Proverbs 6:2

Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth; thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

A snare is something one uses to catch unsuspecting prey. To be taken means one is forced somewhere against his will.

James has a lot to say about the tongue in chapter three. He talks about blessing and cursing coming from the same mouth. In his opinion the tongue is an unruly evil full of deadly poison.

How much power do our words hold? We write beautiful, interesting stories for the world to read, hoping we bring something good to their lives; yet I listen to the people around me, and for the most part all I hear are negative things. “I hate my job, I am so fat, my hair looks awful, I’ll never be able to do that, I just know I’ve got Cancer, I’m going to die young all the men in my family die young etc…”

What about the things we say about others? For instance, a car is driving down the road speeding. It passes in a curve. Are the first words out of our mouth, “ look at that idiot, he is going to find himself wrapped around a tree if he doesn’t slow down”?  Five miles down the road we see the same car in a ditch with policemen all around it. Did our words snare that poor man? What if his little girl was very ill and he was rushing her to the hospital. If we turned the situation around and our words were, “Father please protect that person and get them safely where they are going”, would it have made a difference? Is it second nature instead to wear a satisfied smirk and say,” See what did I tell you?”  Do our words give the enemy power by speaking things into being? God’s word says we are snared by the words of our mouth.

Take the news for instance, how many times do you hear a feel good positive story off the news? Nearly everything that is “NEWS” is negative. If we listen to negative all day long that is what will come out of our mouth. I rarely listen to the news for that very reason. I want to hear things that lift me up. I know that we have to be aware of things going on in the world, but I wish there was only one or two negative stories and a day full of happy endings. That’s what most of us write. Wouldn’t it be great if that were how we lived every day?

I challenge you to think before you speak and if your words are negative, stop them before you make a snare for yourself or someone else. Turn it around into something Jesus would be proud for us to say. If we’re going to be snared let it be with positive words. I just know that will irritate the devil to no end and that makes me happy!





Originally posted 2012-07-27 10:00:00.

Interview and Give-A-Way ~ Regina Scott

Interview with Regency author Regina Scott.


Veteran Regency writer Regency Regina Scott stopped by to tell us a little about her writing journey, as well as her love for regencies.

Regina’s first published book was The Unflappable Miss Fairchild in 1998, a regency with Zebra Regency Romance. Since then she has published continuously with 18 novels to her credit and four novellas.

In the last couple of years, she has turned to writing regencies with a Christian tone. These have found a home with Love Inspired Historicals. She has four LIH regencies to date. Her latest, The Captain’s Courtship, is out this month. Regina has graciously donated a copy for a lucky reader. For a chance to win it, please leave a comment today.


What drew you to write during the Regency Time Period?

I loved to read growing up, but by the time I reached college, it had been awhile since I’d found a book to truly engage me.  Then I stumbled upon Elizabeth Mansfield’s The Phantom Lover at my library.  I couldn’t put it down!  I’d always wanted to be a writer, but I knew then I wanted to write a book in this wonderful time period called the Regency.  I loved that the era had its own language, with an interplay between men and women that was so elegant and witty!  Twenty-two stories later, and I still love that period!

2.      Tell us what year your book is set in and why you chose that particular time.

The Captain’s Courtship is actually set before the strict definition of the Regency, in 1805.  But that time definitely has the same flavor, whether in clothes or social sensibilities.  I chose the year for the Everard Legacy series, of which this is the second book, because the series needed a time that would give rise to a true villain, someone who threatened my characters’ happiness, their faith, and their freedom.  Who better than Napoleon and his henchmen?  In 1805, England was certain “the Corsican Monster” meant to invade at any moment, and he was certainly trying to comply!

3.      Who is your favorite Regency Author?

I couldn’t possibly list just one!  Elizabeth Mansfield is probably my all-time favorite, as I mentioned.  Love Inspired is publishing a number of wonderful authors such as Louise M. Gouge (whom I see you had on recently!), Deborah Hale, Mary Moore, and Abby Gaines.  I’m really excited that Cheryl Bolen will have a new book out in October.  And this blog is blessed with so many talented authors!  Those of us who love Regency romances have a lot to look forward to!


4. What is your favorite Regency expression?

I have several:  having a nice coze for sitting down and chatting with a good friend, piffle as a sign of disappointment, and here-and-therian, a fellow who won’t commit to anything, who traveled about with no set home or preferred to chase women rather than catch them.  See what I mean about a language all its own?


