You need a family vacation, now!

... God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17, NLT

You need a vacation. Now! Or at least regularly -- with, not from, (wink) your family!

Why? Because the clock is ticking and these are the years to make memories. Don’t let the demands of work or financial pressures rob you and your family of taking a vacation where you’ll build memories and strengthen your bonds. 

When our kids were little, I was passionate about taking an annual summer vacation for at least one week with our entire family. In the early years, we didn’t have two nickels to rub together so our vacations were shoestring budget worthy -- but we made memories. We rented little cottages. We went fishing. Made a bonfire. Packed a picnic basket. 

As the kids got older, the vacations changed. Maybe it was a trip out west or to Washington DC...but it often included a beach. 

Now here’s the thing. Our vacations weren’t perfect. There was always chaos....

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Why we are not campers.

So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15, NLT

I promised my family they would love camping in the tent-cabins at Colter Bay near the Grand Tetons of Wyoming — when in fact, I had never been camping there, nor had our family ever camped once in our existence. 

I knew we were in trouble when my husband and I pulled our minivan, filled to the brim with four teenagers, up to our campsite and saw a small tent-cabin (yes, it’s exactly that: a tent-cabin) and a small bonfire pit. (Keywords: Everything. Was. Small. We are a giant family of six—kin to Shrek—each hovering near six feet or more.) When our campsite neighbors pulled up and began to unload their multiple tubs of Rubbermaid camping gear complete with tents, screens, a propane stove, and...

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Two things God told me when we had teens.

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Colossians 1:9-10, NLT

When our kids were entering middle school. I was nervous.

I remembered being in middle school -- I wasn’t a Christian and it was during that season, I started doing all the bad stuff.

I was feeling anxious as our kids entered middle school. I wondered, “How do you raise Christian teens?”

As I sought the Lord, the Holy Spirit told me two things. 

First, He spoke to my heart with this: “Jesus is the only perfect Person. Everyone makes mistakes and your kids will, too.” 

Second. He went on, “Pray that their mistakes are minor and they learn their lessons...

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