Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Poolside Pondering

Today we got our hour of schoolwork and chores done and headed to the city pool for our first dip of the season. It was crowded, noisy, far too revealing and hot and it made me long for a quiet pool in our own back yard. Just for a minute though!

Many of the moms there had come prepared with large coolers on wheels and mammoth tote bags filled and overflowing. I wondered how long they planned to stay, since it looked like they had all but moved in. I could tell it wasn't their first afternoon poolside. They were deeply tanned and quite at home.

Their children were burned. Really burned. It made me very upset to see so many burnt children - I have seen skin cancer in all it's painful ugliness and I am on a mission to do what I can to help my children treat their largest organ with a lot of respect. I know there is nasty stuff in sun screen - we use one from Kiss My Face which has the least of the nasty stuff I have found - and we wear rash guards, t-shirts, and cover-ups. We did our best to be protected and I think even we got a bit too much sun!

I did get in to the icy pool with the children for a while, but sensing that I was slowing them down, I took to the lounge chair to warm up. They had a great time together and seemed to be getting along just fine without me.

Since God's been talking with Brenda in the Wal*Mart parking lot, I decided to use my time to listen for the still small voice of my heavenly Father. I really need some wisdom to find the balance, again.

It is really easy for me to loose sight of just how long we are here for.

Like the moms at the poolside I seem to feel like we need to surround ourselves with a lot of stuff that meets our needs and brings us comfort. I'm all for being prepared, and I am not being critical of their desire to meet the needs of their children, but lugging half the house out for an afternoon at the pool seems a bit excessive. They could make do with less.

I could make do with less. So could our children. We have so much - too much! And, I struggle with wanting even more - like that backyard pool, for example!

We read of a large home school family who just finished building the ultimate dream home - and we are happy for them, and glad to read what they were able to do for their children. It did make me wonder if their kids will grow up and ever leave home, or if they will be so comfortable in the environment they have grown accustomed to, they will stay for ever! Will they leave home some day and expect to have all they had growing up right away, or struggle with feelings of failure when they can't provide it for their own family? Will they grow so accustomed to comfort that they ignore God's call on their lives to the hardships of ministry or missions? I pray not.

I started thinking about a pool in our backyard again and decided it's not very likely. The price we would pay for a pool could perhaps support a missionary for several months or provide clean water for a remote small village - something more significant and of much more lasting value. For our family, we are seeking a balance - making our home a place of safety, comfort and warmth is good, but it can't take priority over teaching our children by example to keep an eternal perspective in mind.

We are here for such a short time - just passing through, really. As believers in Jesus Christ, our true home is in heaven and our efforts need to be less focused on getting really comfortable here, and more on living our lives for Christ. My Poppa David often said that our lives where just preparation for heaven.

I'm pretty sure we won't be wanting to take a pool!

Butterfly image from Antique Clipart


  1. i am very careful with my skin and with my daughter's as well. so you can imagine how happy i was to find a nice swimsuit for her that has built in uva/uvb protection.

    since this is her first summer as a toddler we've been playing outside a lot; however, i keep her and i in the shade as much as possible.

    i've been using aveeno for sunscreen and skincare but i am going to look into "kiss my face" as well. i am not sure if we can get it here or not though.

    you are in my prayers!

  2. Hi Nancy - I'm glad you are taking care of your sweet girl's skin - you are wise!

    Kiss My Face is available at most health food stores (the one downtown NB has carried it for years) and even at Zehr's in the health food area, but if you can't find it there are a lot of other options. We try to avoid any oil/petroleum based fragrances, colors and preservatives since everything we put on our skin is absorbed. I have an aversion to oil based anything coming in contact with my skin - I've got to wonder about the wisdom of putting fossilized dinosaurs on my face.

  3. I read in Reader's Digest that they recommended the Kiss My Face Sunless Tanner, if you like that sort of thing. I like to use a sunless tanner on occassion (I may buy one a year). I don't work on a "natural" tan as I also try to be careful about the sun for myself and the kids. My mom has had skin cancer. I should try the sunscreen - or any of the other products for that matter. I've been praying for you Heather.


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