5. What is your favorite Regency setting; e.g., London, country house, small village?

Definitely a small village.  I love developing the various characters and the relationships among them.  So far, my more recent stories keep getting set in the wildness, though—places like the Lake District and the Peak District.  I think perhaps the isolation of a single manor, far from others, allows me to focus on the hero and heroine and how they come to find love.  That was certainly the case with The Captain’s Courtship.  Though it starts and ends in London, most of the action takes place in the Lake District, when my hero Captain Richard Everard brings the heroine to meet his cousin, who she’s agreed to sponsor for a Season.

Tell us about your book.

The dashing Captain Richard Everard has faced untold dangers at sea. Steering his young cousin through a London season, however, is a truly formidable prospect. The girl needs a sponsor, like lovely widow Lady Claire Winthrop-the woman who jilted Richard years ago. Claire believed herself sensible in marrying a well-to-do viscount rather than a penniless second son. How deeply she regretted it! Now their fortunes are reversed, and Richard’s plan will help settle her debts and secure his inheritance. Yet it may yield something even more precious: a chance to be courted by the captain once more.

When did your novel release and with what publisher?

The Captain’s Courtship will be out in July from Love Inspired Historical.

Tell us about yourself:

 I always wanted to be a writer, but it took a while to convince myself that that was what I was meant to do.  I tried being a day care provider, a nanny, a technical writer, and a risk communication consultant before I heeded God’s call on my life.  Now, I feel so blessed to sit down at my computer and write!  The Captain’s Courtship marks my 22nd published story (18 novels and 4 novellas), all set in the Regency period.  The Rake’s Redemption, the next book in the Everard Legacy series, will be out in November.  You can learn more at my website at, where I also have articles about the Regency period.  You can also find me online at Goodreads (, and the blog I share with author Marissa Doyle at   

For a chance to win A Captain’s Courtship by Regina Scott, leave a comment. We will draw a winner on July 31, 2012. Be sure to check back on this comment thread on that date to find out who won.

Originally posted 2012-07-25 05:00:00.

Traveling for Work in the Regency

“Business or pleasure?” It’s a familiar question in an airport or at a train station. And it’s a question that would have been applicable back in the 1800’s too. Though the people of Regency England traveled for their holidays, they traveled for business reasons too.

Travel Time

One of the distinctives of the Regency is that it was a time of enormous industrial development. Not only were civil engineers learning how to make already common methods of transport (horses, wind-powered ships, etc.) more efficient, they were also developing new ways to get people and materials across vast distances in less time. According to the Oxford Illustrated History of Britain:

“It took nearly a fortnight to travel from London to Edinburgh in 1745, two and a half days in 1796, and around 36 hours by coach or steamer in 1830.”

That’s a lot of change in well under a century. And, of course, rapid technological development led to changes in society as well.

The manufacturers

England was a country that made a lot of its money on its exports, many of which were produced in its northern regions. Items like coal and wool were manufactured in the north of the country and carried down to the south (and thence to distribution points across Europe) by ships on the sea, and, more and more by the time of the Regency, by canal.

So, while the aristocracy might find themselves traveling to the seashore for a holiday, the lower-class man was much more likely to find himself traveling the way most of us have always found ourselves traveling: when our jobs say that we must.

The armed forces

And who, in the Regency, had jobs that were most likely to force them to travel? Besides the merchants, it was the men in the army and navy. As in every era, wars and rumors of war abounded in the Regency. Take your forty shillings from King George and you were likely to find yourself far, far away from your native England. America? France? Even India? All these destinations and more were possible for the man in uniform.  No promises of holiday feasts or vacation amusements, but if you wanted to see the world in the early 1800s, joining up would almost guarantee it.

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell 

Originally posted 2012-07-23 10:00:00.

Do Not Worry

Laurie Alice here,

 “Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

Luke 12:22-28 NIV

I’m a worrier. I fully confess it. I worry about whether or not I’ll have enough milk until the next time I can get to the store, and I worry about whether or not the pets are getting equal time. I worry about whether or not my husband has a proper lunch, and I worry about every word I write.

Do you know that the word “worry” as into stress over a problem was so new in the Regency that it was not recorded in writing until after the official Regency. I doubt it means they did not worry. They had plenty to concern them in daily life. Especially if you were a single female, you worried about a mate, about whether or not you would always have food and shelter, whether or not you were a burden on your relatives if no mate came along. Mothers worried about their children with infant mortality shockingly high, and men worried about money, crops, wars, the government’s actions. . .

