day? Go for it! Junk cereal for breakfast and lunch with a helping of ice cream for dinner? Yes, please.

    We all need a break from the rules, and I need a break from enforcing them. It helps vacation feel a little less like a business trip for Mom, and more like vacating from the everyday.

  6. Needed the reminder of
    A breath prayer today, and the timing aligns beautifully with our scheduled beach trip this coming week. I have a few days to soul search and discover a breath prayer to get me through the week basked in the peace and presence of God. Thanks for your post and sweet blessings for the rest of the summer

  7. Great timing. We are taking our Grandchildren on a camping trip this weekend! One thing I have found works for getting the whole group in a photo is to ask someone to take the picture for you. I often volunteer to do take pictures so everyone can be in the shot.

  8. Thank you, Emily, for these wise and easy tips. This is my first time hearing of breath prayers. No vacation plans this summer, but I think it would be just as helpful for those extra-crazy, stressful days when all I can utter is a simple prayer. I’m going to take some time this summer to discover one of my own.

  9. Thank you so much for this- especially number 4. We are taking a train across Canada next month and I have been worrying about not being able to sleep well with the noise and motion. I really need to let go of the worry and hold on to trust and thankfulness instead.

  10. I just loved this post. We are taking our two littles on a cruise next week, and we know (having already taken our son on one a couple years ago), that it will be far from relaxing for us parents 🙂 But we are excited to get away, excited to make memories, and thrilled to get this time to just be together. Thank you for these reminders that the place isn’t what brings us peace, but we have to bring it with us and let ourselves let go. I have so much on my plate right now, I really needed this reminder to leave it all at home so I can enjoy this time with them!!!

  11. I have to fight for peace, especially at work. I usually get there all in a tizzy, I don’t care for my job nor does the director really care for me, but that’s another story.

    My hubby and I take a few trips–mostly day drives. I enjoy getting away from it all & just being with him for a while NO DISTRACTIONS ALLOWED!!

    Thanks for the tips–especially the slow down & heart breather part!

  12. Great tips, Emily. I think I will just have to try all of them next month when we hit the beach with family. I would add this one too: don’t try to squeeze too much [even fun] activity into a vacation that is supposed to be about REST. God has promised us rest, so let us enter in. (Hebrews 4:1)

  13. We leave in two days for two weeks, thank you for this post! Coming your way to North Carolina to go to the beach! I needed this reminder. Thank you.

  14. Hi Emily,
    This got me: “You have to fight for slow” and your great tip for getting yourself in the picture…I also appreciate friendly folks who will take your picture when you offer to take on of them with their camera….and like you, I didn’t really vacation till after I married…blessings to you 🙂

  15. The breath prayer – yes. I love this and need to do this.

    Thank you for breathing fresh air into our days with your glorious words. Much love to you!

  16. The ‘breath prayer’ thing – intrigues me. Yes….so good. Just right there – in the middle of the crumbs and the laundry and the noise – a breath prayer. Sounds right.

    Thank you so much. I’ll be pondering this today.

    Kind Blessings,
    Kate 🙂

  17. I’m going to take your advice on taking photos in windows of all of us. I’m rarely in any photos, good one Emily. Love the idea and need to take your advice about leaving projects at home. And that breath prayer is interesting, I’m going to steep with that one.

  18. Hi Emily
    Thanks….I try to keep my time with God a constant….even during the holidays…..coffee,the Bible,me,God and prayer time…..it sets the pace and calms the mind….Also we try to relax and enjoy everybit of it…..keeping a little for each day…taking it slowly…chewing the experience….savoring the memories….

    Bringing back small stuff for a memory jar is good too
    l

  19. I love your voice. I can be reading along in a post without having read your byline and not having seen a photo and know your voice. Thank you for sharing what’s in your head and heart. We are leaving for a family vacation soon and your tips are precisely the KIND of tips that I need. Thank you.

  20. Thank you for your tips. #4 is one I used to struggle with. It used to drive my husband crazy (and with good reason, I ruined more than one opportunity with my fear of the worst case scenarios…no spontaneous MLB game while on vacation because my stomach hurts so therefore I might be sick and we’ll have to sit around the hotel instead…no trip to the hotel pool our kids can’t swim yet what if they get too close to the deep end…and so on). My sons an I are going camping next month with my brother’s family. I REFUSE to be that way anymore. It’s no way to vacation or to live!

  21. I needed this (as I sit awake listing and re-listing what we need/might need/probably won’t need but might take anyway for our family road trip in a few days)!
    I love your honesty, your humor and your practicality! 🙂

  22. Thank you for this Emily. I hadn’t heard of a ‘breath prayer’ but its very akin to what I’ve been doing by meditating on one phrase or scripture as I breathe in and out over 10 mins. I like this name for it. And I love your reminder to get in that photo too! Bringing peace with you – SO important! For me, that means leaving my lists behind, not checking email at all, and switching off my phone. Its a good idea to do this at home too if you can’t get more than a week away, to turn your home time into vacation too. Thx!

  23. Don’t over plan your time with busyness. We want to see and do everything but the relaxing and enjoying of each other’s company is just as important.

    Tip: Take a collapsible portable tri-pod to get those whole family pictures. There isn’t always someone else around and most camera’s have a timer button.

  24. Wow! This is beautiful! Love the breath prayer. Prayers don’t necessarily have to be verbal! How beautiful it would be if we transform every breath that we breathe into a beautiful prayer or praise! Was reminded of the gospel song Every move I make I make in you!! 🙂 Stay blessed!