God’s Gift of Summer and Family Time

Now is the time to make precious family memories. Later in life you'll be glad you did.

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A family at the beach

Summer is that amazing time of tantalizing aromas from the grill, softball games in the backyard, lazy days at the beach and, most important, extended time with family and friends.

At least that’s how it should be, but many of us get so busy that we neglect those memory-making moments. It’s not intentional, but it sometimes gets shoved to the side.

Often we as parents forget something of vital importance—God’s given us just 18 summers with our children before they leave home for college. That's 18 short summers that will zoom by whether we’re ready or not. So don’t waste this precious time. Don’t look back with sadness, not memories, because those days can’t be done over.

As I wrote in my novel, Just 18 Summers, “Sometimes the days will feel really long . . . but just remember, the years are really short.”

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And that’s why family vacations and reunions are so valuable. They’re a time to bond with your immediate family—cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents—and even with extended family you’ve never met before. They’re an opportunity to discover physical similarities and mannerisms and traits that you all have in common.

Family get-togethers are a time to share stories and photos from the past, to talk about those who are no longer here, to give your children and grandchildren a sense of their history.

They’re also a great opportunity to talk about your spiritual heritage as a family, to let your children see how faith and family have been important from one generation to another.

And family reunions are the perfect time to pull out favorite old recipes, to share laughter and make memories over a plate of Aunt Betty’s potato salad, Uncle Bob’s famous smoked pork barbeque, Grandpa’s custard-based home-churned ice cream and Granny Bessie’s oh-so-delicious fried apple pies.

So plan a family vacation this summer or attend your family reunion. Yes, it takes work, time and dollars, but the benefits of building a close bond with your family is priceless.

Store all those precious memories in your heart, because someday when your children are grown and gone from your home, you’ll look back and be so glad that you took the time to make them.

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