Friday, July 7, 2023

Listen here:

My summers are not measured by bragging rights. I say this because most of what we do can't be qualified as a great social media post. Highlight reels are filled with beautiful images from faraway lands where beautiful people look perfect, even when they are looking natural. Those who stay in town have the hottest tickets available. There is nothing wrong with these scenarios. I rejoice with both of them. 

Our summers aren't quite what I described. There is nothing wrong with highlight reels. There is also nothing wrong with the simplicity of a summer where we do what we can with what we have. 

Fancy trips don't last, and neither do staycations. What will truly last are the principles we are teaching. What is taught is not always captured by digital screens. I hope I am living what I am teaching. Here are a few unphotographed things we are teaching the kids this summer:

Friends and friendships - what makes someone a good friend? Who shouldn't be a close friend? How do we identify good friendships?

Financial Principles - How to give, save and spend wisely.

Reading - How to engage in this lifelong activity that brings about good fruit. Where do we find good books? What constitutes good reading? How other countries' literature matters. 

Time management - We started the summer with this teaching. We continue to implement and adjust it. 

Personal organization - Even when we have people helping us, we all benefit from practicing these principles. 

Gratitude - I'm writing a book on gratitude. I'm amazed at how much more I need to teach on the subject. 

Speaking to adults and younger children - I've been teaching this skill for years. It is important to connect with all generations in a respectful and honorable manner. 

Biblical appreciation - I say appreciation because I was never taught memorization for the sake of memorization. I did memorize passages as a child. It was only because I observed enthusiasm, love, and passion for the Bible in the lives of the adults around me. They showed me how to appreciate it organically. Summers offer a greater opportunity for me to do that for the kids. I'm grateful. 

There is so much more. This week we polished our Brazilian Portuguese and we practiced writing and delivering public speeches. 

I must tell you about the error part of this practice. I succeed by failing. Some of my ideas do not work. I dreamed of starting a running club with the kids. So far, we have succeeded in swimming, biking, and CrossFit Kids. I'm the only person in love with running. This error taught me to keep sowing good seeds so I can see what pops up in the Listenbee garden of life.