Hmm, you know what? A lot of those issues about which they worried have not changed. Do not single women still worry about a spouse, a life mate? Do not men—and women now, too—worry about jobs, income, wars, the government? Mothers still worry about the safety and health of their children. We worry if our clothes are appropriate for the occasion, or if one really can wear white shoes after Labor Day, despite what your friends tell you. I cannot believe Regency heroines did not have similar concerns.

Yet worry was not in the vocabulary.

And neither should it be in ours. I am sure they used other phrases as distress over or get blue-deviled, fret comes to mind, etc. Yet today we focus on worry far too much.

Jesus commanded us not to worry. God takes care of flowers and sparrows, so why would He not take care of us, His children? The answer is simple: He will. He will supply all our needs.

So let us step back two hundred years and remove “worry” from our vocabulary.

Originally posted 2012-07-20 10:00:00.

Missing Essentials ~ Ask the Editors

We’ve been talking a bit about traveling and holidays this month, so we decided to ask the blog authors about their own travels. 

Question: What important item have you forgotten when you went on a trip?

Cell Phone Charger Image“My cell phone charger.” ~ Laurie Alice Eakes

“Cell phone charger.” ~ Ruth Axtell

Noticing a bit of a pattern? 

“My family goes off to a small cottage almost every weekend, June through August, so opportunities to forget abound. I have forgotten many ‘essentials’ such as, butter, swimsuit, camera, milk, jam, and more. The good thing is, there’s always next weekend to try to remember it all.” ~ Susan Karsten

Old Leather Suitcase“Ha! I’m not sure my answer is blog-appropriate: I managed to go on my honeymoon without remembering to pack a bra. :)” ~ Jessica Snell

“Well, there’s the very obvious toothbrush. I think I ended up using my husband’s for the night, and hotels usually have toothbrushes available to purchase. (Thank goodness!)

I’ve also forgotten my pajamas before, which is even more embarrassing. Especially when you’re staying with other women. If my hubby had been there, I could have taken one of his extra t-shirts to sleep in. But nope. There I was staying with two other women, and rummaging through my suitcase hoping to find a sleep worthy t-shirt. Not fun!” ~ Naomi Rawlings

“My mother. It wasn’t actually a trip. My 3 year old granddaughter was in her first beauty pageant. I didn’t realize I had forgotten to bring mom until someone at the pageant asked how she was doing” ~ Tammy Kirby

Pile of Socks“Socks. I think I forgot them because I was wearing sandals while I packed. For me it wasn’t that big of a deal – I just wore my sandals for the trip. My husband, however, had a bit of a tougher time. Fortunately, there was a Wal-Mart nearby.” ~ Kristi Ann Hunter

What important items have neglected to make their way into your luggage before a trip?

Pictures courtesy of

Originally posted 2012-07-18 10:00:00.

Home for the (Summer) Holidays

Image: Flower GardenStaycations.

The word has entered our vocabulary in recent years as an attractive and affordable option to the once popular family road trip. Whether it be a jaunt to the beach or that all important theme park visit to stack up some childhood memories, going on holiday has been an important part of our American heritage. But in recent years, this ideal has changed. Due to the American financial crisis in 2007-2010 and the weakening of the British pound in 2009, families have begun to look for alternative and less expensive ways to celebrate their summer holidays a bit closer to home.

Holidays in the Regency Era were somewhat similar in this respect. They could be of the traveling kind of course, with a long carriage ride to a choice location like Jane Austen’s Bath, fashionable Brighton or for a trip into London’s posh Mayfair district to stake out the latest fashions of the day. But there were some holiday options that were quite similar to our modern staycations: trips to the lake for swimming, charming strolls through the gardens, outdoor picnics and even the all-important country ball.

Holidays may have been spent at locations that were closer to home but as you’ll see for a few Regency staycation ideas here, they were anything but second-rate celebrations.


Country Strolls

Stepping into a staycation was often as easy as popping outside and walking through the garden gates of a Regency Era country home to the generous hills beyond. Often manicured to the level of a grand home in the city, the country garden and estate grounds offered sights and sounds void to the eye during the harsh months of winter. Time spent out of doors would have been prized during the summer holiday months, both for the relaxation of the atmosphere and for the rejuvenating act of walking.

Royal Navy officer John Byng’s 1792 journals boast a lively description of the glories of the simple stroll through the countryside, saying, “to view old castles, old manors and old religious houses, before they be quite gone;  and that I may compare their ancient structures… with the fashions of the day.”

