by Candace Converse
I don’t know about you, but a constant fear of mine is that my children are going to be eaten up by the technology monster. And that’s while school is in session and there are only a few hours between dismissal and bedtime! So with the arrival of summer, I needed a plan.
The long-awaited last day of school arrived, and my 6 year old and I had a great conversation. We discussed how important it is to obey Jesus’ command in Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind.” It’s hard for me, a Christian of 16 years, to even comprehend how to love God with all of my mind, much less my 6 year old. We discussed how hard it is to love God with all of your mind, when your mind is focused on earthly things (see Phil. 3:19) And we agreed that our daily activities can either help or hurt the focus of our minds.
After talking, we did some research. Pinterest, as always, yielded great results. We decided together that there could be technology each day, but only after a list of “Summer Rules” was completed first. Together we decided what was on the list. I knew that it was important to include daily routine type stuff, like brushing teeth and getting dressed, as well as a few chores. However, I wanted to also include a spiritual aspect. This was not only for him, but also for me. How many of us go on vacation with wild aspirations of sunrise devotionals and prayer walks on the beach, to only get preoccupied by family activities, sunburns and long afternoon naps? I knew it would be easy for summer vacation to be 12 week long hiatus from truly good time in my Bible and prayer each day. Using a chart to help my son to love God with all of his mind each day would also help me to spend time in devotion each day.
On the back of his “Summer Rules” we included a weekly activity list with a specific focus each day like “Make Something Monday” and “Thoughtful Thursday”. This would not only help us have something fun to look forward to each day, but also encourage us to be outward focused. With planning to attend the Summer Movie Express at Regal theaters on “Take a Trip Tuesday”, or the Stony Point splash pad on “Wet n’ Wild Wedesdays”, this would provide opportunities for fellowship with other families from church, as well as opportunities to meet and develop friendships with other moms and kids in our community.
While technology has many perks (like preoccupying my kids long enough to finish a cup of coffee while it’s still hot!), it most often feeds my selfish nature. Kids love technology! It is a great motivator. But it should never take up the majority of our brain space. To love God with all of our heart, soul, and specifically, mind, it takes intention. Having a plan for each day and week helps my family to use each day to “set our minds on things above and not on earthly things” (Col. 3:2).