I spent most of my childhood in a small village out in the country. One of my favorite activities on summer nights was to lie in a lounge chair in our yard and watch for shooting stars. I loved trying to find the various constellations and planets. Now whenever I hear the scripture where God promises Abraham his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, I think of the sky on those summer nights.
A few weeks ago, my daughter and I spotted two rainbows in the course of a few days. Now that does not sound unusual, except at the age of twelve, those were only the second and third rainbows she had seen. (In spite of me forcing everyone outside to search for rainbows after any storm!) I told my daughter how I always think of God when I see a rainbow because of His promise to Noah. We had to chuckle as we realized we were seeing rainbows because we had finally had a lot of rain after numerous years of drought.
If you read back through your Bible, it refers to nature quite a bit. The scriptures talk about nature crying out for the Creator. To me, things in nature have always reminded me of the Creator and given me a sense of awe and appreciation for Him.
The great thing about beaches, mountains and parks is that many of them are free or very low cost (especially when compared to a day at Six Flags!). I would imagine within an hour or so of your house there are some natural wonders. I am guessing several of them you have never visited with your children. Go on the internet or to your local tourism bureau and find out what is available. Sometimes the ones which are not as popular are some of the most awe inspiring. Two of my favorites are Natural Bridge in Virginia or the wildlife you can spot at dusk in Cade’s Cove, Tennessee.
Take your children somewhere where they can appreciate the great variety of God’s creation. One of our favorite things to do is to go to the mountains of North Carolina (only a couple of hours from Atlanta). They have great gem mines where your children can hunt for all different types of beautiful rocks. My daughter even found one (Hiddenite Mines) where for a reasonable fee you can hunt in a stream and find a large variety of gems. I think she would have stayed at the stream for a week if we didn’t have to get back on the road.
Many beaches are covered in the remnants of all sorts of sea creatures. Go first thing in the morning or after a storm and see how many different types of shells you can find. One year we vacationed at Folly beach near Charleston, SC. Not only did we get to help release a sea turtule back into the wild, but we “saved” dozens of stranded sea stars one afternoon.
If you can afford a vacation, try to take one where the natural wonders are very different from what you would see at home. Growing up on the East Coast, the Southwestern United States always amazes me because it is so different from what I know.
Pull out your Bible and find scriptures that mention nature and its relation to God. There are many Psalms, of course the Creation itself, as well as the life of Noah and a wonderful chapter in Job. When something reminds you of God or makes you thankful He blessed us with such beauty to enjoy, share it with your children.
Summer can be a great time to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation, vacation and help you dedicate your child to God by instilling in him a respect for and an appreciation of God. I would love for you to leave comments of some of your favorite spots in God’s creation. Others may enjoy sharing them with their own children. So, pack a picnic and head out to see some of God’s handiwork!