Similar to Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennett’s country pilgrimage with her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners, a well noted tourist route took them past the grounds of Darcy’s Pemberly in the pursuit of appreciating nature. Remember the line, “Oh, what are men compared to rocks and mountains?”  To the Regency mind, it’s almost true. (Almost.) Their pursuit was often more to see the grounds along a tourist route than to spend time inside the grand house. (Mrs. Gardiner even states, “If it were merely a fine house richly furnished,’ said she, ‘I should not care about it myself, but the grounds are delightful.”)

Picnicking  –

At the turn of the nineteenth century, the flourish of blossoming ideals about nature fed the popularity of more than taking the occasional stroll in the garden. It popularized the idea of eating outdoors where one could have a closer communion with God’s creation. In the beginning, picnics were less organized, quiet affairs. But as the popularity of an alfresco lunch became a more sought after invitation to receive, these quiet country lunches evolved into quite elaborate and well-planned out social affairs.

A famous scene in which picnicking takes center stage is the picnic on Box Hill in Jane Austen’s classic novel, Emma. Film adaptations have given this scene a comparably beautiful landscape, as picnickers revel on a sunny hillside and enjoy an afternoon tea time with remarkable views of the English countryside  all around. Like our modern day holiday cookouts, these Regency Era picnics would have boasted attendees  that included family and friends, and would have involved the dining experience alongside amiable outdoor  activities of the day (such as the strawberry picking or archery described in Emma). Even more like our modern idea of the potluck dinner, Regency picnickers would have toted wicker baskets with a dish to share with others (possibly deviled eggs, cold roast, or fruit sandwiches). As these picnic affairs grew more elaborate however, a host would usually organize the dishes to be brought (to eliminate duplication) or would have supplied a carefully selected menu of food altogether.

Click here for a nice anthology of links around Regency Era picnicking {LINK}.

The Country Ball

A spectacular setting. Amiable company. The pleasures of food and fun in the sun – this could easily describe picnicking  just as it could describe the more eloquent evening affair of the country ball.

Country balls could be just as lavish as their city sisters – fine gowns, pristine manners, sumptuous meals and plenty of dancing would have permeated the country ball atmosphere as well as for balls in the city.  Stringed quartets would have played the same upbeat music, though the violin might have been termed the “fiddle” for the playing of country tunes. Dancing was still on the top of the agenda. The jovial camaraderie of friends and family engaging in lively dancing, eating and generally making merry, made the event prized among the staycations of the day.

Click here for more information on Regency Era country balls, as in the ball at Netherfield, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. {LINK}

It’s interesting to note that through all of the country or staycation activities, Regency Era holidays were as much about family, love, and communion with God as ours may be today. We see the value in a quiet country stroll. We have church picnics and family reunions under the great blanket of God’s sky. We even step out ourselves, sometimes all alone, to find private solace in quiet prayer walks with Him.

Whether you’re traveling miles away from home or taking a nap in your backyard hammock, remember how we all value our holidays at home, for we can stay in God’s presence. Wherever we walk, our journey is with Him.

~ Kristy


Originally posted 2012-07-16 10:00:00.

Holidays are Holy Days

I’m an amateur word nerd.*  So when I see the world “holiday” I can’t help but remember that it came into our language from the phrase “holy day”.

Because, of course, it used to be on the holy days observed by the church that the people were released from their work duties. You can still see this in our own calendars: Sunday is the day we weekly remember the resurrection, and many of us still have it off. Christmas vacation is rooted in the remembrance of Jesus’ birth, and spring break in the celebration of the events of Easter.

Thinking “holy day” when I see “holiday” is a pedantic bit of geekery, I admit it. At least, it is on the surface. But when I look deeper, it gives me a hint about what really makes for a restful holiday or a good vacation.

“I need to get away” – from what? 

We talk about “needing to get away”, and I, for one, certainly do feel like I am escaping when I’m lucky enough to leave the city for the mountains, or my everyday life for a week of kicking back.

But what is it that we really need to get away from? It’s not like everyday life is a horror, for most of us. Our days are busy, sure, but for many of us, they’re filled with good things, with everyday duties like working and housekeeping, caring for kids and feeding ourselves and our families.

It makes me think that maybe I’m asking the wrong question. Instead of asking, “what do I need to get away from?”, I ought to be asking, “what do I need to run towards?”

