Vacations are a necessity in the life of the believer. An opportunity to unplug from our busy lives, time away from the routines of our lives helps us to put back into perspective what matters most. But just getting away from it all is not the highest purpose of our vacationing. God knew we needed rest, but to take that rest and use it to refresh ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically takes planning.

Purposeful Devotion. Plan to have an encounter as a family with God every day. Maybe a new study to do together. Don’t overlook the presence of God in all you are doing on your vacation. Teachable moments arise in the ordinary and all the activities you are blessed to be able to do.

Purposeful, Flexible Plans. Sometimes simpler is better. A beautiful hike on a mountain or a swim in the lake or ocean are just as much fun as expensive resorts. Vacations are for the whole family, so alternating between different member’s preferences teaches servanthood and ensures that everyone has fun. Be flexible. Not every one of your days has to be planned. This can be risky, but sometimes the memories are worth it. Although there are times to go to lavish family vacation spots, sometimes such vacations distract us from what really matters.

• Have a kingdom purpose. The best vacations are ones where a part of it has a kingdom purpose. Bear Trap Ranch, sponsored by InterVarsity in Colorado is a combination of spiritual input and outdoor activities. The whole family benefits from the spiritual truth of family camps. Attending family conferences or serving on a mission together are life changing. Having a purpose helps to nurture the family tradition that can be the foundation for your family for years to come.

Purposeful Rest. Plan pockets of time to rest as a family and individually. Pausing to view a sunset in silence, read a book or walk by the ocean all can recharge you spiritually and emotionally. Find Scriptures that speak of God’s creation and renew your mind and spirit.

Purposeful Recreation. The family that plays and prays together stays together and helps create purposeful bonding in a fun way. Games that encourage interaction between generations create opportunities for meaningful conversations, like Childhood Memories Treasure Chest games found at Sunbridge Tools Website.

Purposeful Memorialization. Whether you post pictures from your smart phone to an online album or have journals to write in each day of the trip, recording the vacation makes sure the little moments aren’t forgotten. Because vacations can build such great memories, the tradition can live on for years and generations to come.

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Contributor: Denise Pass, Executive Assistant to Jeff Rogers, Stewardship Legacy Coaching