“But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God”(Luke 12:21).
We heard these words in Sunday’s Gospel just before leaving on our summer vacation. Vacations are sacred to us, treasures to be kept in our hearts and cherished. They aren’t tangible, and they can’t be stored physically, but they are precious gifts that we always look forward to and look back upon.
Many years ago, Ken and I made the decision to never skip a family vacation. He has always worked high pressure jobs and rarely has the ability to just take a day off or check out early. Before he had his present job, he traveled so much, he was hardly home for the equivalent of an entire week per month. For his own mental health, we knew that we had to make vacations one of the top priorities in our marriage.
When we lead marriage prep classes for our diocese, we do an exercise in which the couples have to list their individual priorities for their marriage and then share and discuss with their fiancés what their couple priorities for the marriage are. Many of these couples include travel as a priority. We always encourage them to keep that as a priority, especially when they have families, because those times are a treasure indeed.
I’ve written before about how important vacations are in a marriage and family even if it’s just a trip to some place in your home town. But they are more than just jaunts away from home or time off from work.
They are treasures to be grasped and held onto.
How do You Find Your Treasure?
When Ken and I decided that we would value travel over things, it meant living a lifestyle that prioritized that kind of spending. We keep our vehicles for a very long time. Our boat (which is really Ken’s crabbing boat) is no pleasure vessel and was bought used. We shop sales and thrift shops and bargain basements.
When we wanted a new patio this spring, Ken did the entire project himself, by hand, laying each stone in a careful, meticulous method. It was a tremendous undertaking, but he knew we would want the money saved to go toward our next adventure. The patio will help us create wonderful memories of times spent in our yard, but our summer vacation would be something we would treasure just as much.
In fact, if God showed up tomorrow and asked us to show Him our treasure, we could show him our paltry bank account or the fun items we’ve collected on our travels or even that patio out back. But when I think of the treasures we’ve stored, my mind automatically goes to my photo albums. No, not the albums themselves, but the memories they contain.
Where Do You Store Your Treasure?
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34)
Where is my heart? It’s with my family. What about God? Of course with God, but what is God?
According to St. John and the Catholic Catechism, “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God” (1 John 4:16). “God’s very being is love” (CCC 221). He is the embodiment of love. And what is a better manifestation of God’s love than family? All those photo albums, all those vacations, all our adventures at home and at play are my greatest treasures because they are the means by which we express our love, our treasure, our hearts.
This week, Ken, Katie Ann, Morgan, and I are digging for treasure. As we walk along the shoreline in beautiful Puerto Rico, we are amassing a treasure trove of love to be held onto and looked back upon. We don’t need to search in the sand for pearls or gems. We are collecting all that counts, storing up love, and becoming rich in what matters to God.
Don’t think of vacations, time away with your family, or even weekends spent in your backyard with your loved ones as anything less than treasure, a manifestation of the love you have for each other. Cultivate the love that will bring you treasures more precious than diamonds or pearls.
Come see Amy on one of these dates:
September 17, 2022 – Daylesford Abbey, Paoli, PA 12 Noon-8pm
The event is a festival atmosphere featuring amazing music, Catholic and Christian vendors, the presence of Religious orders, food trucks, family and kid-friendly activities and games. Tickets available.
National Oyster Festival
October 15 and 16, 2022 – St Mary’s County Fairgrounds, Leonardtown, MD
Amy will be signing and selling books at the festival. All ages are welcome for a day of sun and seafood! See event website for more details.
October 29, 2022 – Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, MD
Amy will be signing and selling books at the festival. The event features live music on two stages, boat rides, retriever demonstrations, oysters and other local fare, an oyster stew competition and cooking demonstrations, along with children’s activities, oyster demonstrations, harvesting displays and Chesapeake-related documentary screenings. More details coming soon.
Write What You Know Writer’s Workshop
November, 2022 – Date and time TBA – Leonardtown Library, Leonardtown, MD
Amy will be giving a workshop for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). She will take about how to write a more authentic and readable novel by writing about what you know – the people, places, and events that have shaped your own life. Details coming soon.
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What I was writing about one year ago this week: Serving on Earth.
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines was released in June of 2021. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s chapter book is The Greatest Gift, and her most recent suspense novel is Summer’s Squall.
Amy’s second book in the Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Promise, was awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book in Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two, Under the Summer Moon, was released in December of 2021.
Amy’s new book, Seeking Tranquility, was released on June 15, 2022. Buy your copy now!
You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor, Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschisler and at http://amyschislerauthor.com.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020), The Good Wine (2021), Under the Summer Moon (2021), Seeking Tranquility (2022).
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