Sabbath Rest

Work is good, but no one should be always working. It is rest that we are running towards. Resting after labor is so important that it was God himself who set us the example of how to do it.

And rest is not an emptiness, rest is a fullness. It is rest in the presence of God. It is being with, not being without. Even in seemingly run-of-the-mill vacation activities – things like swimming in the ocean or games of catch or long walks on a mountain trail – you can hear echoes of the Edenic rest our first parents enjoyed. In Eden, Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the evening. In our vacations today, we still take great joy in being somewhere beautiful in the company of those we love.

And even for introverts like me, when I am alone, I am not alone. The urge for silence and solitude is, really, an urge to be alone with God. To be still in His presence.

This is rest.

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell 



* Amateur because the professionals are the ones who have etymological dictionaries. I make due with my precious hardbound edition of the shorter OED.

Originally posted 2012-07-13 10:00:00.

Gunter’s Tea Shop

During the month of July, many of the Regency Reflections posts will focus on traveling, vacationing, and other summer adventures popular during the Regency. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite traditions about vacationing is finding the local ice cream parlor!

During the Regency Period, if you happened to be in the mood for an ice cream, water ice, or sorbet, you would likely visit Gunter’s Tea Shop, which was located at No. 7-8 Berkeley Square in London’s West End. The confectionary shop, originally named “The Pot and the Pine Apple,” was established in 1757 by Italian pastry cook Domenico Negri. Years later, James Gunter became Negri’s partner before assuming sole proprietorship in 1799.

Gunter’s served a wide variety of extravagant pastries, cakes, and confections, but the establishment was probably most well-known for its frozen indulgences. Treats such as ices, ice cream, mousse and sorbet were available in a variety of textures and flavors. While most of these were served in small dishes or cups, some treats were frozen in pewter molds shaped as fruit, vegetables, and even bread or meat to give them a more dramatic presentation. Sought-after flavors included maple, bergamot, pineapple, pistachio, jasmine, white coffee, chocolate, vanilla, elderflower, Parmesan, and lavender, just to name just a few.

Not only were Gunter’s creations delectable, but the shop was one of London’s places to “see and be seen.” Located across the street from a park of maple trees, it became quite fashionable to enjoy one’s treat out of doors with family and friends. In fact, Gunter’s was one of the very few locations a young lady could be seen alone with a man that was not a relative without being exposed to scandal. Dining in the park became so popular that the shop’s waiters had to venture out to the streets to take orders and deliver food, dodging carriages and horses to do so. Gunter’s continued to be an admired establishment throughout the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century before closing its doors in 1956.

Want to try your hand at making your own Regency ice cream? One of my favorite regency resources is “The Art of Cookery Made Place & Easy,” which was written by Hannah Glass and published in 1796. While I do not know Mr. Gunter’s recipes, Ms. Glass included an ice cream recipe in her book that would have been available during the Regency.

From The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:
“To make Ice Cream:
Pare and stone twelve apricots, and scald them, beat them find in a mortar, add to them six ounces of double-refined sugar, and a pint of sealding cream, and work it through a sieve; put it in a tin with a close cover, and set it in a tub of ice broken small, with four handfuls of salt mixed among the ice; when you see your cream grows thick round the edges of your tin, stir it well, and put it in again till it is quite thick; when the cream is all froze up, take it out of the tin, and put it into the mould you intent to turn it out of; put on the lid, and have another tub of salt and ice ready as before; put the mould in the middle, and lay the ice under and over it; let it stand four hours, and never turn it out till the moment you want it, then dip the mould in cold spring-water, and turn it into a plate. You may do any sort of fruit the same way.”

Enjoy your summer!

Image of Negri Trade Card courtesy of The British Museum.

Originally posted 2012-07-11 10:00:00.

“Passion for Regency Fashion – The Pelisse” Susan Karsten

Blog Post for July 9, 2012

Having a degree in fashion design doesn’t make me an expert on historical fashion, but in my case it added fuel to my lifelong interest in clothing, beauty, and fashion. Beauty queens, Barbie dolls, princesses, and movie stars: all early building blocks of my fashion passion.

The Regency period’s fashions were definitely covered in the History of Fashion course I took in my junior year, but learning Regency fashion details was done on my own, outside of class. I still have much to learn on the topic, for example: what exactly is Pomona green? A color, yes — mentioned in several Regency historical novels, but not yet found in any dictionary I have searched.

