Sunrise, Stargazing, Rejoicing in the Rain or a Nature Walk
The busyness of our lives combined with a separation from nature can cause us to forget that there is incredible joy to be experienced in the beauty and fascination of nature.
Lots of choice this week, all connecting you with nature and our world. The goal of these activities are to create some time and space where you can help your children find awe in God’s creation.
Pack a breakfast picnic and find a quiet place to eat and watch the sunrise. Listen to the sounds of nature waking up around you. Take turns naming and identifying sounds. As the sun comes up, imagine that God is painting a picture in the sky for all to enjoy. Talk about how creative God is and how much fun He must have mixing the colours every day. Paint your own sunrise pictures at home and add a verse from below to the picture. You can also cut out black shapes, making silhouettes of your family, to add to the foreground of the paintings.
Job 38:12 [The Lord said] “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place… ?”
Psalm 65:8 “Those living far away fear Your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades You call forth songs of joy.”
If you don’t mind the kids staying up late (or save this one for later in the year when it gets darker earlier) – On a clear night, go outside and lie on a blanket and look at the stars. The darker your surroundings, the brighter the stars appear. A quieter setting also adds to the awe and magnificence of a starry night. Spend time praising God and talking about how amazing it is that He knows each star by name. Packing a bedtime snack and a story is a fun way to round out your family’s evening.
Psalm 148:3-6 “Praise Him, sun and moon, praise Him, all you shining stars. Praise Him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever; He gave a decree that will never pass away.”
Psalm 147:4 “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.”
Jeremiah 31:35 “This is what the Lord says, He who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the Lord Almighty is His name.”
Rejoicing in the Rain
Many people complain when it rains. Even though it is tempting to have a negative mindset on rainy days, it is important to remember that rain is something we should be thankful for, as rain is a gift from God. If there was no rain, eventually everything on earth would die: plants, animals and people. Hopefully you will be privileged to have a rainy day while you are studying joy. Dress warmly, take umbrellas, put on rubber boots and go for a walk in the rain. Thank God for the rain that provides moisture so grass and crops can grow.
Celebrate by splashing in puddles and why not learn one of these songs to sing?
Singing any song can add a celebratory atmosphere to your walk.
Joel 2:23 “Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.”
Acts 14:17b “ ‘…He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.’ ”
Take a walk with your children and encourage them to look for living things. Whenever you do find a living creature, ask it some questions such as, “Who made you?” and “Who made the world?” Your children can answer for the wild creatures saying, “God did!” Ideally, walk somewhere that will have a few wild animals to see (but remember that children find bugs and creepy crawlies just as cool as larger living organisms). There is a multitude of creatures to see if you walk slowly and watch for them. Be sure to observe the respect rule: If God made it, we don’t hurt it.
Job 12:7-10 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”