July 2020 – Staycation

July 2020 – Staycation

Vacationing In Your Home Town

We all need a vacation. Although it is not always possible to travel to some exotic location, we can all take some time to rest and relax.

Plan It

  • Select a date, possibly a long weekend.
  • Finish all your household projects and chores before your staycation or put them on hold until you “come back.”
  • Put yourself in vacation mode. Let others know that you will not be available for the next few days. That means no computer and limited phone calls.
  • Include your family in the plans.
  • Select places you want to visit: museums, zoo, aquarium, parks, swimming pools or the movies.
  • Plan on eating out or preparing easy meals and freeze them the week before. Use disposable plates so no one has to wash dishes.
  • The family may just want to stay at home and play family games, watch movies or go for bike rides.
  • Plan on getting a babysitter for one of the evenings so you and your spouse can enjoy a date night.

Decorations and Room Set Up 

Divide the room into five stations and decorate each section as a rest or vacation area. Each section could represent different places we can go for relaxation. Use each space for a specific task. For example:

  • Refreshment: Decorate this area in a Hawaiian Luau style: a tropical flowered table skirt or table top tiki–hut, beach balls, a beach chair (with a beach towel on top), sun-glasses, beach hats and floral leis spread on the table.
  • DIY Spa Lotions: Sugar Scrub—In a small mason jar mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a half cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of honey. Honey can be substituted with 5 drops of essential oil or a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Hand lotion—In a small mason jar put 1 cup of coconut oil. Place the jar inside hot water until the oil melts. Add 3 drops of Vitamin D and 5 drops of essential oil. Let it cool.
  • DIY Craft Station: Set up a table with sample easy, inexpensive DIY projects that the women may want to get for their family to do as a project during their staycation. DIY project:
  • Reading Station: Provide comfy chairs, book/magazines and soft music in this station for the women to sit and relax.
  • Game Station: Have board games like scrabble, UNO cards in the game station. This station is for the women who prefer not to do a project but play board games.
  • Meditation Station: Set up a small desk with chair, lamp, Bible, pens, note cards, songbook. Here the woman can spend time speaking with the Lord.
  • Set up a table with pamphlets about interesting places to visit in your city for the women to take with them.

Refreshments

  • Virgin Pina Colada (Non–Alcoholic): Coco Lopez—Cream of Coconut (find it in the Hispanic section of supermarkets), pineapple juice, ice. Blend all the ingredients together.
  • Flavored popcorn. Invite the women to make unique flavored popcorn. Check the website: http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/diy-popcorn-recipes-flavors/ for ideas.

I Need a Vacation

“I am tired . . . broke . . . sick! I need a vacation after my vacations!” Does this sound familiar? Vacations are intended to rest and detoxify the busyness from our daily routine, a time to relax our mind and recover physical strength. Sometimes we are so anxious about a vacation that we make big plans without taking into consideration the goals of resting and relaxation.

When we were living in Michigan, my husband and I planned to take the kids to the theme parks in Florida for vacation. We were so excited and we wanted to use our time well. As we lived so far from Florida we didn’t know when we would be able to go back. We ended up visiting four parks in one day. That night, when we went back to the hotel, we were exhausted and could not even remember what we saw in which park. On that occasion I learned that it is not how much we do, but what we can learn and enjoy in what we do. The quality of your vacation is not determined by the distance traveled or the amount of money spent. There are so many places to visit and activities to engage in near us that will give the same opportunity of enjoyment at a lower cost or even for free.

Spiritually speaking, we are also in need of rest and relaxation. We are tired of the burden we carry daily—worries, concerns, disappointments and financial difficulties. We are in great need of spiritual renewal. Many times we want to achieve that spiritual renewal by our own effort and the result is that we end up frustrated and more exhausted than before. We DO, DO, and keep on DOING, trying to find spiritual rest and peace, but instead we become weary and fatigued. When that happens, we need to stop and take a spiritual staycation; stay at home, where our Father waits for us to rest in Him. We need to stay close to Him, stop doing and just rest in Him.

We read in Matthew 11:28 “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’” Jesus is that place of rest and He is within you. Pay attention to His call to you. We do not need to go somewhere to find Him. The only thing He asks is for us to “come,” to intentionally draw closer to Him and simply rest. We need to clean our minds of those thoughts that intoxicate our entire being and meditate on what is good and pleasant. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Phil. 4:8).

During His ministry, Jesus often went to the beach, to the mountains, or stayed at a friend’s house, sometimes with His disciples, sometimes alone. Find a quiet place in your home, at a park or some place peaceful for you. Take your Bible with you and read it, write some thoughts or needs and present them to the Lord in prayer. You can listen to music or a preacher online or on the radio.  Spend quality time with Him, listening and talking with Him, enjoying His company.

Times of quiet are needed. It is a time to receive new strength and renew our thoughts and reconnect with family and with God. Jesus is that place where we can renew body, mind and spirit and receive renewed strength. We read in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!”

Those special staycations with Jesus are worth planning. Why don’t you mark your calendar right now and plan on it?

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