Summer Fun: The 39 Clues to You

Today is the first day of our summer vacation. It means a new schedule and a lot more time with my kids. It also means it's time to begin our summer "camp." Many of you know that every summer, my girls and four of their friends gather in my kitchen to spend time having fun and learning about God. This summer, our little group is going to embark on the "39 Clues to You" adventure. Despite a doctor's visit for a severe ear infection in my youngest, which has caused us to rearrange the schedule a bit, we are going to get our adventure under way today.

Each week, I'll be sharing with you what we've done. And the great news is that this year, I'm writing up the curriculum as I go and hope to have it available to you in the fall, so you can use it with your own kids next summer.

I'm almost as excited as the girls. This summer's adventure focuses on the idea that God made every person unique so they can fill a spot in His plan. Every one of us is God's masterpiece -- the very best thing that He can make. Because of that, I want the girls to know that not only did God make them unique and special, but He made others to be unique and special, too. That means that we need to place value on others and treat them with the same care and respect that we would use with a Renoir painting.

Each week will focus on a different girl in our group. At the beginning of the day, the girls will receive six clues and they'll have to figure out which girl we are going to focus on that day. We'll learn to do something that she excels at. Eat some food that she enjoys. Read part of a book that she really likes and find out some of the things that she is passionate about.

At the end of the summer, we're going to have a challenge that will force all the girls to work together and use their specific talents to complete the challenge.

Today is our kick-off day. The girls will get three clues that focus on how each person is loved by and special to God. The answer to the clues is "You." After that, they will receive their T-shirts and their totes. While they decorate their totes, we'll talk about the plan for the summer.

After they decorate their totes, they will each have to choose from an assortment of snacks. Each girl will have to explain why she chooses the snack she does. We'll talk about how each person has different likes and dislikes and how that's important because it keeps us from all being the same. If we all only ate tomatoes, then it would be hard to feed all of us.

Our big project for the day will focus on Ephesians 2:10, which says "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." We will look at pictures of art and architectural masterpieces and talk about how a masterpiece is the best that we can achieve.

We'll discuss how God says that we are His masterpiece, so we are the best thing that He can create. We'll also talk about how art masterpieces are treated -- with care and respect. We'll learn that God wants us to treat other people as if they are masterpieces -- with care and respect.

Each girl will get an artist's canvas, so she can create her own masterpiece with paint. We'll write Ephesians 2:10 on them. They will get to take them home and hang them in a place where they will remember that they are God's masterpiece.

As they leave, they will receive a challenge for the week that encourages them to treat their siblings as if their siblings are a masterpiece. When they come back next week, they'll need to know their memory verse and have written down one way that they treated their siblings like masterpieces to receive their prize.

I can't wait to see how God works in the hearts of these girls this summer. I just know that we're going to face August with a new respect for how God has created other people. And my prayer is that we'll have changed hearts in the way that we deal with others.