Melting popsicles, bubble machines, and blessings

I’m gearing up for summer.

We have our I’m bored jar filled with ideas, games, outings and activities. We are preparing the yard for the pool, and winding down the home school workload. I can’t wait.

As I plan for our first summer in Brantford, I can’t help but think back to some of my busy summer days in Niagara. Those crazy, hot summer days prepared me for these crazy hot-tempered homeschool days.

And I’ve learned a few things from the children placed under my care.

Childcare days and homeschool days must both start the same. Simple exercise. Worship music. Time in the Word, and prayer. This is the only way to start any kind of day.

Back then, I had eight children under my care, six of them aged five and under. I made plans to keep them busy. Boy, did I make plans.

Plans that did not include raising my voice, pulling out my hair, or disciplining someone for pulling someone else’s hair out. But I know myself and my limits. Good intentions never get me far.

To create a day that ended with eight happy kids tucked into bed content and tired, I needed help. I asked the Holy Spirit to work in me in a very practical way.

Praying for an extra dose of patience felt a tad simplistic. Does God really care that I have eight kids to tend to when there are so many more pressing issues in the world? You bet He does. And I knew in the deepest place of my heart if I tried this on my own strength I would fail – miserably.

So what did I do with eight kids on a hot, hot day?

We built bubble machines.

We blew bubbles.

We made a spider web.

We had a dip in the pool.

We licked a popsicle and slipped on the slip ‘n’ slide.

We took another dip in the pool and licked more popsicles.

Most importantly, I reminded myself to breathe.

When life overwhelms breathe deep. Inhale the presence of God, the presence that He promises will never leave nor forsake. Move moment by moment trusting He will provide what is needed for the next step, and the one after that, and the one after that.

Dependence on the Holy Spirit enabled me to do more than survive a crazy, hot summer day with my own mini day camp in the back yard. It enabled me to enjoy every burst bubble, every wide-eyed wondrous expression, every shriek of delight (and there were many) and every drip of the popsicle. God used eight wonderfully delightful kids and a sunny summer day to bless me.

As I recall that summer a few years back, it excites me for this upcoming one. I wonder what adventures lie ahead, and what blessings are in store.

I can’t wait.

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