Summer Blessings

I’ve been MIA from the blogging world lately, and while I’ve missed writing my own blog, commenting, and regularly reading others, this last part of summer has been a blast — mostly offline, if you can imagine such a thing. Here’s why:

1) Structured “free time” with the kids. We didn’t enroll our children in hundreds of camps this year, or plan activities for every day of the summer. I believe in the value of play! But anyone with kids knows that total free play can be a problem. Entire rolls of toilet paper stuck in the toilet, whole bottles of new hair product used for “experiments,” and so on. Yes, we’ve had some of that. But we’ve also been to the library, spent hours at the park and the pool, played with trucks and dolls, made crafts, and cooked together. We had some hard days, too. Some difficult lessons about being kind to each other, or doing for yourself what you can (and not always asking Mom or Dad), about respecting others. We’ve had tantrums (not just the kids), and were cross with each other. But important lessons come from those times, too. And I’m glad we took the time to both play and learn together.

2) Friends. Historically friendships can be difficult for me. I come across as a very social person, and in many ways I am. But I’m also fairly introspective and value personal space for both myself and our family. This summer God has blessed me with some great friendships and I pray that those continue to grow as we go back to our own routines.

3) A chance to participate in God’s story. Some totally unexpected ministry opportunities came our way this summer, and it’s always exciting to see God work and to be a part of it.

4) Time to build great family memories. Camping on our property in West Texas, the beach/boating with one set of grandparents, Oklahoma fun with another set, and a baseball game with yet another. Home birthday parties, church events, Six Flags, going to the movie theater on a hot summer afternoon. Riding bikes together at the school down the street, our youngest with no training wheels! Snow cones, countless popsicles, cookouts, fireworks…

It’s been a great summer, and I’m sad to see it go. But I’m also excited to see what God brings our way next, what adventure or discipline He has in store. 

(by the way, there’s a terrible ruckus in my house right now. I just asked them, “what are you doing?” Their response? “Fighting, but HAVING FUN!”)

5 thoughts on “Summer Blessings

  1. It’s so nice to hear about all of these “offline” activities in this day of Facebook, Twitter, and other online communities and activities that seem to distract for hours on end. You’ve had a very full summer for sure. Thanks for sharing this today.

    Blessings to you….

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  2. I’m with you- Unstructured is a blessing and a curse, that turns into a blessing! looking forward to the school year, and yet sad to see the kids go, and then working more to pay for summer!

    Glad to see yours was great too!

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  3. Great reflection of your summer full of gratitude — and I love that you honored the old standard of play time with your kids – more people need to follow your lead. And we all could use more structured play time ; – )

    Rachel

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  4. Joe — I’m trying to find a happy balance. Facebook gets my attention sometimes. Thus far I’ve managed to avoid twitter. With young children I can’t get sucked into anything for too long, hopefully I can still maintain this balance as they get older and less demanding.

    Cindy and Rachel — it’s funny how participating in playtime with the kids often lightens my mood and helps me have fun. We need to integrate this into adulthood sometimes — everyone (myself included) can get so serious, world on our shoulders. Hard to do that when we’re playing dress-up with a fake British accent. 🙂

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  5. “… I come across as a very social person…”

    Most people who meet me think the same thing about me, but actually, I’m not. I’m just adaptable to the situation. So, I understand what you are saying here.

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