Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Importance of Making Memories

One summer my wife Jackie, daughter Amy and grandson Liam got on a plane to Colorado. We spent eight days in the Rockies at a timeshare condo we bought over eighteen years ago.  And every time I go back I can't help but reminisce about the fun family times we've had together over the years.  We didn't buy the timeshare week for an investment and it probably wouldn't sell for much now anyway but the memories are like gold and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I wish more families would make real memory-making together a priority. Yes, we can have great theme-park memories and times with extended family, but each family needs to also develop their own unique getaways.  They don't need to be expensive. Ours usually weren't.  We bought our timeshare as a resale and we only get to use it once a year.

But we decided to make the mountains a key part of our times together.  I've climbed ten 14ers (14000' mountains) and six or seven of them were with one or both of the kids. We've hiked scores of miles of other trails many above treeline eating sandwiches in some of the most beautiful places in the country.  We've basked in the beauty of God's handiwork and taken time together to notice the One who created it.  Some of my most church-like moments and greatest God encounters were with family members hiking in the mountains.

Your family times may be along a stream, at a favorite cabin, swimming in the ocean or even serving others together on a missions trip or at a nearby shelter.  Whatever you do, make your own special moments.  And don't just settle for the same thing or what everyone else does.  The big theme parks are fine now and then but enjoy the outdoors, do something a little risky and go places others might not go.

And second, please do not make every vacation a visit to the relatives!  Yes, family relationships are important and need to be nurtured, but our immediate family needs the same attention. Always going to Aunt Phyllis' and Uncle Bob's can get old and stale pretty quickly to a kid.

If you've not done a lot of memory-making start making some plans for the coming year.  Half the fun is in the planning.  Let the kids be a part of the preparation.  Get out some maps (you can teach them a little geography, too) and start considering the possibilities.

And finally, count the number of years left until your kids turn 18.  For some of you that's not a lot of time.  Make the most of the years remaining because soon those kids will be out the door for the most part. 

Guess where our kids go these days when they can get away for a vacation?  The mountains.  I think they enjoyed the memories.  You can too.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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