Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Summertime: A Time to Pause and Reflect

The view from the cabin!
In the 1950s, my Grandpa built a cabin in Door County, Wisconsin. He had seven children so I had a lot of aunts and uncles. The cabin overlooks Green Bay. There is not one stoplight or fast food restaurant for fifty miles from the cabin. There was no television in the cabin while I was growing up. There are only two bedrooms, a large loft, and a very large area with a kitchen, tables, and couches. Many of the families would come up during the summer and crowd into this cabin. I would sleep up in the loft with many of my cousins.

 We live in California because my Dad went to medical school then found a good job, so we’d go up to the cabin for weeks during the summer to be with all of my mom's family. We loved it! We would walk down steps to the dock that sits right in the water where we would spend most of our time. We would eat our lunches on the dock, boats would pull us for water skiing, and we dove off a large raft. We were all in heaven!

 Time in the cabin would be spent playing games, eating, talking, and playing while the parents would be sitting on the deck talking and watching the sunset. If someone learned how to ski, we’d all go out for banana splits. Many times, one of my uncles would fix a large fish boil for all of us. Each family would take turns fixing dinner. After dinner, we’d sit around a campfire and sing songs or be entertained by the clowns in the group! Every night, we would all fall into bed exhausted and happy. They were such wonderful times with many fond memories.

Compare this to how many children are spending their summers in our country now. Children are glued to their televisions and technology gadgets while they eat junk food and become overweight. Their bodies are not moving and their minds are being polluted by too many things they are seeing. Children are losing their childhood and innocence way too early. They are missing out on sunshine, exercise, and fresh air.

Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” As Christians, we need to pause and reflect! We shouldn’t be living our lives like the culture does or be entertained by what they are entertained by. Our children should be playing outside in the sunshine and fresh air, playing games with others, learning how to have conversation with adults, and using discretion when watching a little bit of television or none at all.

If you need some ideas for your children, there’s dolls, jacks, hide-and-go seek, jump rope, coloring and painting, clay modeling, making up stories, biking, stringing popcorn, making doll clothes, sandlot baseball, hose in bathing suits, baking cookies, tricycles, wagons, trucks, paper dolls, selling lemonade, walking the dog, organizing a secret club, mud pies, tree climbing, books, I spy, hopscotch, putting on plays, doll houses, touch football, roller skating, or quiet time. Don’t allow your children to say, “I’m bored” because if they do, have a list of chores for them! They will find something to do and be creative very quickly!

Reclaim childhood for your children! Let them be children instead of becoming stagnant and polluted sitting all day in front of their television or iPad, as most are today.

This is the day that the Lord has made; 
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24