sharing_a_103rd_birthday

Summer-A Time for Family

“But Jesus withdrew himself with His disciples to the sea…”  Mark 6:7 (KJV)

Summer is a time for family.  It is a time to rest removing ourselves from the stresses of work or school and focus on deepening our family relationships.  One of the best ways to strengthen the family bond is through family vacations.  Families tend to find that one special place to which they can retreat and focus on revitalizing their own bonds.

For our family, it has been the beach.  Over the years, we have gone to many different places in the world, yet we seem to always return to the sun, sand, shells, and the ocean.  The beach serves as a place where we can completely remove ourselves from the demands of work, school, and even church.  It provides an opportunity to build castles, play in the water and walk on the beach.  Inevitably those walks lead to searches for shells and sea creatures washed up onto the shore.

When the children were young, the shells offered so many questions:  what had lived in the shells, where in the ocean had the shells been, how far had the tides carried them, how long had they been on the beach, and so forth.  The one question that seemed to recur was who created the shells followed by the ultimate question…why?

As parents we wanted to provide those answers but had no perfect responses.  I wonder what would have happened if instead of replying “I don’t know, we can ask God when we get to Heaven”,  we redirected those questions to a discussion of Jesus and the many times he spent along the Sea of Galilee?  What if we had taken those opportunities to share the stories of Jesus calling Simon and Andrew from their fishing to serve with Him, calling James and John from mending nets in the ship, being awakened by the disciples to calm the sea, teaching the multitudes by the sea side, healing the sick, or when He withdrew onto the sea for rest?

What wonderful opportunities we as parents, grandparents, and friends have to walk along the beaches beside the seas and oceans and wonder at God’s creations, Jesus’ miracles and teachings, and ultimately the salvation offered to all of us.  Next time you and your family (whatever family means to you) take time to remove yourselves to that place of rest, perhaps it is also a time to reflect on what our Heavenly Father has created for us and what His Son has given to us.

© 2012 Elizabeth B. Loveday

Related posts

img_0266

Lessons in Loving Family

Lessons in Loving Family Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother…” (NET) Recently, I have experienced something new and heartbreaking that has taught me much about loving family. Our family has had to move our mother into an assisted living community. While it is the best thing for her safety and her health, it

img_0770

Training Our Children Through Crèches

One of our family’s favorite places to visit is the beach, and we visit multiple times per year. On a recent trip to the beach, I noticed something that reminded me of family and the various family combinations. While walking along the seashore and looking into the ocean, there was a group of birds sitting

autumn_colors

Fall: A Season of Change

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1New International Version (NIV)   September brings many changes in our household.  We celebrate five birthdays, some of us return to work, and all of us enjoy watching the lush green leaves turn to the rich golden color of fall.