I know “God takes a holiday” feels a little tongue in cheek, but how often does it feel like time with God flies out the window on vacation? You’re likely with people 24-7, maybe sharing a hotel room with kids, so there’s no “waking up early” option. I’ve totally been there. The last two vacations I had, I got very behind on my reading through the Bible plan. And to be honest, I think we don’t need to force our regular routine BUT I would like to return home and not feel like I took a vacation from God too, you know? I want to walk with him through each day of my life and how much sweeter would that be on vacation?
Today, I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me connect with God while on trips or vacations.
1. LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES OF WONDER
You are likely in a place very different from your home so marvel at the surrounding area. It might be nature. It might be history. It might be an art museum or other man-made marvel. Reflect on the beauty as something God created and not just the created thing (Romans 1:25) and it will spark a new opportunity for praise.
2. HAVE THEOLOGICAL CONVERSATIONS
If you are traveling with other believers, initiate theological conversations. It doesn’t have to be insanely deep, but talking to others about your faith is encouraging and gives us moments to meditate on the Lord in community. Here are a few questions you could ask:
- What has God been teaching you lately?
- What prayers has God answered lately?
- Where are you facing discouragement?
- What questions or doubts still creep in?
- What’s your current season with the Lord look like?
3. EMBRACE HOTEL LOBBIES
I first did this when we were at Spring at the Silos at Magnolia. After a long day, we’d eat dinner and then I headed to the lobby to make a few calls back home. I started reading my Bible too and it was a sweet way to refresh with the Lord after spending so much time with others. When Kara and I went to Minneapolis for a VMP photoshoot, she was early on in pregnancy and went to sleep early. I would head to the lobby and either sit in the wingback chairs next to the fireplace or on the window seat watching the sun go down over the city. I’d read my Bible and pray and it fed my soul so much! I’ve never come back so rested from a business trip! You could also do this in the mornings before the family wakes up if you’re all sharing the same room.
4. PRAY WITH OTHERS
Vana could not sleep one night while we were in a hotel. I think there’s a lot going on and it’s harder to quiet her mind. I decided to snuggle with her and I just started praying over her in a whisper since Tyler and Vivi were already sleeping. She was out in no time and I got some really sweet prayer time in too.
5. BRING TOYS FOR THE HOTEL ROOM
Not sure if this is just my kids but they LOVE their toys so not getting to play with them the whole day while we’re out of the room means they play really well for the little bit we’re in the room in the morning. On a recent trip, I was able to read my Bible, still little voices in the background but not a hundred interruptions. 😁 You can even hide it till morning time and break it out as a surprise so it feels fresh and new for your kids.
6. LISTEN TO ENCOURAGEMENT IN THE CAR
Got a long drive? Spend a little bit of it listening to the audio version of the Bible or a sermon or podcast. (I’d be silly to not mention here that my podcast is coming in just a few months! We’ll have interviews with some of your favorite authors about what their prayer life really looks like as well as how-to’s and guided prayers. Sign up here to find out when it releases!)
7. ATTEND CHURCH
You can find a church in the town you’re visiting or attend your own church virtually. The pandemic has made this much easier to do live instead of just listening to the sermon later when it goes online (which for me, rarely actually happened later). You could also “visit” a new church online that you may enjoy hearing teachings from but never get to watch live if you’re normally at your own church.
8. PRAY FOR THE CITY
When we were in San Antonio last month, I got up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t sleep. We were high enough up to sleep with the curtains open. We had big glass windows overlooking the Alamo and San Antonio. I took the time to pray for those who don’t know Jesus. The night before while we were eating on the Riverwalk, it was PACKED. I leaned over to Tyler and said. “Look around. I wonder how many people don’t know Jesus?” That might sound depressing, but I want to grieve over the things that grieve the Lord. (If that concept sounds news, check out this post.) I want to notice the needs of others. As I stood by the window looking out over a sea of lights, I was able to pray for the city in a fresh way after having walked it’s streets the two days before.
Ok, now I want to hear if you have any tips!! I can’t be the only one who struggles with the feeling that when I head out on vacation, I often forget to pack in a little quiet time with the Lord?