Being a teacher has always granted me the summertime to take a break from the hectic schedule of teaching, sports and school calendars. Our family has enjoyed this time in many different ways. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I would plan unique, free activities for each week of the summer. We would pick a special Bible program to use in family devotions or put in place an incentive plan, complete with rewards, for reading and personal devotions. Such treasured memories have been made during these times.
This summer, as I prayed about what we should do with these precious few weeks, the Lord led me in a different direction. Instead of planning actives and trying to fill our days, God challenged my heart to look for the purpose behind each activity we would plan or do. Instead of trying to keep everyone busy with do, do, do, God was saying to me, "Take time to be." As I was praying over this, the idea of an acrostic came to my mind. I am using the acrostic SLiCES as a target to aim at and keep our family on track this summer.
Here are our S L i C E S of summer goals:
5 studies we are doing with our kiddos this summer:
True Woman 201- Interior Design: Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood by Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth
We're doing this study with our girls ages 22, 20, 18, and 14.
"When we step into God’s plan for womanhood, we step into the great adventure of discovering who we are created to be. The greatest display of God’s glory, the greatest wholeness of personhood, the greatest joy of human relationships, and the greatest fruitfulness in ministry come about when we embrace and celebrate His design.
In this Bible study for women, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Mary Kassian delve into Titus 2 to celebrate redeemed womanhood. Exploring 10 “design elements” of biblical womanhood, they will lead you on a 10-week journey of discovering what a beautiful heart looks like, and how it leads to a beautiful life.
Each week is divided into five lessons that provide opportunity for group interaction and delving deep into Scripture.
The Lord wants to come in and do a radical renovation of your heart. He wants to change you into a godly woman from the inside out. If you let Him, He’ll give you an extreme makeover... a new interior design. Why wait? Begin your renovation today." --goodreads
Lies Girls Believe & The Truth That Sets Them Free by Dannah Gresh and Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth
We're doing this study with our girls ages 11, 8 and 6.
"Today’s girls face a number of challenges we never dealt with at their age. From skyrocketing anxiety rates to bullying on social media, the Enemy’s lies are everywhere. How do you help the girl you love walk in freedom?
Equip her with Truth. Dannah Gresh, author of Secret Keeper Girl and Lies Young Women Believe (coauthored with Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth) brings you Lies Girls Believe. This fun, easy-to-read book engages your daughter in the twenty most important truths she needs. She’ll help solve problems using fun sidebars and it’s packed with wisdom, quizzes, games, exploded quotes, and graphics to help her absorb the message.
For the best results, use the accompanying Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe which invites you to critically examine the lies girls believe and discover how to set your daughter free. It also helps facilitate discussion between you and your daughter." --goodreads
Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God & Science by Louie Giglio.
We're doing this study with our 4-11 year olds.
"It’s impossible to out-imagine God. He orchestrates time, creates light, and speaks things into existence—from the largest stars to the smallest starfish. God is a powerful, purposeful, personal, unparalleled Creator.
Each devotion features a “Be Amazed” section with fascinating facts, hands-on activities, and a closing prayer. Based on Louie Giglio’s popular messages “Indescribable” and “How Great Is Our God,” Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God & Science will help kids discover the incredible creation of our indescribable God." --goodreads
Heroes of the Bible by Joshua Cooley.
We're doing this study with our boys ages 13 and 9.
"Ask any 12-year-old kid to describe a hero, and you will get some of the following answers: a superstar athlete, a soldier on the front lines, or a guy in a cape who can jump over buildings.
Control Girl, lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control From Seven Women in the Bible by Shannon Popkin.
A study with friends for accountability.
"Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don't match your version of perfect. Tension, anger, fear—it all begins with a heart that craves control. When your vision of how life should be replaces God's vision, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts. Thankfully, there is a better way.
"With personal vulnerability, biblical depth, powerful personal illustrations, and pointed application questions, Shannon Popkin reveals how seven women of the Bible can teach us how to surrender our will to God's design for our future." —Carol Kent, speaker and author of Becoming a Woman of Influence
"Control Girl is a penetrating look at how selfishness and self-protectiveness wreck lives—and why surrender and trust are God's life-giving pathways to true freedom and joy." —Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author and Revive Our Hearts teacher and host" --goodreads
Listening references: Focus on the Family, Adventures in Odyssey podcast and Radio Theater.
So, how will you be intentional about taking time to be with your kiddos this summer?
My husband and I have had the awesome privilege to travel to the Holy Land several times. It is hard to choose a favorite spot since each location has a particular Bible significance. But, of all the places we visited, the Sea of Galilee would have to be at the top of my list.
The size of this area, where Jesus spent two thirds of His earthly ministry, was surprisingly quite small. When standing on an overlooking hillside, you can see the entire shoreline of the sea (which is really more like the size of a small lake than that of a sea).
So many things happened around and on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus:
And for this reason it has been called the cradle of the Gospel.
