"As soon as I stepped foot on the beach, I could feel the stress melt away."
My freshly tanned friend looks like she's just returned from vacation. Her golden skin gives it away, but there's something else too. The tension in her face and body is gone, and her eyes come to life as she describes her family's short getaway.
Our conversation continues, as we discuss what it is about vacation that makes life so enjoy-able and how we might bring some of the vacation lifestyle home.
We may not be able to bottle the ocean's negatively charged ions, but I believe we can harness some great life lessons from our time away by looking at some of the most enjoyable facets of vacation!
Vacations are manageable! We have limited clothes, limited stuff, and limited food. The clothes we bring are comfortable, practical, and usually our favorites. We may have a book or two, just enough stuff to meet our needs, and a few diversions. Meals are usually simple and planned or, even better, eaten out!
The key word here is limited. A vacation powerfully reveals how not only are we fine with just a few things, but we're actually much happier and freer!
Fun tops our "to do" list on vacation. Our days are designed to meet both our needs and desires. Yes, work has been set aside, and that certainly makes it easier. But there's something about expecting to enjoy your day and family that positions your attitude to receive good things.
Rest finally gets its due! Our days have rest built into them with books, naps, and other leisure. If we stay up late, we can sleep in! For the first time in a long time, we really feel how tired we are, and we rest.
Our maker and lover of our souls is found in stillness and deep breaths. On vacation, we slow down enough to see His glory in the sunset, the stars, the waves, the trees. We hear his voice and pleasure in the quiet and the raucous laughter of our loved ones. He reminds us in powerful ways of His love for us and His good gifts.
It's tempting to believe that it's the ocean, the condo, or the ice cream every night that makes vacations so magical.
Our hearts yearn and strategize how to get back to that place, until we resign ourselves to the reality that it only happens for a few short days once a year. And we go back to "real life."
But what if our mindset and way of life on vacation is meant to be a bigger part of our day-to-day reality?
Is it possible that the abundant life in Christ that God promises His children is a bit of what we're tasting when we're on vacation?
Could it be the simplicity, rest, and closeness to Jesus we experience on vacation is not meant to be life's once-a-year dessert but our main course . . . or at least a regular side dish?
Ultimately, I believe we find a bit of ourselves again on vacation.
And today, I'm working on making those things a part of life at home.
What life lessons have you learned from vacations? Let me know in the comments here or on Facebook at Winsome Woman!