May 21, 2012

2012 The Summer of Love

Summer time is here. This is the kids last week for school and then we have about 3 months give or take a week of vacation. Each summer I agonize over how to not let my kids spend their downtime in front of the television, video games or computer. This summer as I was making my game plan for "rules" about the screens it became more clear to me that just because I limit what I don't want...doesn't make happen what I do want. As soon as I limit the time, all the kids then feel like they need to use all the time they have to the minute. So even when it might be a day they wont turn the TV or Video Games on, they feel it necessary to get that time in. I am sure there is a psychological reason for this, maybe it's like going on Weight Watchers and knowing you could have a certain amount of points, how many of us have decided...ahh, I just wont use my points today, I want to eat a salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not many. So I think it is the same principle for screen usage.

In the past I have done "reading for your TV time," read a certain amount of pages and you get a certain amount of time to sit mindlessly in front of the TV. But still, is reading a sci-fi novel what I want my kids and I to take away from summer? The reading part is good...but I want more than that for myself and for them.

So after much deliberation, this summer I have dubbed...The Summer of Love, 2012. Rather than limiting the screens being the end goal, we will purposely live this scripture each day. Some days we can work together on our Summer of Love projects, and some days they will be independent. Each weekday we will be purposeful about:

1. Loving the Lord with our heart by serving someone else. This could include doing a chore for a sibling or parent, writing a letter to a family member or friend who could use encouragement, baking treats and delivering them to bring a smile, mowing a lawn, serve at Love and Care....
2. Loving the Lord with our mind...learn something. This could be through reading a non-fiction book, looking up something on the computer, taking up a hobby to learn about each day such as astronomy...
3.  Loving the Lord with our a bit from the Bible, prayer and quiet time with God.
4.  Loving the Lord with our strength...moving our bodies, walking, going to the gym, lifting weights, playing a sport...

It sounds like a lot, but we can tailor each day to our time and activities.

And then for the drum roll, please.... I am not limiting screen time, once these transforming acts (aka criteria) are met.

We would welcome anyone else who wants to join us in our 2012 Summer of Love, and even work in collaboration, too. We will start, Monday, May 28th.

My plan is to take a cell-phone picture of the different acts of kindness the kids do for others, then print them and paste them to a poster board, so that they can look back and see the amount of service in pictures. Not to pat themselves on the back, but to see that small acts each day do make a difference, and by the end of summer they will have faces to look back on, people to remember in prayer, and days to treasure in their heart (Ok, that last one might be pushing it for them...but I sure will treasure each summer day in my heart).

1 week and counting until the Summer of Love 2012 BEGINS!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

What a great idea!! This sounds like the start to a wonderful book you could write for other moms, dads, etc. to try... Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to see the projects, progress and posters!
Merri Lynn