What a privilege it would have been to walk, talk, hear, and see Jesus in the flesh! But the response to Jesus in Bible times was the same as it is today. After Jesus had fed the five thousand many followed Him. But, Jesus called them out by saying,
Unfortunately, many today want Jesus for what He can do for them physically, or emotionally, or financially. They are consumed in selfishness and materialism and want to just add Christ and His benefits to their present lifestyle – they want to be filled. When confronted with their spiritual void and their need for Christ alone, people are often offended. But they have no excuse because they can find the truth in God’s magnificent creation and in the completed Word of God. Many choose to reject Him as the Christ, their Savior.
We need to reevaluate our relationship with the Lord. Are we truly trusting in Him alone for our salvation or have we only added religion as one more dimension of our busy lives? There is a big difference in eating bread and accepting Jesus as our Bread of Life. Jesus is not about a religion but about a personal relationship. If He is our Savior, we should study the Gospels and walk along the shores of the Sea of Galilee with Him as He presents Himself as the Savior of the world, which is the Good News of the Gospel.
I love thinking about all the things Jesus did in and around the Sea of Galilee. Especially the parts where He preached, healed, fed, recruited, walked, calmed, and ate with his followers and sinners alike. The Jesus that did all these things then is the same Jesus that does all these things today, maybe in just a little different way. He's not physically among us, but through His Word He still accomplishes these things in our lives. What has He done for you lately. Please share your story!
Today I caught such a sweet glimpse of God revealing His glory in the beauty of His creation. I walked outside the doors of my church and spotted one of the most exquisite creatures I’ve ever seen. It was a giant moth. Now, I don’t normally find moths of any sort very attractive, but this one was an exception. My son and I stopped to look at it and we were awed by the glorious display of its wings moving to avoid our touch. Its wings were a vibrant green, about 3-4 inches across and had two sets of brown eye spots at the top. At the bottom was a billowing tail that looked delicate, almost like ribbons on the end of a kite. Its body was white and furry, with feathery antennae. I was enthralled. Some friends came out to see the moth with us and one said, Oh, that’s a Luna Moth.
Having never heard of Luna Moths before, I had to find out more.
A quick Google search gave me five intriguing facts about Luna Moths:
As I walked to my car, my mind swirled with spiritual questions and truths related to the sight of this unusual product of God’s handiwork. For instance, why would God create something so intensely beautiful, but only allow it to remain alive for such a short time? God brought to my mind Ecclesiastes 3:11, which says,
"He has made everything beautiful in its time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
God’s timetable isn’t defined by mine. In His timetable depth of beauty doesn’t rely on length of life. One short life can certainly bring immense glory to God.
I was also curious about the purpose these moths have in nature. The only reason for their existence I could find is they live to reproduce. So, in essence, life is their purpose! What a beautiful reflection of the Creator of life! Psalm 36:9 says,
“For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9).
I wanted to know about the eye spots that so beautifully adorn the wings. I found they are meant to camouflage the moth and confuse a predator. God equipped these creatures with everything needed to survive their lifespan, even though their lifespan is incredibly short. That speaks to me of God’s desire to protect life. Over and over in the Bible, we’re given the picture of God as our Protector. Psalm 139 sings of His protection over us. Verse 2 speaks of how God knows and understands us.
“You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts afar off” (Psalm 139:2).
Verse 5 shows us His protective hand.
“You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me” (Psalm 139:5).
When I stop and meditate on all God does for His creation, to protect, shelter and nurture, I can say with David,
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6).
I think it’s this reality that brought so many questions to my mind when I encountered the Luna Moth today. God’s knowledge of His creation, His way with the things of the world He made, is too lofty for me. That truth brings me comfort because He is not a God I can figure out and place in a box on a shelf, only to be brought down when I need something. He is the sovereign God, concerned with the vastness of the universe and the life of a little moth. He is the sovereign God concerned with all of creation and the life of little me and little you. Wow! I don’t know where you are today or how you may be struggling; but I do know one thing. If God cares enough to give a moth life, beauty, and protection, He cares about the everyday details of your life. You can trust Him with whatever may be concerning you today.
While I was hesitant to write a whole blogpost about a moth, my hope for you is that it sparks a new desire to see what God is revealing about Himself through His creation today. Take some time to stop and look around. Mark the wonder that you find. This world is full of man-made hustle. What if you stepped out of it for a moment and stepped into the hush of His stillness? I promise you’ll be amazed at what He has to show you there.
I love where Stephanie writes: "He is the sovereign God, concerned with the vastness of the universe and the life of a little moth. He is the sovereign God concerned with all of creation and the life of little me and little you. Wow! I don’t know where you are today or how you may be struggling; but I do know one thing. If God cares enough to give a moth life, beauty, and protection, He cares about the everyday details of your life. You can trust Him with whatever may be concerning you today." Isn't it the truth?!
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