More than the Packing List | Shannon Upton


As an organizer, I do love to pack for trips. It’s such an exciting, anticipatory time!  Before each family vacation or trip, I try to:

  1. Write a good packing list. 
  2. Pray for God’s favor on the trip. 
  3. Surrender the outcome into God’s hands.

However, this is how I usually pack for a family vacation:

  1. I think through the trip, then I write a great packing list.
  2. I pray for God to keep us safe and bless our trip.
  3. I fret about the weather, the crowds, and whether or not everyone is well fed and getting enough sleep. I try to make everyone happy for the entire vacation, which never actually works.

So, in other words, I’m great at Steps 1 and 2, then I blow Step 3. Have you done this?

As with any organizing, vacation preparation can go too far when it clutters our spirit. Once we’ve done our part, we need to let God do His part. 

When we’re preparing for a trip, large or small, it’s wonderful to be organized—and then to give it to God. Here’s how to prepare for your next trip:

STEP 1: Write a big packing list that includes everything that pops into your mind. This isn’t always an organized list, but it does quiet your spirit to get it all out! 

STEP 2: Then, sit quietly and think through the actual trip: 

  • Think through what your family needs and uses on a typical day.
  • Think through what you’ll be doing each day and what you might need.
  • Check the weather and plan accordingly.
  • Take a quick walk through your home, looking for those things you might need but often take for granted (for example, over-the-counter medications).

STEP 3: Ask for God’s blessing on the trip—in fact, you can do this before, during, and after the list-writing. He wants to bless us!

STEP 4: Finally, intentionally surrender your trip to God. To help you remember your attitude of surrender, write a note on your calendar for the day you’ll leave. Your note might say something like this: “You’ve done your best to plan and prepare. Now relax and soak in God’s blessings!”

 You can do this for any trip—a vacation, a day trip, even a trip to the zoo. Plan and prepare, but then let go and let God!


SHANNON UPTON helps women use a little organization to clear out their spiritual clutter and make room for God’s peace. She enjoys educating and entertaining audiences with organizational talks on Time Management, Organizing Belongings, and Wardrobe Organization. She is the author of three Organizing You books.

Find out how to have Shannon Upton speak for your group’s event, CLICK HERE.

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