A Memorable Summer

by Mary Johnson, Children's Ministries and Director of ATB&B

As we head into the summer months, I'm feeling very nostalgic. I know this is because in the past two months, I have attended memorial services where the reflections by family members recalled great memories of family summer vacations. It stirred my memories of the wonderful summer vacations I had with my family at Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Long days on the beach, swimming in the lake, jumping off the dock, boats rides on the lake on the excursion boat called the Queen, and singing around the bonfire at night. My uncles Bob and Joe would direct us as we learned and sang the "old songs," Does your Heart Beat for Me, The Wiffenpoof Song, Shine on Harvest Moon and so many more. Of course with Meredith Willson being from Iowa, we all sang out loud and proud the entire score of The Music Man!

With both girls out of the house and on their own, we don't have the timeline of the summer months to schedule our family vacations. They can and do occur at different times during the year and are always very special. But when our girls were growing up, the tradition of summer family vacations at a lake continued as often as possible. Cousins getting together and getting to know each other since they didn't live in the same town. These cousin connections are so special and can be rekindled even after several years of not being together. It is that way with my cousins and I see it with my girls when they reconnect with their cousins, as they did recently.

My wish for all this summer is that you reconnect with a long lost cousin or someone with whom you have great memories of childhood experiences, and celebrate the great memories. And please take the time this summer to provide the foundation for what will be great memories for your children. I am certain the High School students will come back from their Mission Trip with amazing stories to tell that will be the substance for their memorable summer.

And when you've had a great time at a family reunion, vacation spot, summer outing, backyard BBQ, or whatever, I'd love to hear about it. I'll be here at the 9:00 outdoor service on Sunday. We'll talk then!