Amid these Denver rains fit for an equatorial jungle, I hope the first two weeks of Summer Break have been fulfilling. Of course, it's only "Break" for the kids, which often means just the opposite for the adults.
This reminds me of a tremendous reality from Job: "Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7). Fact of life. No escaping it. But there are a couple different kinds of trouble involved here: tragedy and hardship on the one hand, and the day-to-day toils of life on the other. Losing a child is an example of the first; raising a child is an example of the second.
Summer, for parents, is more of the second kind of trouble. A healthy sort of trouble, but exhausting nonetheless. Constant focus, constant events, constant messes. Interestingly, though, God thought this set-up was a good idea for our sanctification, and so when we think life couldn't get any more stressful, he's thinking about how much he's blessing us.
In the spirit of Messy Picnics on the Living-Room Rug (and Other Stories), let's continue to be all-in for our kids this summer. Read with them every day, whether haphazardly or on a schedule, or after work. Take them on hikes. Take them to the library. Create a playlist of musical classics for regular listening. Check out audiobooks. Color with them.
Give exhaustion a bear hug and invite it back tomorrow.
Being comes before doing. We want our children to love beauty and excellence from their hearts -- and they look to us for cues. My blessings to each of you as you continue this arduous but wonderful task.
Grace and Peace, Nate Ahern