When Big Summer Plans Amount to Something Small

Big_Summer_Plans_Amount_to_SmallMy 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?

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5 thoughts on “When Big Summer Plans Amount to Something Small

  1. Just what I needed to hear! I have been disappointed because we aren’t able to travel this summer and I have been pretty bummed about it! But your post reminds me that we have already had lots of fun this summer and have lots more fun planned!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always had this “grand” dream to travel the Oregon Trail, as much as it’s possible, and taking as long as necessary to see all the sights, learning along the way. Here in the real world, though, we fired up the fire pit last night on the patio and roasted hot dogs 🙂 One small step!

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  3. Pingback: Meet & Greet – 4th of July | A Texan's View of Upstate New York

  4. There are probably lots of interesting places near where you live that cost little or nothing. Daycations can be exciting and teach about your own state. I can’t understand the destination fascination of the world today. Some of the warmest, most lasting memories I have cost practically nothing. Used to be, summer vacation, cousins spent a week with one aunt, then one at another aunt or uncle’s, then cousins came to your house. It was picnics, swims in a creek, parades in town, vacation bible school.

    Visit me @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are tons of interesting things to do in our area, and we’ve done them all. This is not a complaint, merely an observation. We live in a spot which uniquely allows us to go from the ocean to the mountains, Disneyland to Magic Mountain, in the same day.

      Nor, do I believe, are we spoiled. We greatly appreciate having a multitude of choices to work with. Rather, this is merely a desire to explore outside our regular routine.

      I suppose the draw to destination vacations is the notion of seeing things we’ve only read about or seen in photos. I’d like to SEE a redwood tree in person and smell the pines. I’d like to FEEL what it’s like to be on a boat with the wind in my hair. I’d like to SMELL orange groves and TASTE grapes on the vines. It’s not as if life is incomplete without these things, but how fun would it be to have these experiences!

      I wish I could give my children the experience of breaks surrounded by family, but this is out of our reach. Both my husband I have only one sibling; neither of which are married. Thus, no cousins. (Although we do visit the family we have on a regular basis. I don’t know what we’d do without them.) We have the only children on the block, but are quite active in our homeschool group in order to balance the social outlet our children desire. We live in 110º weather, so most outside activities are nixed, besides swimming. To the best our ability, we use our resources to the fullest and enjoy life quite well.

      However, I find no harm in having the desire and dream of one day sharing other adventures with my children. These do not detract from appreciating what we have. Rather, they enhance and build on existing memories.

      Great conversation starter! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

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