By: Kara Durbin, author of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments. Read more from Kara on her blog.
1) Vacationing with Scripture
“Do everything without complaining or arguing.” Philippians 2:14
Vacations may be fun, but often present numerous opportunities for arguing and complaining. Going into the trip with the positive mindset of this verse can be helpful and make the time more pleasant for everyone.
We were tested on this right off the bat with our Disney World vacation. Everyone had boarded the plane and we were all ready for take-off when the pilot announced that we would have to de-board and find another flight because of mechanical issues. It would have been easy for us to complain about the inconvenience, the possibility of missing our character dinner reservations, etc. However, with this verse on our minds, we focused instead on being grateful that God spared us from a potentially hazardous flight.
“Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
I love this one because it causes us to think before we act or talk and remember that we are representing Christ wherever we go. For example, once on vacation my family stopped on our way through the airport terminal at Starbucks for a quick pick-me-up. The man in front of us was in full military garb. My husband, Tim, discreetly leaned forward to the cashier and told him that he would like to pay for the soldier’s order and then thanked the soldier for his service. Tim’s example was a shining light to our family, as I hope it also was for the cashier and serviceman.
2) Journaling with Scripture
Another idea is to create a Thankfulness Vacation Journal for the trip. Before we left for a vacation toColorado, I made sure to pack several sheets of paper and enough pens for each member of the family. At the beginning of the trip, each person took a page and numbered up to the total days of our vacation, multiplied by five. For example, a 7-day vacation would make a list of 35 things to be thankful for.
Before bedtime each night, we gathered together and shared the top five things we were thankful for from the day. My son, who couldn’t write well yet, told me his ideas as I wrote them down for him. We tried not to repeat anything we had written in the past so we would have unique entries. It was a special way to end our days and gave us a personalized keepsake for our trip.
What traditions do your family have when on vacation? How do you create opportunities for spiritual development during the summer months?
Check back on Thursday for Part II!
About the Book
Parenting with Scripture is an easy to use topical resource that parents of toddlers through teens can use when teachable moments arise. This effective guide helps teach children how to think and apply God’s Word in their daily lives.
The 101 alphabetically arranged two-page topics address behavior, attitude, emotions, and actions. Examples include Forgiveness, Humility, Anger, and Procrastination. Each topic is comprised of Scripture passages, discussion questions, action items, and parenting tips. This revised edition of Parenting with Scripture adds detailed help for parents to quickly identify teachable moments and know what to do when they appear.