The month of June heralds the official beginning of summer, and for many, the fulfillment of long-anticipated travel! Would you like to conclude your journey with precious memories? Several components could contribute to their creation:
Consult with the Master Travel Agent about Your Anticipated Journey
The first step in trip planning should be the reflex reaction of asking our heavenly Father if He desires for us to take the journey. Prayer aligns us with God’s purposes (Matt. 6:9-10), results in answers (James 5:16; 1 John 5:15), and gives glory to God (Dan. 9:16-19; John 14:13-14).
Cast Any Anxiety on Your Gracious Heavenly Father
Travel, for some, is a stress-producing experience. Focusing on the privilege that it is to travel and that you have your heavenly Father’s “stamp of approval” moves the stress to gratitude and allows the truth of Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which you were called in one body; and be thankful,” to ensure your trip a joy filled journey.
Count Your Blessings Daily
Psalm 103 reminds us that we are to recall all of the Lord’s blessings to us. Daily record your blessings so that at the conclusion of your journey, along with your numerous memories and photos, you have a chronology of spiritual blessings to share.
Copy Critical Documents
Before you leave, scan the front and back of every item in your wallet including your passport. E-mail the images to yourself. Now you’ll always have a digital copy handy in case you lose something. This will not substitute for your passport, ID or credit card, but you’ll have all of the pertinent information you need to keep going.
Create a Master List
Sounds so elementary. Mental lists are great, but a written list is there to keep things together when stress sets in the way it does right before its time to leave. I make a list of items I don’t want to forget—which I know from experience I will forget if I don’t write them down. When I think of something, I need to write it down. I save the Master List on my computer. This assists in eliminating the need to start at square one each time I travel.
Craft a Wardrobe Plan
Take the time to plan what you’ll wear then pack in outfits—specifically. Be sure to check your destination’s projected weather forecasts. You’ll be so glad you have a Wardrobe Plan when you arrive at your destination. You won’t be happy if you discover you brought three pairs of shorts and two tops that do not match. Save the Wardrobe Plan on your computer.
Carry an Empty Water Bottle
Bring along an empty water bottle. Once you clear security, fill it. This eliminates the costly bottles at the airport. Just make sure it’s empty before you pass through security on your return trip if you don’t want to surrender it at check-in.
Cart Disinfecting Wipes
Airplanes are not clean. You have no idea what passengers before you have done on your tray table. Bring your own fresh disinfecting wipes. When possible, clean your space once you are seated.
Conclude Your Journey with Praise and Gratitude to Your Gracious Heavenly Father
Giving thanks is an act of the will that generates the giving of thanks to God, regardless of the circumstances. Purpose to conclude your journey with praise and gratitude to your heavenly Father, purposing to recall the blessings each time you think or speak of it (Phil. 4:11; 1 Thess. 5:18). Deposit any negative memories in the airport trash!
CONGRATULATIONS are in order for Kelsey who graduated with a Masters Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences on May 10. Following her timely tips provide a solid foundation for a joy filled journey!
According to a recent AAA travel survey, 68% of families in America will take a vacation this summer—my own family included! In order to celebrate my graduation from grad school and my sister’s graduation from high school, my family is taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe, and I cannot wait! If you’re also anticipating a vacation, like mine, your mind is likely filled with pictures of the ocean, smells of coffee drifting out of quaint cafés, and visions of your explorations in ancient cities. With each successive day, if we aren’t careful, our anticipations and expectations for our vacations can become more idyllic than realistic. Some tips to keep our expectations closer to reality so that you and your family can have a more joyful vacation include:
Trips never unfold exactly according to plan, so we must adjust our expectations accordingly. Although utter perfection may fill our minds when we think about our upcoming trips, in reality sometimes airlines lose our bags, someone gets inconveniently sick, and inclement weather cancels our long anticipated excursions. No matter how much we plan, these inconveniences are out of our control. If we balance our expectations by anticipating that some of our plans might not work out, then when challenges do occur, they are a lot less likely to ruin our time.
Vacations will not fix all our problems. Often we go into a vacation with the hope that all our troubles will disappear. However, when we return home, we will likely still be a bit tired, stressed, and behind on life. This is an expectation that not even the best of vacations can achieve!
We can’t see or do everything, so plan for quality over quantity when booking excursions. Often we forget to make accommodations for jetlag, bathroom breaks, rest times, and even time to process! Sightseeing, especially internationally, can be overwhelming without some quiet time to rest and process between activities. Instead of overloading your itinerary, choose excursions that allow time for rest and rehabilitation.
Our vacation expectations and motivations must come from a desire to bring joy to our family as a whole, not just ourselves. If we head into our vacations motivated primarily by our own personal desire for rest, comfort, and joy, then division and disappointment will be around every corner. Instead, we must be willing to compromise our own self-interests in order to pursue the interests of the group as a whole. Encourage your family to keep the happiness of the group in mind as you discuss your plans.
A vacation from normal life does not mean that we vacate our morals or time in God’s Word and prayer. Our actions may be hidden from our coworkers, neighbors, or church members when we vacation, but they are never hidden from the Lord. Our love and devotion to God cannot be something we conveniently forget to pack. Instead, our vacations should provide us an opportunity to be salt and light as we travel (Matt. 5:13-16).
Having the money, freedom, and time to take a vacation is a tremendous blessing that should not be taken for granted. With correct expectations and motivations in place, when the Lord grants safety and joy, allows us to see the indescribably beauties of His creation, and grants us that extra hour of sleep, then praises to Him should pour forth from our hearts (Ps. 50:23)! So as we look forward to our vacations, let’s wrap our anticipations in prayer, careful to plan wisely yet with proper expectations in place. I pray that the Lord blesses each of you with safety, health, unity, and joy as you rest and travel this summer!
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
God has said, “Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Therefore, I may boldly say, “As God’s woman I am always accompanied by Him when I travel.”