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When was your last family vacation?

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Ecclesiastes 3:4


“A joyful heart is good medicine,

but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

Is Your Home Full of Laughter & Joy?

I have been pondering this lately as my wife often mentions she wants our children to remember growing up laughing together.

Memory Lane

My memories are full of laughing at mishaps on family vacations, such as when my mother ran part of the way down Mount Leconte in Smoky Mountain National Park after catching a strong scent of a local black bear.

I have not seen her move that fast before or since. She set a Personal Record in the mile that day.

Another vacation mishap involved Six Flags over Texas in Arlington. My dad had gotten ill riding the Texas Giant wooden roller coaster. While waiting in the bathroom, my sister got overheated and fainted. When the park’s employee drove my sister and dad to our car on a golf cart to make things easier, my mom and I had no idea where we parked.

Thankfully, my dad had left a trail of puke through the parking lot to our vehicle. We could also hear that dreadful noise. We still tease him about the Texas Giant to this day.

The Point of the Stories

I say all this to remind us as men that we can intentionally create family memories. Even though we can't always prevent mishaps from happening, we can at least be intentional in saving, planning, and going on them.

These mishaps often provide funny stories that maybe only your family would find amusing.

Family vacations are not the only way to create family memories, like...

  • Game nights

  • Live sporting events or concerts

  • Outdoor Activities:

    • Camping

    • Boating on the Lake

    • Fishing

    • Hunting

    • Floating Rivers

Try different things. You cannot create meaningful family memories and experiences if you are not intentional.

I often see families not doing anything outside their regular work routines and children’s activities. No one wants to look back at their life after their kids have grown, wishing they had done certain things.

Start dreaming now!

This means that you also have to be intentional with your finances to save for these experiences.

That may mean...

  • Don't eat out as much.

  • Reduce other entertainment costs.

  • Look at other free or low-cost options.

  • For example:

    • National Forests.

    • Local swimming holes.

    • Richland Creek Wilderness area in the Ozark National Forest has the highest concentration of waterfalls in the state.

    • Syllamore Creek in Mountain View or the Buffalo River provides great opportunities.

    • Family bike rides on the river trail or on local bike trails.

If outdoor activities are not your thing, try other cultural options.

My boss takes his sons to the Museum of Discovery and the Art Museum in Little Rock frequently.

Whatever it is your family likes to do, intentionally make your home a place of joy and laughter as life permits.

The Glorious Outcome

My dad intentionally made our family vacations possible.

He planned while he and my mom helped figure out how to save for them. I saw them drive cars for at least ten years and never upgrade to a larger house. They sacrificed other wants and desires to create fun family memories, intentionally.

I can attest that my sister and I are still grateful today!

John Gore

MD5 Facilitator

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