When I was a kid I used to hate those back to school commercials, they started in July for goodness sake! I didn’t want to hear about going back to that dreadful place yet.
Now, as a parent those commercials are prophetic windows into a hopeful future! I joke about it, but the truth is that when school starts up again many parents are finally able to take a sigh of relief and finally get one of those sabbath rests that everyone’s always talking about.
Honestly though, summer in the Dyck household was awesome! I don’t think we stopped attacking summer for even a minute. Between having friends over, holding not one, but two birthday parties for my boys who both have summertime birthdays, camping, Canada’s Wonderland, swimming at grandma grandpa’s house, watching a couple of those summer kids blockbusters at the movies, and playing on the inflatable waterslide/pool that I was able to buy for the kids.
Suffice it to say, summer was busy! But also very educational, on top of all that fun, this was the first year that the boys were old enough to attend VBS (vacation bible school) and much to my surprise this was probably their favorite part of the summer.
Churches across the country take advantage of summer to spread the love of Jesus to kids in their communities. Many kids whose parents’ busy work schedules don’t allow for much time off use VBS as a sort of alternative day care, some of these kids have never heard the name of Jesus before, thus free VBS camps make for a very effective way to spread the gospel.
My boys were able to attend two separate VBS camps and they thoroughly enjoyed them both! They were able to spend some time in an environment where saying Jesus’ name wasn’t a bad thing. They were able to spend some time with other believers and other kids and I think that our local churches do an amazing job when it comes to VBS.
Our home church did something different than VBS, it was called soccer camp. It’s like VBS where they talk, teach and pray over and for the kids, they also mix in the sport of soccer to get the kids up and moving, playing and learning about how rules in a soccer game can be applied to day to day life. Sports can teach kids about character building and perseverance, and for my son who is a bit of sore sport, about good sportsmanship. Which again can be applied to everyday life.
Summer taught me that I am really blessed! And no, I’m not using the word ‘blessed’ in a way to brag about how good I have it. The fact is that my life is so full of blessings that I forget about most of them… on a daily basis.
I forget that the house I live in, came from God. I forget that the car I drive, God made it possible. My kids who are happy and healthy, have a mom AND a dad, sleep in a bed every night, are able to have a birthday party, who fight like cats and dogs one minute and are laughing the next are gifts from God! I forger those things. Those blessings that can only come from God, I don’t thank Him for it.
This past summer also gave me an opportunity to indulge in a little nostalgia, live vicariously, if you will. At times I felt like a kid again as I played water guns with the kids, there were even times when I got the chance to just sit back and listen to the sound of children laughing as they enjoyed the sunshine.
For the first time in a long time I really enjoyed summer, the reason why is because I spent many years working in greenhouses and dreading the heat, not wanting to endure another humid filled day. Now however, after spending the last eight years or so working indoors I’ve re-learned to enjoy the heat and the sunshine.
This summer, being the dad of two very rambunctious boys has taught me many things, but the most important thing I’ve learned is how to enjoy the moment, forget the world and be silly with your kids, take a minute and thank God for everything He has given you, and if I can give just a small tidbit of advice? Be silly with your kids, not only will it be something they remember forever, you will too!
Thanks so much for reading.