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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

"Summer Sanity"
Date Posted: May 29, 2004

It's here!

Popsicles sticking. Swimsuits dripping. Skin burning. Mosquitoes biting. Kids whining: "I'm bored." "It's too hot." "It's raining! What can I do now?"

Lawn mowing. Picture taking. Book reading. Late sleeping. Flower growing. Watermelon eating. Lightning bug catching.

The mess. The itching. The tedium. The delights.

Why such a mixture of dread and high expectations for summer? We've grown up knowing through songs, poems and the advertising industry that it is to be a restful, even "lazy", time. With no school and little work we can sit back and sip lemonade, enjoying life as it happens.

Except it rarely happens that way! We have just as many schedules to balance (if not more) that during the school year. Sports, camps, summer art and reading programs, Vacation Bible School and daily clamoring from those adorable children to swim, take a bike ride or play with friends.

So how are we to find serenity in this "lazy" time of year, or even keep our sanity?

Start by remembering that God created this season. God created your family. He has a plan for them during this time -- even it you don't! God doesn't put us in a triathlon without good running shoes, fully-aired bicycle tires, goggles and sunscreen. If the lemons are abundant in our summer, God will provide the sugar to sweeten them or at least some iced tea to help wash them down.

We need to trust the Lord, then we need to focus on making any extra time with our kids productive. Get them to church camp. Even if they are away from you for a few days, the experience will be life-enhancing and you'll have much to discuss when they get home with their dirty clothes and sticky luggage!

Don't forget about Vacation Bible School. If your church doesn't have one, there's probably one in your community that does. This is a great time for your kids to invite friends who don't know the Lord and also a great time for fellowship. You can always use your talents to serve by helping out with the VBS program.

Take a family trip. This doesn't have to be a budget-busting deluxe vacation. It can mean a day trip to hike in a state park or visit to a free museum. Just something out of the ordinary you can do as a family. (Whatever fits the budget.)

Read. Let the kids choose favorite bible stories. (They can read them to you if they're able.) Visit the library. Dust off that bookshelf and read some favorite stories you all love. Write your own stories and tell or read them to each other. (Who knows, you may get a best-seller out of it!)

Let's use this time to get to know our kids and make sure our kids know who the Lord is and see him in us!

"He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands." -- Psalms 78:5-7

As you find your ten minutes' peace with the Lord this week (and all summer), remember to take ten minutes for your family as well.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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