My children long to know what we’re doing this summer. A grand adventure seems to be called for. All of their friends have announced their fantastic plans: vacations to exotic locations, camping with other friends, road trips, and more. These all sound wonderful, but with a work schedule which doesn’t let up and a budget which cannot afford such luxuries, our big summer plans are going to amount to something small.
Truthfully, this breaks my heart. I’d be lying if I said I don’t want these things for our children or myself. Like most parents, I would love to give these experiences to my littles and explore the world with them. Unfortunately, that’s just not where we’re at. So what can I do? Begin with prayer, and ask the Lord to lead.
Start with a Heart of Gratitude Unfulfilled desire can easily lead to a heart filled with bitterness and anger over what we don’t have. Instead, we need to choose look around us and be thankful for all we’ve been given. We have a lovely home, good food to eat, too much clothing, and plenty to keep us occupied right where we are. It’s good to have goals, but we must remember to be content with what God has given us already and be thankful for all He continually provides.
Plan for the Future If there is something important we wish to aim for, then we should also be willing to do the work needed to make it happen. Vacation trips don’t just fall in our laps. So, we’re researching, planning, and minimizing to make these happen in the future. Some of our goals are more easily attained while others might take years to accomplish. With a visual guide and plan in place, everyone becomes excited to see progress and help with cutting back.
Turn Off and Tune Out the Buzz If Instagram squares start causing discontent and Facebook posts bring us down, it might be time to remove ourselves from the action for a little while. These feeds can be lovely sources for ideas, but when inspiration becomes frustration we need a break.
Make the Most of Right Now Traveling to Europe isn’t in the cards right now, but there is plenty of opportunity for adventure all around us. Even when budgets are on a budget, there are still many ways to take advantage of the season. With a little creativity, planning, and a Google search or two, we could be having all kinds of fun.
Remember, Sometimes Small Amounts to Something Big While we’d all love grand adventures, it also helps to remember the little things in life which add up to big memories. Roasting marshmallows over a fire pit we built ourselves, sleeping in tents in the living room, homemade ice cream, free concerts, library events, kitten cuddles, and so much more. These aren’t far away adventures, to be sure, but grand none-the-less. I can’t provide exotic locations every summer – okay, not even every third summer – but I can take each day and make it memorable in its own way.
The desire for adventure remains. Through prayer, planning, and the Lord’s leading, perhaps one day we’ll get there. In the mean time, I’ll continue to keep my eyes focused on what the Lord has already provided and be grateful for each new day. Because the truth is, a grand adventure awaits the moment I open my eyes. I just have to be open to the possibilities and live each day with thankfulness.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
~ I Thessalonians 5:18
Your Turn!: If you could plan one grand adventure this summer, what would it be?