prepareHow to Prepare for Vacation

After our adventure to Kennecott, Pedro and I decided to putt around and catch up on work. Even vacation days require time and space to work. The weather cooperated with its low-hanging clouds and intermittent rainstorms.

Ordinarily, I would have gotten a little miffed that we were ‘wasting’ a vacation day to ‘do nothing’ that had to do with vacation. To me, vacations mean each day planned out in advance so that none of the time gets wasted. But this time, my Life Plan determined how vacation would unfold.

Part of my Life Plan includes spending quality time with family. And since Sarah had a job, we would have to adapt our vacation around her schedule. Sarah didn’t have the day off. Judy thought that the following day they could spare her for a morning, so we hung around and got things done.

As the rain played tunes on the roof of the trailer, I turned on the oven and waited for it to pre-heat. While I waited, I downloaded photos of our trip so far and wrote a blog post or two.

Before we even left home, I had decided that we needed two simple things to make our trip complete—home baked bread (in the form of sandwich buns) and home made cookies. I also knew that Sarah loves both of these things, and I figured I could bring a bit of home to her in Alaska.

Lessons From Baked Bread

In order to take those things to Alaska, I had to prepare ahead. I decided to experiment with making bread dough, freezing it, and then sealing it in vacuum bags. I made two batches of bread, rolled them out and cut them into burger bun sizes, and popped them into the freezer. Afterwards, I made our favorite cookie recipe, used an ice-cream scoop to form them on the trays, and froze those as well.

The next day I vacuum sealed everything in bags. I knew the frozen cookies would work, but I had my doubts about the bread.

I discovered that I had to plan ahead to bake the bread, since it took four or five hours for the dough to thaw and warm up enough to rise. If you’ve ever made bread before, you know that it needs a quiet, warm place to rise. Ok, ‘quiet’ might not be the correct adjective, but inside a trailer on the move doesn’t qualify! That meant the stay-in-camp day proved perfect for baking bread.

Sarah loved the cookies and ‘real’ bread that we had for lunch that day. I loved the fact that my experiment had worked and that I had actually prepared ahead.

Despite striving to prepare ahead of time, the mundane often gets in the way and sucks up my intentions. I used to beat myself up for never achieving Martha Stewart-like coordination in my life.

Each time I baked bread or cookies this summer, I celebrated the fact that I had accomplished my goal. I might not cook once a month and freeze enough meals ahead of time to last 31 days, but that’s ok. I can prepare ahead and celebrate the wonderful feeling when it does happen.

A Mary-kind of Lesson in a Martha-kind of World

Because I had a goal in mind for vacation—spend quality time with my family—my head felt prepared for a vacation that unfolded with its own agenda. Along with that small bit of preparing, I had another plan for vacation. In the past, I have fallen into the habit of thinking that I can only really study my Bible and spend time with God in my cozy nook at home.

Vacations from home have often meant an unintentional vacation from God. By the third or fourth day of vacation, I find myself out of sorts and grumpy. I realized this year during my Life Planning retreat that if I value my time with God, I need to make sure I make that time even when I leave home.

All my attempts to prepare for vacation prove meaningless if I don’t continue to prepare my heart for each day. Happily, I kept my promise to myself to spend time with God. That time with God made vacationing without a plan for each day a joy instead of a stress.

All my attempts to prepare prove meaningless if I don't prepare my heart for each day. Click To Tweet

Beauty Tip #16: Spend time each morning preparing your heart for the challenges you might face during the day.

Q4U: Do you find it easy or difficult to spend time with God each morning when you’re on vacation?

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