For the last eighteen years, my children and I have been going to the beach with friends, or just as a family, once a week during the summer.
When we first moved to the city in which we live, I thought that beach and park days would provide an easy way to get to know other homeschooling families.
Last year and this, I have come to realize that beach days provided us with more than just an opportunity to make lasting friendships.
Going to the beach each week has helped to foster friendships between my children.
It has given them something that they like doing together.
Although we still head to the beach together once a week, my older children will occasionally get home from work and ask, “Can I go to the beach?” They will follow their request by asking brothers and/or sisters if they want to go with them.
Recently, as three of our children headed to the beach, I told my husband, “I did something right.” He said, “What was that?” I responded facetiously, “I taught our children to like the beach.”
More importantly than teaching our children to like the beach, I inadvertently fostered loving relationships between our children.
I hope that they always find joy in spending time with each other.
“Somehow, then, God must contrive to break through those routines of ours and remind us once again, like Israel, that we are ultimately dependent only upon Him, that He has made us and destined us for life with Him through all eternity, that the things of this world and this world itself are not our lasting city, that His we are and that we must look to Him and turn to Him in everything. Then it is, perhaps, that He must allow our whole world to be turned upside down in order to remind us it is not our permanent abode or final destiny, to bring us to our senses and restore our sense of values, to turn our thoughts once more to Him -- even if at first our thoughts are questioning and full of reproaches. Then it is that He must remind us again, with terrible clarity, that He meant exactly what He said in those seemingly simple words of the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Do not be anxious about what you shall eat, or what you shall wear, or where you shall sleep, but seek first the kingdom of God and His justice.’”
~ Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J., “He Leadeth Me”, p. 22 ~
Some of my children used to be intrigued by our neighbor’s alliums. When our neighbor moved away, the alliums stopped growing. Last fall, I was thrilled to find allium bulbs at Costco. This spring, I think that the bees are happy to have alliums growing in our garden. I know that my little boys are fascinated by the purple balls sitting on top of green stems. I am simply thankful to have these interesting looking flowers blooming in our garden.
“Kiss frequently the crosses which the Lord sends you, and with all your heart, without regarding of what sort they may be; for the more vile and mean they are, the more they deserve their name. The merit of crosses does not consist in their weight, but in the manner in which they are borne. It may show much greater virtue to bear a cross of straw than a very hard and heavy one, because the light ones are also the most hidden and contemned, and therefore least comfortable to our inclination, which always seeks what is showy.”