By Karen O’Connor:
Can’t afford–or want to save–on hotels, restaurants, and airfare this summer? Enjoy family and find God on a staycation vacation!
My husband and three children and I did just that one summer, following the purchase of a new home. We had little money for extras at that point, but plenty of desire to have fun. We blocked out five days in July, then planned a different outing for each day in and around the city where we lived at the time.
On our staycation vacation everyone in the family had a say. The beach, Disneyland, a tour of the Queen Mary, the art museum, and a ball game.
The time our family spent together enjoying nature, focusing on conversation and fun, and sharing memorable experiences reminds me of one of my favorite verses from the Bible.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. . . Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. . . Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG Bible)
By the end of the week we all agreed it had been one of the most enjoyable vacations we’d ever had––stress-free, fiscally responsible, and fun!
“I really like doing things as a family,” said my son. And that statement came from an adolescent who had appeared to be breaking away from family traditions. It seemed we all could find God on a staycation vacation even if we weren’t fully aware of it at the time.
And don’t forget: save a little of that time you would have spent packing or rushing to make plane connections to sing praise songs together and have fun sharing your faith with each other.
The Sargent family, when their kids were small, used to drive around their little town blasting DC Talk’s song, Free at Last on the radio and the family doing ‘car dancing’ (as much dancing as possible with just arms and heads)! Imagine that as you see this video and hear the music. How can you NOT ‘car dance’?
DC Talk: Free at Last (with Toby Mac)
Also, here’s a news video on how rising gas prices and the desire for families to save money are making staycations appealing. One way is through family volunteering: you can find some opportunities at volunteermatch.org or through your local church. (Some families also host international exchange students or church interns, then share family fun and faith with them. If you have done this, we’d love to have you comment on that.)
©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com.