18 Summers

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18 summers

Dad’s understand the role of provider, but have a way of getting caught up in the task. We know we need to take care of our kid’s needs, so we dive headlong into our jobs where it often becomes our identity- it defines us. When guys first meet, one of the leading questions is, “What do you do for a living?”
With the best intentions, but a twist of irony, some men even lose their families to the false adventure of a career. 
Our preoccupation with work distracts us to the fact that the needs of our families extend beyond the basics of food, water and shelter. 

Check out Luke 11: 11-13:
“Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?”
That last line is interesting. God addresses our physical needs, but more than that, he addresses the greater need for Him by giving us complete access to the deepest part of Him- the Holy Spirit. 
If we pattern our lives after Christ, we need to do what He does for us- give ourselves to our kids. 
It’s important to understand that our kids don’t always need the right answer or the perfect solution, they just need us. Half of being a dad means just showing up and being available. 
A great place to start this with your kids is by getting them outside. 

A Trail to Follow
I grew up spending lots of time with my dad outdoors and it changed my life. That blueprint is one that I continue to follow with my kids. 
There is something primal about sitting around a fire with them. Something mysterious about the dark woods and something eternal about staring up at the stars. 
Unfortunately, many men were never exposed to the logistics of camping, so it seems overwhelming to them and their kids never get to experience the magnitude of God’s wild places. 
So how does a guy get started with this new adventure?
Enter Roger Thompson. 
His simple website has a great layout to get you started sharing the camping experience with your kids. There are several free downloads that show where to go and how to do it. I highly recommend, “The Father + Child Summer Adventure Guide.” One of his ideas that really struck a cord with me was his view on time with your kids:
“We only have 18 summers with our kids. The rest of our lives will be spent either celebrating what we did with them, or regretting what we didn’t. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to make lasting memories for you and your kids.” 
Check out his website and get started this summer. Your first attempt might not be a great success, but it’s often the disasters that we pull together and overcome that we remember most. 
Time is our most finite resource. Better make it count. Don’t let the TV dictate how you spend your time this summer and speaking of time, pass up the next opportunity for overtime and take your kids camping instead. The wild places are a catalyst to start a dialogue with our kids that will last a lifetime. 
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