From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised.
A big drop of sweat rolled down her cheek. Mary Rose was playing outside. The sun was shining and it was getting hot. It was Friday and later that day her family was going Up North to the lake where her Auntie and Uncle camped. She couldn’t wait and had gotten a new one piece swimsuit that had shorts to wear over it. Mary Rose had always been taught to wear clothing that was decent and covered herself in a good way. She thought of the Bible verses Mama had read a few days before. 1 Timothy 2:9-10. God wants women to be bashful about showing their bodies off, which meant He wanted them to be covered. She was glad she could wear something that would please God while she swam. The shorts would be comfortable and were her favorite color. Orange.
As she played she held her hula hoop up to the sun. Being the same shape, the sun seemed to fit right inside of it. She could see 2 circles but the sun made her squint.
Soon Daddy would be home from work and it would be time to leave so Mary Rose had to get all the toys put away. Running inside, she wanted to be sure she had everything for the trip, even her favorite stuffed animal to sleep with.
It took about 2 hours to get to the lake but she did not mind. They passed fields, trees, cows, pigs, and horses. A river or two, and through a few small towns. Mary Rose knew when they were getting close because the road started to have lots of hills. Daddy always made her laugh when he went over the hills kind of fast. It tickled her belly. Finally, they saw a little sign that said, “Little Field Lake” with an arrow. They turned down the long dirt road that was surrounded by woods on either side.
Going down the road, she saw purple and yellow flowers. They were close to the campground. Her Aunt and Uncle had an extra canvas tent for their family to use. Mary Rose always liked the way it smelled inside. The only way she could describe it was as a camping smell. Mama had packed all their clothes, bedding, and anything else they would need. Especially bug spray. She had also brought food to help with the meals. The campfire was lit. Auntie and Mama got supper ready to eat. Hot dogs and hamburgers with potato chips and raw vegetables on the side. They would also have cake for dessert.
“Yummy food,” thought Mary Rose. She was hungry.
The next day they would go down to the landing and get into the water. Mary Rose could hardly wait! The sun had been up in the sky for a long time and was just beginning to sink behind the trees. They roasted marshmallows by the fire and Mary Rose enjoyed listening to the grownups talk. They were funny telling stories of the past and present. Uncle knew a lot of what was happening around the lake. She liked this relaxing time. Soon everyone would to go to bed and crawl into their bedding. Mary Rose did not have a sleeping bag, her Mama had brought a nice piece of foam rubber for her to lay on with a sheet on top of that and a couple of blankets, It got a little chilly at night when the moon shone and the air came in off the lake.
Since summer, the days were longer and Mary Rose liked that. She thought about being at home during the week and how she was able to stay up later in the evenings. Her family sometimes played games or watched a favorite TV show. Once in a while, Mary Rose got to help Mama with some of her 2-year-old Bible class visual aids. Mama had been making summer time pictures and things to hang. The theme was “Sunshine”. One thing she was looking forward to having in the room was a large sun but wasn’t quite sure just how she wanted to make it. Maybe they would get some ideas on this trip.
Laying in the darkness, Mary Rose heard lots of crickets, frogs croaking, and even an owl off in the distance. She was glad she had her flashlight and kept it just inside her pillow case. She snuggled down in her bed and held her stuffed animal tight.
She awoke by the unzipping of the tent. Morning. Seemed everyone woke up with the sun. Birds were chirping. She heard a few voices and pots and pans clanging. The smell of coffee floated through the air. She came out and Uncle had his coffee sitting beside him while looking at a couple of fishing poles. Mary Rose liked watching the grownups. Especially when they were being silly towards one another.
Something fun about the campsite was, that there were lots of sandy paths to roam. When it was finally time to go swim, everyone headed down the road to the landing. The water felt good and cool. Creeping in she could feel the coolness of the water at her ankles, then her knees, once it was at her waist she was walking on her tip toes and had to stop until she got used to it. Uncle always had pieces of styrofoam for her to float on. So much fun! Once when she stood still Mary Rose saw a school of tiny little fish swimming around her legs. They were called minnows. You could see them best in shallow water. When it was time to get out Mary Rose didn’t argue or beg to stay longer. She obeyed and came out of the water with a smile on her face. She would have more time to play in the water later and plus it was time to eat. Auntie and Uncle remarked to her parents about her “sunny” mood or disposition. They liked to see Mary Rose growing into such a nice, girl.
Her hair was dripping. She stood wrapped in a towel still in her wet suit to dry off a bit before going in the tent to change. Every now and then clouds covered the sun. When that happened the breeze made Mary Rose shiver. Her lips had turned blue from playing in the cool water so long. It wasn’t long and she was able to change into some dry clothes. As they were eating it began to sprinkle and became a soft rain. It was a good thing they could all fit under the canopy of the camper at the picnic table. After eating they played games and talked while waiting for the rain to pass. There are always fun things to do even when it rains. Putting her arm around Mary Rose, Auntie remarked how it still felt “sunny” with her around. Mary Rose smiled and hugged her back. Another day and it was time to go home. So many memories were made that trip. Mary Rose loved her Auntie and Uncle and going Up North.
When they got home she had her hula hoop back out. Mama was walking by and noticed what a nice round circle it was. The next day at the store she bought one for herself.
“Are you going to hula hoop Mama?” Mary Rose asked.
Mama laughed and said, “No this is just the right size to make the sun for my Bible class.”
Mary Rose remembered holding her hula hoop up so the sun fit right inside. She thought it was a good idea. She helped to cover it with yellow paper on both sides and added long triangles to the edges for sun rays. The day before Mama was going to teach she went up to her classroom and got out some string, scissors, and a large wire paper clip. Mary Rose watched closely as she bent the paper clip and hung the sun from the ceiling. It had all worked perfectly. What a “sunny” looking classroom!
The sun is such a blessing in our lives. God really knew what He was doing when He created it. Something else that is such a blessing are happy, sunny, smiles and attitudes! Mary Rose brought some “sunshine” to her Auntie and Uncles lives and they let her know it. My Bible class students do the same thing for me and so many others, which lead me to create a sunshine theme for a classroom.
Find this month’s featured visual aids here!
Hear songs about the sun here!
My prayers and encouragement go with you!
Serving in Christ,