Photo Credit: Stepbystep.com

Photo Credit: Stepbystep.com

You may have never put these two words together, but most likely you pack them both when heading out the door for your family get-away: Expectations and vacations. They seem to go hand in hand. But is this a good thing or a bad thing?

We all have expectations of any, and everything we plan. We hope for the best, we expect everything to go our way when we’ve done all we can do to prepare. Why should our vacation be exempt? Sadly, it isn’t, yet many of us give no thought for what we expect because we expect it to go as we’ve planned in our mind.

This is a huge set up for an even bigger disappointment.

The only way to counter it is to examine our expectations more closely BEFORE leaving for our annual vacation.

The best way to prevent expectations from leading to disappointment is to check who it is that we’re hoping to please while we’re away. If you’re expectation is to please self, you will most likely be disappointed. If you’re expectation is to focus on pleasing others, then not only will you be pleased, but the others on whom you’re focusing will most likely be pleased as well.

Selfishness breeds discontent.

Why? Because for those of us who belong to Christ, we are called to a selfless life. I’ll admit this is easier said than done. When self gets in the way of serving others, the Holy Spirit promises to help us deny ourselves by following His lead. If we resist Him, we’ll be discontent.

Take for instance this scenario: You’ve just arrived at your vacation destination. You’re hoping to spend time reading and relaxing, but the baby’s diaper needs changing, your spouse has a headache, and the other children are hungry. You could insist your spouse take care of the present needs going off and doing what you want to do, OR you could defer to their needs above your own by serving them first. This is not usually our first choice. We have to purpose to die to our own agenda and focus intently on pleasing our spouse. It is a choice!

When was the last time you willingly laid down your desires for the good of your spouse/your family? If you can’t remember, it’s either been too long, or you’ve been doing this the right way for so long that you don’t even notice. We pray it’s the latter.

What are your plans for vacation this summer? Better yet, what are your expect-cations? How can you prepare now to help this vacation go better than planned?

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5 Responses to Expect-cations

  1. Heather says:

    Oh.good.one! Reposting!


  2. Brian says:

    The scenario you described is exactly why I don’t care much for vacations. I’m a Stay at Home Parent and so when spouse has a headache (as seems to often happen on vacations) it just becomes the same routine and workload for me as at home, only at place you pay for by the night, in an unfamiliar setting that usually isn’t conducive to getting the young ones their nap, or for us finding any privacy for “us time” after the kids are in bed. But the Mrs. wants to go on vacations because that’s what she grew up doing, so that’s settled. I just resolve not to bring her or the kids down by complaining. I guess my Expect-cations are “I’m just along for the ride so my wife can make the family memories she’s expect-cationing.” It’s pretty hard to come home feeling disappointed if that’s what you think of vacations before you even leave your driveway.


    • Debi Walter says:

      We understand the stress involved with family vacations. However, most people tend to remember the good part of the time away. We encourage you to spend time talking about this with your wife. It doesn’t have to always be this way once you’ve come to an understanding of each other’s limits. Thanks for saying what many other people feel.
      Tom and Debi


  3. Fawn Weaver says:

    Expect-cations – LOVE this! The good news is my absolute favorite place to be is home so I’ll take a staycation over a vacation every day of the week. But we also love to travel; one of our favorite things to do together. We generally plan nothing before we arrive and just take each day one at a time. If there are 10 “must see” attractions in a city, we’ll be lucky to get to two :).


    • Debi Walter says:

      We’re the same way. We don’t like to schedule out every day, but instead take each day as it comes. It’s so much more relaxing that way! Great comment!


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