Laundry is being washed + bags are being packed + toys are being gathered together + KC's (our cat) big bowls are out and ready to go = the Smith family vacation!
There are lots of things I enjoy about vacation: diving through waves with Stephen, collecting shells with Abbie, smiling (& laughing if I'm honest) at Matt as he "oils up" for the beach and munches on Pringles, strolling around Broadway at the Beach, and yes, even driving 8 hours through the night is something I enjoy. One of my pre-vacation highlights though is choosing which books to take. Let's face it, nothing beats reading on the beach with the crashing of the waves blocking out all other distractions.
Over the years, I have noticed that my tendency is to "vacation" from pursuing my joy and satisfaction in the Lord. Sure, I have a quiet time every morning, but my joy is far too easily derived from all the fun things to do and see. I can actually feel the spiritual dullness settling in. It's so easy to take joy in all of God's gifts instead of the Giver Himself. This is a daily temptation but it seems to be an even stronger temptation for me while I am on vacation. The last two years I have done things a bit differently and it has helped me tremendously.
Last year I read Noel Piper's book "Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God" which tells the stories of five Christian women who did very different, yet very great things for the kingdom of God. I found it challenging and inspiring and at several points, was brought to tears over the sacrifices they were willing to make to serve the Savior. Reading about others who pursued Christ in their day, often amidst severe trials and suffering, helped me to see and value what is most important, even in my little vacation world.
For this vacation, after some research, I have decided to read "The Hiding Place - The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom." It's a classic but one I have never read. On our drive-through-the-night down to MB, Matt and I will be listening to the Desiring God teaching series entitled "Suffering and Sovereignty."
So, whether I'm relaxing at the beach, playing with the kids, laughing with Matt, shopping for gifts, or sneaking away on the 21st to pick up my copy of the final Harry Potter book, I hope and pray that I will pursue Christ as my greatest joy so that He might be glorified during my Myrtle Beach vacation.
Same goal, different place.