It’s been too many years since we were able to take a family vacation. That’s the perception, anyway. Our last extended getaway took us to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, our landing place a rustic cottage that became more of a “rest home” than we expected because of my husband’s battle with altitude sickness. Great memories and an SD card full of photos remind us of the extraordinary time undaunted by the slower pace and trimmed schedule. Maybe slower pace and trimmed schedule rated higher with the God who provided that time away than our seeing one more mountain, one more park, one more historic site or scenic overlook.
This summer will likely pass without a family vacation, as have many others. Financial constraints, some health issues, and scheduling conflicts will keep us from hopping a plane to an exotic location or a well-known amusement park. We will find our amusement closer to home. Is that you, too?
A few days ago, I tagged along with a friend and her husband when their kids and grandkids met at a local beach for an afternoon’s mini-vacation. The cost? Practically nothing. But it netted an SD card full of photos of the beach and sky, the marina, the grandkids learning to swim, the beach blanket full of sand and sandwiches, cousins buried to their necks on the beach by other giggling cousins, sandcastles, conversation, and lungs refilling with fresh air. A plastic container of hand-picked strawberries provided a dessert as rewarding as crème brulee at a five-star restaurant.
The day at the beach, free of responsibilities and technology, refreshed us as individuals and created even more memories for this well-bonded family. Listening to toddler joy can’t help but replenish our own storehouse. Reconnecting with our children and watching them reconnect with one another in a loving, mutually caring way can’t help but invigorate us.
Philippians 4:11 ESV—“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
When the Apostle Paul encouraged us to be content no matter what the circumstances, he may have been thinking ahead—surely the God who inspired him was—to summers like mine where the joys are simple, but all the sweeter.
Leave a comment about a simple vacation-like experience that brought you sweet joy. Let’s celebrate together.
Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark. Two new recent releases show hope, joy, and inexplicable contentment in the midst of disappointments— When the Morning Glory Blooms (a novel from Abingdon Press) and Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (nonfiction from Abingdon Press Christian Living). You can find her books and connect with her at www.cynthiaruchti.com or www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage