Here are 4 simple ways you and your family can create memories of a lifetime.
I think camping out, or “roughing it,” is a lot easier today than when I was a Boy Scout. In fact, we had to survive overnight with few necessities when going through the Eagle Scout requirements, and more so for the Order of the Arrow. I remember it was a bit scary because just about every nocturnal (nighttime) creature came out of the woods to remind me that this was their home, not mine. It was only after it was over that I remember it being a richly rewarding experience. Camping out today comes with a lot more of the luxuries than there used to be, but camping out and sitting around the campfire are places where you can create some of the best family memories there are. These moments may not seem that important at the time, but experiences of being out in nature can sometimes unite a family in ways that can’t be done at home. It can bring a lot of teachable moments, and it can draw the family closer together, and that’s just what we want. When my son was young, I remember pitching a pup tent in our back yard, and the both of us slept under the stars. Even though my feet stuck out, it was a night neither of us ever forgot. We couldn’t help but talk about God when we lay there, starring up into the stars. He knew there must be a Creator God, and I think nature glorifies and both testify of His existence. The psalmist writes, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Psalm 19:1-2), and being outdoors, you can see God’s glorious handiwork.
I remember many years ago when my daughter was in middle school, she and some of her friends had a carwash to benefit an animal shelter, I think it was, and they had a free carwash with the donation left up to the person, and those three girls raised a lot of money, but they had a blast doing it, even though they got more “washed” than the cars did. I remember taking a picture of them, soaking wet, but they were all smiles. I think things like this bring friends or family closer together. Besides, it’s a great way to stay cool in the summer, and you must admit, its fun spraying someone with a garden hose. Maybe you can wash the car as a family or the family dog, or whatever else you can think of, but those girls had more laughs than I can remember ever seeing them have together. It was one of those things that they’ll never forget, and whether they realized it or not, it drew them closer together.
I love sitting down and watching a good movie, but it’s even better if you can get the whole family to sit down together at the same time. Just microwave some popcorn, grab the remote, and sit down and get into a good movie. Of course, it’s getting harder to find good movies these days that you can watch with your family, but even if there’s only the husband and wife at home, it’s still advised that Christians not watch inappropriate movies with ratings that you wouldn’t want your children to watch. Sitting down with the whole family to watch a movie is a great way to find a lot of teachable moments. For example, when one of the characters is placed in an impossible situation, you could ask your children what they would do if they were them. See how they would handle it. Would they seek after God in prayer? Would they feel comfortable enough to come to their parents? Do they feel like their parents are a “safe zone” where they can tell them anything? It’s during times like these when we can get a glimpse of our children’s character and how they might respond to similar circumstances.
I don’t know about you, but we have a lot of old photo albums in our home. Maybe we have more than the average household because I’m now a grandfather, perhaps in a few years, even a great grandfather, but we have a lot of enjoyment sitting down looking back at the old photo albums my wife has collected over the years. They bring a lot of enjoyment, and we’re all shocked at just how much everyone’s changed, but what happens when we look at all these old photos is that we see just how many precious memories we’ve accumulated over the years. We can look back and see how much fun we had, or remember the time when “Aunt Nancy” was still alive. There is a bond that takes place when the children get to see where their heritage comes from, and it connects them to their past, particularly when they hear about their ancestors lives, jobs, homes, and such things. Some might’ve fought in the war, others might have been immigrants, while others might have Native American blood in them and be part Indian. It’s important to pass these things along so that your children can pass them onto their children.
If you can think of a similar situation where the family could create some precious memories, please share them with us in a comment. I’d love to see what you think, or what you’re family’s done that’s created a precious memory. Not another second can your money buy, so let spend the greatest currency you have with your family, and that is your time, because once it’s gone, you can never get it back. God has a word for me and all parents, and I believe grandparents: “You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deut 11:19). Teaching children is a 24/7 job, and it never ends, and I don’t’ think it even ends when the leave the nest.
May God richly bless you
Pastor Jack Wellman
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