When Our Big Summer Plans Amount to Something Small


My children long to know what we’re doing each summer. A grand adventure seems to be called for. All of their friends will be announcing their fantastic escapades: 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 usually 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 family 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, we’re making it happen. 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

We’d love to know… If you could plan one grand adventure before the summer ends, what would it be?

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7 Gifts Good & Perfect

7 GiftsAbout a year ago, I was perusing Amazon and came across the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I was touched by her gentle manner and her thoughtful insight. It seemed every word she spoke was poetic and meaningful. It didn’t take long to find her website, perusing all of the wisdom she had to share. While wandering her site, I noticed that she had a particular entry about 7 Gifts. This piqued by interest and had me taking a deeper look.

What I found was truly a treasure. 7 Gifts encourages each of us to take a look at the everyday and see it in a new light; to take the ordinary and see its beauty.

If the concept worked for us as adults, why not bring my children in on this unique idea? What better way to teach my children the beauty of everyday life?

7 Gifts Good & Perfect is now a part of our daily routine. Each of my children and I carry a copy with us. When we find something that inspires us, we write it down. During our Bible time, at the beginning of our homeschooling day, we take the time to review each other’s lists.

7 Gifts

It never ceases to amaze me what my children find good and perfect… The smell of their clean sheets, the feel of their pillow, the taste of fresh-baked bread; these things have become meaningful to their lives.

My list for today:

  • The sound of quiet
  • The feel of a warm breeze
  • The calmness of a slowly taken breath
  • The smell of a clean sweater
  • The knowledge that I am not alone
  • The taste of Mexican hot chocolate
  • The feeling of accomplishment, when my day is complete

This has become an important part of our homeschooling adventure. Seeing the wonder and splendor in even the littlest things. Thank you so much, Mrs. Voskamp, for this wonderful idea!

📢 Chime In!: What 7 Gifts have you discovered today?

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