Jesus instructs his disciples in Mark 6:31 to “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat." Jesus saw the need to step aside from our labors to find refreshment together.
Follow God's design
From the beginning of time, God modeled the importance of rest. God stepped back from his work of creating to celebrate its goodness. Vacations should be a time to spend quality time as a family and grow closer to each other and to God.
Choose to celebrate the blessings in life. A barbecue or a baby shower are moments to gather and delight in God's blessings. Focus on celebrating the gifts that God has given you and find ways to see them with fresh eyes. Vacations are about time away from the regular routine and invested in one another.
Without making an intentional effort we can miss opportunities to connect with one another. Whether you like bike rides to local parks or adventuring to a local historic attraction, the important idea is to invest in the family that God has given to you. With the economy the way it has been, vacations are not what they once were, but do we really need a fancy vacation?
Here are some fun inexpensive ideas for this year's summer family vacation:
- Camping - This is an excellent alternative to your average vacation, especially if you have family members and friends with camping stuff on hand. Most states have a variety of county and state parks, so you won't have to travel far from home. With fishing, hiking, spelunking and other outdoor activities, entertainment costs are minimal. Time spent delighting in Gods creation is a great way to draw closer to God and to each other. What's more, the novelty of cooking outdoors means your food budget can be fairly low.
- Rediscovering Your Home Town - Being a tourist in your own mid-to-large sized city can be a very exciting experience! Sometimes we overlook the delights that God has placed around us when they become too familiar. Exploring locally allows you to save money on hotels and transportation, enabling you to concentrate on food and entertainment. Museums, historical landmarks , sporting events and special natural resources, can all be discovered in a new way. Consider searching your area online to discover things you may not have known about.
- Weekenders - If you love the idea of staying in hotel and traveling, consider going away for a weekend rather than for a week or two. We don't need an extended vacation to discover some of the delights of Gods creation, choose to celebrate all the blessings both big and small.
- Visiting - Here's an old fashioned idea- how about visiting with friends or family out of state? When I was growing up, we visited my grandparent's home once a year. There were family picnics and stories around the campfire, fun with cousins and sharing of meals. All for the low cost of the road trip and the added blessing of investing in the lives of others.
- Mini-dates- A walk to the ice-cream parlor or a bike ride to the park allow for time together to hear about each others dreams. Just taking the time to listen to the hearts of your family members will be worth the investment
As you can see, there are many options for the growing family on a budget to gather a pocket full of souvenirs and a lifetime of memories. You don't have to break the bank to vacation, you only have to break your regular routine and choose to delight in the gifts that God has placed around you.