So, while not an ideal day for running, it is perfect for water toys!
We broke out the swimsuits for the first time this year, lathered on the sunscreen, and hooked up this new water toy for some "fun in the sun."
My idea of "Car Wash" was not a hit with Jack!
"BELLIES!" Love 'em!
future football player???
translation: "I want to go in the STREET!"
Jack: "quick, before dad sees us!"
"Well, maybe we'll just walk as close as we possibly can to the street...
"Hurry, mom's coming to get us!"
And speaking of summer, I want to share an activity I came up with to do this summer with my "mommy friends" and their sweet ones. I share this so 1) if you're interested in joining me, you can let me know, and 2) I have some friends that live in other cities who I think would be fantastic at leading something like this. If you like this idea, I really encourage you to adapt it to your community and friends!
*On the Word document, there are pretty backgrounds and colorful pictures, which won't translate here on this post. Sorry ;-(
“Pray ‘N Play”
In an effort to take advantage of the time I have at home with
my children and teach them about God, Jesus, and how we are
called to live, I’ve created a summer activity called, “Pray ‘N Play.”
"And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourself wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up." -Deuteronomy 6:5-7
The church reaches our kids in amazing, engaging ways on Sundays – and likewise at Mom's Morning Out Programs. But I’ve realized I'm not making much time Monday through Saturday to share God's word, wisdom, and love with my kids. Specifically, at home, where we have the most time and attention from our children, I'm missing that ripe opportunity to connect with my kids spiritually.
We pray before our meals and at bedtime, and there's the occasional "teachable moment" to connect God with what's going on, but that's hardly loving our Lord with all my strength and soul, repeating God's word again and again to my children.
If I want my kids to grow up feeling God's love undoubtedly, knowing how to make wise choices no matter what the situation, and love God and each other passionately, I have to prioritize it, so I am. It is my hope that "Pray 'n Play" will be an effective and FUN way to achieve this goal!
This particular scripture (above) from Deuteronomy is what could be called my "mission statement." These ideas I lay upon my heart, in hopes that they sink in and affect my decisions and actions every single day!
Some other versus have "struck a chord" in my heart:
"Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!" -Psalm 127: 4-5
In the early days of being a new mom with Lucy, I wrote this scripture on some cute scrapbook paper, laminated it, and posted it on my mirror so that – when I was stuck in the thick fog of sleepiness and sometimes left wondering how in the world this child could suck the life right out of me – I could quickly remind myself of just what a blessing this beautiful baby was!
And that's still on my mirror today, because I've realized another application: my children strengthen me! My life is enriched because of them. (And not that I think any mother would feel differently, but it's empowering really, when you focus on this idea.)
"Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right." -Proverbs 20:11
My immediate thought is that it's never too early to teach children how to behave, lovingly discipline them, and tell them what you expect of them. I know this to be true: kids will rise to meet your expectations! Set the bar high! (I experienced this in the classroom every year, and I hope to experience it with Jack and Lucy ;-)
"I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! All glory to Him, both now and forever! Amen." - 2 Peter 3: 17-18
It is so easy to become wrapped up in the bottomless ideals of the culture we live in. Hindsight is 20/20, right? But, I'd rather not have to look back on an experience and wish I had done it differently. We've been warned, we're equipped with all the knowledge we could ever need – found within the pages of the Bible - and the opportunity to receive God's wisdom and grace is merely a prayer away.
Glory to God is right! We can do anything with God; through Him all things are possible, even the formidable task of raising our children successfully.
So, what will “Pray n’ Play” look like? What can you expect?
· It will take place at our house on Friday mornings, from 9-11 am.
· This will be most successful if we give our older children that we’re doing this with our undivided attentions, so I will arrange for a babysitter to take care of the younger siblings during this time.
Weather permitting, they can play outside, or
the sitter can entertain them in a separate part
of the house so we can focus on our kids.
· The “Bible Lesson” will take place from 9:15-10:00. During this time, we’ll take part in the lesson which includes:
o A sing-along start up song
o The Bible Story
o A craft the kids will make
o Application time for the kids
to apply what they’ve learned
o Snack time
o Closing prayer / praying with our children
· Then, from 10 – 11:00, we’ll have the “play” part of the day. The kids will basically have playgroup (still under sitter supervision), giving us moms some time to meet together. Depending on what feels important on a given day, that time might be spent discussing parenting struggles, a question someone wants to throw out to the group, or perhaps we just need to “check out” for an hour and talk “girl stuff.” Basically, this is just some time set aside for us to not have to worry about the kids and have some quality time with each other. I’d like to close this time in prayer, specifically for each other and our children.
· I will send home an optional craft activity that relates to the day’s lesson so that you can extend the lesson at home if you choose to, with your spouse and child. With the weekend right around the corner, this would be a great activity your child can do with Dad, and your little one can fill them in with what they learned at pray ‘n play. ;-)
I hope Fridays will work well for your family. I’m usually feeling the strain of a long week pile up by Friday, so it is my hope that this will have the added bonus as serving as a big “pick-me-up” for everyone and recharge us for a wonderful weekend with our families.
Dates and Lessons:
June 11 – “God Made It, and It Was Grrrreat!”
June 18 – “The Rain Came Down and the Flood Came Up”
June 25 – “The Boy and the Giant”
July 2 – 4th of July weekend (no meeting)
July 9 – “Lost & Found”
July 16 – “Great Big Picnic”
July 23 – no meeting, we’re out of town
July 30 – “The Queen Who Served Her People”
If you know you are going to attend a certain week, please let me know so I can make sure to have crafts and snack items ready for your child.
However, life is hectic and doesn’t always make it easy to know ahead of time if you are going to be able to come. So, even if you aren’t able to give me notice, please still come – don’t let that stop you! ;-) And if you have a friend who you would like to bring, please do! Likewise, feel free to pass this on to any friends you think might be interested!
I hope this will be a wonderful, fulfilling time we share with our children and with each other, growing in “grace and knowledge”!
Questions? Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org