Song of Songs 7:11 (NIV) – Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside let us spend the night in the villages.
Early in our marriage, our vacations were not architected for rest and joy. With little kids and no money, we struggled to figure out how to get time off work and also to find a place we could afford where the entire family could have fun and make memories.
On a few occasions, well-intended people in the church offered their “free” cabins. I learned the hard way that you get what you pay for and that dad should always go investigate any potential family vacation spot in advance.
After loading up the kids, and all their stuff, including their bikes so that our Suburban looked like it was the rolling residence of a hoarder, we pulled up to the cabin, only to find it had a cat and a broken and extremely dangerous deck.
Our daughter is very allergic to cats, and her eyes pretty much swelled shut as she struggled to breathe. Our son kept wanting to go play on the deck with the broken railing and missing floor planks. The cabin also had an extremely large buffalo head on the wall that horrified the kids. So, we turned around, went home, and I went back to work.
We soon learned that planning a good vacation takes a lot of praying and preparing. The earlier you start planning your vacation, the better the odds it will be a blessing and not a curse. As a couple, you need to have many discussions about what does and does not work for you on vacation. If you have children, it’s good to plan some getaways throughout the year without the kids, as well as family vacations, which are wonderfully fun but also exhausting and not very restful.
We were not very good at this when we were first married, but thankfully we have gotten much better. We now have wonderful memories as a couple and as a family with our kids going on fun adventures big and small across town and across the globe. We have tens of thousands of fun photos and videos capturing these sacred moments. We have fun reviewing them now and then to remember the fun times and laughs, and then we thank God for His grace with which He has saturated our lives.
If you’re married, think back on some of your best vacation memories. What made them so great and how can you recreate some of those good times on future vacations?