Growing up, summers were all about swimming in the lake, building sand castles with my four siblings, evening bike rides, catching frogs, sleeping in a tent, sand volleyball get-togethers, campfires with smore's, fishing outta dad's boat, going to the town's aquatic center, helping mom in the garden, and running around barefoot with braids in my hair and mosquito bites on my legs. I loved summer.
As a mother, I am trying to recreate some of the magic that I remember summers to be, but it's hard. The world has changed a lot. Yea, there have been advances in medicine, or inventions that make things easier, but honestly all the technology and unnecessary busyness make it hard to enjoy the simple things. And that doesn't only go for kids - it's even more so true for today's adults.
Not only is it technology taking over, it's also materialism. With all the advertising everywhere we look, and the comparison that comes along with social media - we are living in a sinful world all about purchasing and owning more stuff. Or the "right" stuff. It's sad, when none of that matters. It doesn't matter how many sports you play in summer so you can play Varsity when you return to school, because high school is literally four years of your life - that's it! And it doesn't matter if you have that brand new vehicle that is all the rage, because once you leave the car lot - it isn't new anymore, and next month there will be a better one available. It doesn't matter if you have that new color of the year painted on your walls, because the money and time you took to paint it could have been used elsewhere in something more tangible than just being able to say, "yea, we have that wall color". We all have some thoughts like this right? Something we envy, or something we think will get us ahead in life. It's not only silly of us, but it's sinful.
When teaching my kids to enjoy the simple things in life, it's more important to teach them why. Why material things don't matter. God doesn't look at any us differently, no matter where we came from, what we have, or how we look. How comforting is that! He loves us all. And most importantly, those things that we usually want so badly, won't make us happy. Contentment never comes from material items. Knowing Jesus' love is what gives us contentment. His love that saved us from this changing, scary world, by dying on the cross for us. Plus, in the end we can't take any of those things with us to heaven. The only thing that can never be taken from us, I'd rather worry about. "But few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42 NIV
I will be posting a new print every Monday over the next five weeks, in a series called "Simple Summer". Keep checking back to see the new 5 x 7 prints, that will focus on these simple creatures of summer.