Simple Joy

4 comments Posted on July 9, 2013

Cynthia Ruchtiby Cynthia Ruchti

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?

Green LakeA 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.

When the Morning Glory Blooms

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 or


  • 07/09/2013
    sandra said:

    Hi Cynthia. I love your books! Due to some financial issues, we decided to take a “stay vacation” (or whatever they are called!).
    We decided to “act” like tourists. In other words, if someone came to our town on vacation, what would they do. It caused us to look at our town a little differently. It caused us to take routes that we normally wouldn’t have traveled. And, to meet people from our own community. It was fun to say that we were on vacation and then when asked, “where are you from?”, we would say, “about three miles from here.”
    I’d highly recommend it. God bless. (And we love this magazine website, too. Is there an actual magazine that I can have sent to my home?)

  • 07/09/2013
    Jean B said:

    My husband and I have several children. We rarely get to go away- just the two of us. My husband’s co-worker had a son who was getting married and was going to have a “destination wedding”. The good news was that the “destination” was only 2 hours away.
    We booked the hotel and splurged by upgrading to the suite.
    The countdown was on! We couldn’t wait for our first weekend away together. We had searched for restaurants and other spots of interest.
    Two days before our getaway, our two youngest sons came down with bronchitis. It was so bad that they needed the breathing treatments every four hours. As much as we wanted to go, we knew our calling was to care for our sick little boys. So we cancelled the romantic getaway.
    We spent those two days in our king-sized bed with the two boys watching cartoons and kid’s movies. It was like a 48 hour slumber party! God made it a sweet time and a wonderful memory.

  • 07/09/2013
    Cynthia Ruchti said:

    Sandra, what a great, inspiring story for your “stay cation”! My mind is swimming with ideas for us to be tourists in our own area. If I extend the circle about 45 miles, we’d have a wide range of possible destinations. Jean, your story made me smile. And pray. I’m praying that the Lord will reward you with more than your heart’s desire soon. But what a wonderful slumber party attitude as you cared for your sick kids. Thanks for taking time to contribute to the discussion.

  • 07/09/2013
    Pamela S. Meyers said:

    Cynthia! You were in my hometown, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin!!!! To me a slice of heaven on earth :-). And just a couple weeks ago you told me you had never been to LG. Now that you’ve seen it I know you will want to return :-). Thanks for tipping me off about your picture.

    Shameless promotion: If anyone wants to read about Lake Geneva in story form, check out my book: Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I had a blast writing the story and learned some things about my hometown I never knew before. 🙂


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