The Bonfire Tradition – Part I

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:11 (NIV)


Our family celebrates a myriad of traditions every year in our house. Some are generational, some are spiritual and some are just because they are fun and make life enjoyable. Three times a year we dedicate our house to God – a way of giving Him our firsts.  The first of the year (January), the first day of summer vacation and the first day of the new school year. This is our way of making sure we keep God first in all our decisions, in our lifestyle and to remind ourselves that we want Him fully in charge of our lives.

In the past, we have honored God in this way by anointing our doorframes (inside and out) with oil and then taking turns praying for each room – asking God to bless each one and those who spend time there. We pray for health and safety, financial blessings, friends, family, rest, good relationships, peace and joy.

Back in August, before the current school year began, I felt God nudge me to maybe do something different. While the anointing of the doorframes connected with me, I was wondering if maybe it wasn’t connecting as well with all our kids. I began praying and asking God to show me (or my husband) a different tradition if He preferred, but one that would speak to the whole family and be impactful. I promised I would submit if He wanted something different, because it’s not really about the tradition itself.  It’s about God whom we choose to honor with the tradition.

God answered that heartfelt prayer less than a week later. As a family, we love bonfires. Living in the country as we do, on two acres of land, we can have bonfires without bothering our neighbors. The Sunday night before school started, my husband surprised us with a bonfire. We enjoyed playing the bean bag toss game for a while until it got dark and then all gravitated toward the heat. Because of the spur of the moment decision, our kitchen wasn’t stocked with the ingredients to make S’mores, so our oldest offered to drive his sister to the store to pick some up.

Come back next time and find out how God answered that prayer from a month prior in such a sweet way.

© Cheri Swalwell 2017




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