Summer, a time of relaxation and vacation. Taking a break from structured activities and school is good. Many parents are thrilled to have a break from it all but we shouldn't lump God into the summer break category. It may sound silly but we need to be sure we're taking Christ on vacation with us.
He never takes a break from us. No matter where we are, He is there. This should give us comfort.
Whether it's packing for a trip or just enjoying staycations at home, taking Christ on vacation is not hard.
Pack God In Your Suitcase
“He's in here somewhere, I'm sure of it! Oh, there He is, under the sunscreen!”
Seriously, make it a priority to take your Bible, devotional, worship music, journal, whatever you need to be able to continue regular time with God while you're on vacation. I always take my journal, notebook and some form of a Bible, digital or hard copy.
Summer Reading Plans and Scripture Memory
I found a few summer reading plans for various ages. Here's a children's summer reading plan but the whole family could participate. That one is for the book of John and here's one for the book of Luke.
Wyatt goes to Awana in the fall where he learns a new verse each week. I don't want to wait 4 or 5 months for him to start memorizing scripture so we're doing repeating some of his Awana scriptures over the summer months.
Nature Discovery and Scavenger Hunts
At home or on the go, scavenger hunts are a great way to highlight God's creations. If you're headed out of town this is a perfect way to incorporate some God-centered learning with your family fun. You can look up scriptures about the things you find and talk about what day God would have created them. Explore in thought what it must have been like to see the Earth and all the inhabitants being created. I've printed a few copies of this Shell Observation Chart for our beach vacation. If you're not headed to the beach, here are 40+ Nature Walk Activites with Free Printables you might find useful.
Take a moment each day to observe even the simplest of His wonders like the sunset, the birds chirping or the beautiful views around you.
Family Devotional Time
Make time for family devotions even on vacation. Pick a time when you're all together (over a meal, right before bed or first thing in the morning) and read a devotional. We have used this Veggie Tales Devotional. Even though it's “for kids” the questions are suitable for all ages. I also like God Gifted Virtues. There's copy work for older children included in God Gifted Virtues so it's great for a rainy day inside when you're on vacation.
By far, I love this devotional for kids. It does not shy away from truth and isn't watered down even though it's for children. I have used it off and on with our 5-year old. And right now, our family devotional is this one year family devotional.
Keep An Eye on Your Values
We go away and we always keep an eye on our valuables but don't forget to keep an eye on your values too. It's hard when you're with family who aren't believers, or who don't have a thriving spiritual life but remember, we're called to be salt and light.
This by no means gives us license to point fingers in judgment, or measure up their walk with ours. But we can be salt and light quietly by making decisions that are in line with our beliefs and even simply doing what we'd do at home. If you pray over meals at home, pray over them on vacation. If you feel led to pray for a stranger, do so. If you need to pass on an outing or engagement, do so politely.
Seek His Will For Your Vacations and Outings
Don't forget to seek His will for what you're supposed to be doing this Summer. It is a time to pause and relax? To dig in to fixing issues in your home? For reconnecting with your family?
What does He want you to do this summer. It sounds simple but the easiest way to keep God in the center of your Summer is to seek His will for it.