Who hasn’t heard that whistle blow and the lifeguard shout, “No Running!” As a parent it is easy to explain that running on the pool deck is dangerous simply because it is wet and it could cause us to slip and accidentally hurt yourself or someone else. As a child, though, we instinctively know that the shortest distance between the ladder and the diving board is a straight line and the best way to beat your friend and be the next in line is to RUN! Read more →
Ask any child what their favorite summer activity is and more often than not they will answer exuberantly, “swimming!” I loved the pool so much that I was on the swim team, became a lifeguard, taught swim lessons and was a swim coach. The neighborhood pool is an incredible place for family bonding, learning and development if we’ll let it be. For a few weeks I want to talk about lessons that can be learned at the swimming pool to make sure we’re getting the most out of our summer fun!
We have been gardening in pots in our backyard for the past few months now and are beginning to see the fruits of our labors. Ok, I’ll come clean. My husband has been gardening for the past few months and now we are beginning to see the fruits of his labor (I’ve only watered the plants once). I am far from what you could call a “Green Thumb.” I have a pot with spicy oregano in my kitchen window and while it’s still green and growing in parts there are parts that are brown and, honestly, dead.
When I ran across this quote though, while trying to figure out how to resurrect half of my spicy oregano, it caused me to pause. First of all, yes, if you are going to put plants in the ground today you have to have the belief that there will be many tomorrows for that effort to pay off. Gardening, though, is also a promise. It is a covenant with that seed that you will give it what it needs: water, good soil, a proper amount of sunlight. That’s why I don’t garden. I know that I can’t make that promise for the long haul.
Taking on that commitment as a parent is even more daunting. When we have a child, whether we were prepared or not, we are making a covenant to care for them and give them what they need for far longer than I’ve promised to take care of my oregano. As a parent, rather than water from a hose, you must pour out of yourself daily in belief that there will be many tomorrows, and that the end will yield a good harvest. There must be a belief that all of your sacrifice will result in your child being ready for college, a career, a family, and everything else the world can throw at them. There must be a faith in the words, “train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) There must be a hope in the Lord who promises to honor your sacrifice.
You may be currently enjoying the fruit of parenting with your children, spending time at the pool, vacationing and maybe digging in the garden yourselves. Your belief in tomorrow may be suspended by the joy of today and if you are soak it in. You may, though, be in a difficult time. You may, though, be in a not so fruitful time and feel that your effort isn’t worth it, but remember to believe. Just like tilling your garden is a lot hard work so is training up and educating your children but we have been promised that it is always worth it for tomorrow.
-Quote by Audrey Hepburn