The Art of Family Vacations

School calendar announcing spring break, a beautiful invitation for drawing close, gathering loose ends, holding hands in a beautiful line.


Destination insignificant, the journey beckons us, calls us into the unknown.


Suitcases packed.  Backpacks filled with books, binders holding travel facts and games.  Maps pointing the way.  Snacks piled high, bought with wisdom by a seasoned mom.  Hunger, thirst turn peaceful miles into misery.


Electronic instruments stored in night stands, collecting dust rather closing out intimacy.  Laughter, scuffling, jokes, arguments tighten the bonds.  The getting there paint large strokes, vital to the picture.


Jesus wrapped a bleeding woman in love, He was on His way.  God taught lessons in the dry desert, promised land forty years around the mountain.  Shoes never wore out.  Manna gathered each morning, grace for one day.



Three children learning to embrace now, not waiting for what is to come.  Battleship.  Word search.  Pinches from the backseat.  Hangman.  Spilled drink.  Mom reading School Days with the Millers.


Hours lived in rolling space exposes patience, impatience, kindness, selfishness.  Laid out open, no backyard trees, bedrooms.  Inviting repentance, acceptance, forgiveness.  Colorful circles added on the canvas.  Family vacations, art come to life.  Tapestries hung on our hearts.

Jesus walked three years with twelve men.  Arguments about position.  Gentle breezes felt during mountain teaching.  Spilled perfume.  Dinners around a table in Bethany.  A last supper in an upper room.  Jesus leaving, the Counselor coming.


Weak men empowered, changing the world.  Remembering long talks, ten lepers healed on the way, storms obeying His words.  The journey making fishermen experienced harvesters in a white field.


Family walking among memorials, seats of government.  Prayers for judges, their decisions still governed by the Judge.  Parents searching for explanations, reasons metal detectors stand at each door.  Sin, sin run rampant, unbridled by His blood.


Questions asked, answers given.  The Founders believed God, our only Hope.  On freezing, bitter nights, one kneeled in complete dependence on the Almighty God.  History books rewritten, removing God, parents telling the truth.  Truth painted in bold lines, leading the way back.


Family peering through blackened fence.  House white, surrounded by round columns.  Pleading with God for wisdom, godliness for the man residing there.  Eyes see, hearts burn.  Red crosses sketched on painting.  Children understanding, every experience holds Christ in the center.

Father and mother talking about God.  On the way.  At the dinner table.  During bedtime prayers.  Driving in the car.  Sitting on memorial steps.  Teaching, training, instilling.  God commanded, we try to obey.  Patterns drawn in thin spirals.


Spirals continued one day by children standing for truth, not sitting in silence watching injustices.  Children, now become men and women, bought with a price, serving unashamedly the One who shed blood.


Remembering lessons on the journey.  Seeing paintings with their minds eye, pointing to the Living One.  He is not dead.  He started history, He will write the last word.  He is the Word.


They will remember, it is all about Him. 


Photography copyright © by Jane Carole Stein


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