I hope to elaborate and enlighten the readers of this blog on the wardrobe item known as the pelisse. What is that? From the context in which it is found, it is pretty obvious that it is a type of coat. But what type? Why does it have a special name and what are the specifics?

Since the dresses were often short-sleeved and light-weight, the pelisse was a necessary and essential item. The pelisse is a coat following the lines of the dress-styles of the day. Ankle-length, with the waist just under the bosom, it was close-fitting, and had closures across the bust or all the way from neck to hem. They were usually elegant and ornamental and their trimmings often matched a particular dress. The sleeves were long and extended over the hand, and could be puffed, or trimmed with fur at the shoulders.

In our day, we don’t have a garment directly correlating to the pelisse, but the closest we see in the current era would be a dressy two-piece outfit of sheath dress and matching evening coat. In future posts, I will be covering Spencers, shawls and reticules and how they related to the lives and wardrobes of Regency ladies. I welcome your requests of fashion-related topics you would like me to address … and if you know what Pomona green is, do let me know.

Originally posted 2012-07-09 10:00:00.

The Magical Mood Lifter

If you’ve read many books set in Regency England then you’ve likely heard of people sea bathing and taking the waters. While there was some indication that drinking the mineral rich waters from Bath or dipping in the sea at Brighton improved health, it was often the removal from everyday life that did as much good as anything.

Sea Bathing painting
"Mermaids At Brighton" by William Heath

Leaving your problems in London or at your country estate while you jaunted off to stroll down the street in front of the Royal Crescent and sip from the therapeutic spring water could improve a mood faster than anything else.

The Benefits of Changing Scenery

Selecting travel destinations

It’s the same reason so many people love vacations. It’s why you have to book your Spring Break hotel room six months in advance if you’re hitting one of the more popular beaches. It’s why travel sites thrive and credit cards offer hotel and airline points.

People have long acknowledged the benefits of changing scenery. Entire businesses have been built on people needing a new perspective on things.

Several years ago, I had a major decision to make. I struggled over it for months. Finally, it was coming down to the wire. I had to make the decision. One night, my husband took care of our daughter and I checked in to the hotel down the street. I was less than five miles from home, but it might have been five states because in that hotel room was nothing from my regular life.

My daughter didn’t cry and wake me up.

The dishes in the sink didn’t mock me for not cleaning them right after dinner.

No harsh buzz emitted from the laundry room informing me that the next load was ready to be folded.

The change of scenery let me spend focused time in prayer and thought so that I could make a decision.

The Difficulties of Getting Away

My husband is a minister and I am a stay at home mom and unpublished writer. Translation: Our work hours are ridiculous and we don’t make a lot of money. That means vacations are really difficult to fit in and afford.

While you may want to take and 30-day cruise across the Atlantic to explore Italy or even just spend a week at the beach, it isn’t always feasible. I dream of one day taking a research vacation to England. Right now, it’s not even in the budget book, but I still dream about it.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get away.

Family Playing in the Park

When we feel overtired and overstressed, we take a trip to my in-laws. It’s one place where we are expected to do virtually nothing. My fabulous mother-in-law takes care of the kids when they wake up so we get to sleep in. We get to take an afternoon to ourselves every trip and go stroll around their small-town main street.

It costs us nothing but gas to get there, and we usually leave feeling rested and refreshed.

We’ve also done staycations, where we change our perspective just by changing our expectations of the day. It doesn’t work quite as well as getting fully away, but it does help. We’ve done local overnights by booking hotels three or four days in advance. You have to be flexible about where you go, but you can get really good deals.

Every year we take a weekend trip with my family as well. Traveling in a group often defrays the cost of the trip. Plus it has the added benefit of allowing you to deepen important relationships on the trip.

The Real Benefit Isn’t In Getting Away

To really reap the benefits, you have to change your perspective. Vacations and changes in scenery are temporary. It’s why we keep taking trips and looking for the next break.

Eyeglasses on the BibleBut it’s possible to bring that serenity and bliss home by allowing God to transform your mind and thinking.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will. ~ Romans 12:2

When we allow God to form our thoughts, opinions, and desires to His will, we can find peace and tranquility among the chaos of everyday life. Imagine having vacations as a treat, something to enjoy instead of needing them just to maintain your equilibrium.

God can change your vision, making that same old couch, cubicle, or mini-van look like completely new scenery.


Photos by unless otherwise noted.

Originally posted 2012-07-06 10:00:00.