My Vacation Priorities

Y’all, we are headed to the Smoky Mountains today for a week-long vacation. I’m soooo excited. Seriously. We all three are looking forward to doing all the things we love in the mountains — pancakes at Log Cabin Pancake House, DollyWood, tubing the Ocoee, and driving through Cade’s Cove. We may even manage a hike up to Clingman’s Dome this year.

Scott’s grandparents are going with us so I feel sure there will be a Rook game or two in the evenings and we may even be able to talk Casiday into playing dominoes with us. And speaking of that sweet girl of mine, I know she’s wanting to do a little shopping so I imagine there will be some time spent at the outlet mall.

I did something I almost never do — I bought a hardcover fiction book. I always buy fiction for my Kindle but I bought The Nest to read on vacation because t has the most beautiful cover. Is that silly? I don’t really care. Look at this cover

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Somehow in the past few months I have let myself, my heart, and my mind, get bogged down with stress and worries and fears. Scott and I spent Father’s Day afternoon and evening digging and planting two new flower beds in our front yard. As I sat in my favorite turquoise Adirondack chair looking at what we’d finished, I realized I’d neglected beauty in all my busy-ness. I’d stopped looking for it, stopped noticing it. There’s a price for that in my life — and it’s almost always that I get anxious and fearful and worry.

In all my busy-ness, I stopped looking for beauty, stopped noticing it. Click To Tweet

So as I packed and prepared to head out with these people I love so much for a week away, I prayed about my priorities. I confessed the ways I’d let being busy become an idol. I admitted how often I’ve allowed being overwhelmed to move me into laziness and procrastination.  I asked God to renew my heart and restore my soul. And in the midst of all of my preparations, I asked for Him to show me what I really need, what my priorities this week need to be.

I realize what I need most is just to soak in Him! To treasure these people He has placed in my life, to laugh because He delights in our joy, to notice the sunrise and clouds and beauty of Creation … and to lean into His Word as my guide.  I’m a little behind in my summer Bible reading plan and that’s okay. I bet I’ll have some time on the deck looking over the mountains to read. And if I’m still behind when I come home, that’s okay too. Because God isn’t concerned with my checklists and plans, He is after my heart. 

Vacation is a time to regroup, to be restored, and to reprioritize.

So what are my vacation priorities?

To be present. It’s so easy for me to get distracted by my expectations or plans. This week, I want to be fully present right where I am.

To read. I’m not going to apologize for bringing my book and I’m going to enjoy taking some time to just read and enjoy it.

To see the sun rise and set. I know I won’t manage this one every day but I want to make sure it happens at least a couple of times.

To let go of my expectations. This is the one that will be hardest. But I am going with an open heart and mind, with a desire to enjoy whatever each day hold, and without a need to control or micromanage every detail.

The more I look over this list, the more I realize these are probably some priorities I need to have all the time. It’s too easy to get caught up in the chaos of life and miss out on the beauty around us.  So go ahead and buy the hardback book with the beautiful cover!


Teri Lynne

Other posts you may enjoy:
the goal of a quiet timeWhen your crazy summer means your plan is more Bible than studySimple Guide for Choosing a Summer Bible StudyReading suggestions for summer — including fiction and nonfiction.

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


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