As the school year winds down, my mind is in full-tilt preparation mode. With anticipation, I’m already thinking about the long, hot days before us.
Summer. A blank canvas of time before we “have to” again.
For our family, summer is white space. Summer is “get to“. Summer is purposely un-scheduled and gloriously un-filled.
As some of you read those words, your eye started doing that crazy twitching-thing. Your shoulders tensed up. You might be sweating. Un-scheduled time? Un-filled days? I know. Breath.
This is what works for my people. We need this blank space to come together and find each other again. During the school year, our family is often going in 5 different directions. As much as we try to maintain some margin throughout the school year, schedules drive our days. During the uncluttered days of summer, however, it’s important for my kids to have the time and space necessary to find and appreciate each other again.
As I do every May, I’m revisiting this short list that I wrote several years ago. This “summer plan” helps me (as a mom) to readjust my heart and mind to soak up every bit of our long, hot days of summer.
That list includes:
- Staying hydrated.
- Being present.
- Saying yes.
- Lightening up.
If this sounds like a good approach to your summer, you can read the short post HERE.
PLANS WITH MY GIRLS
For the last several summers, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with a small group of my girls’ friends to read and study together. Our “summer study” has become one of my favorite times to connect with and encourage my kids and their friends.
Last summer we read Graceful, by Emily P. Freeman. The girls connected instantly with this book. They kept saying, “How did she know that?!? It’s like she’s reading my mind.” I highly recommend it if you have a teenage daughter.
This summer it looks like our group might be co-ed, so I asked the husband of one of my friends, who happens to be an amazing youth pastor, for ideas. He recommended this, and I think it will be perfect.
This book is based on the life-changing adult study, Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby. My oldest is finishing up her freshman year in high school, so I think the topic is perfect for them right now. I can’t wait to dig into this book with this awesome group of kids. (You can read more about the book HERE.)
PLANS WITH MY FRIENDS
This is the book I’m reading with my friends over the summer.
Yes, this is the same book I shared last time. Although I’ve already read this, I cannot wait to start it again. The first time I read it, I didn’t take the time to go through the suggested disciplines given at the end of each chapter to help you experience and practice walking with Jesus each week. I’m excited for the time and space summer offers to linger through this book. (You can find this book HERE.)
Every year, Jess Connally releases her Summer to Thrive Guide. In the guide, Jess walks you through a process to help you intentionally soak up the season. Here are a few things from her guide that I’m going to be thinking through before we hit the ground running this summer ….
- What are your non-negotiables? (Things you have to do)
- What don’t you have to do?
- What do you want to read?
- Where do you want to go?
- What adventures do you want to have?
- Who do you want to spend time with?
- What moments of stillness do you want to have?
To download her guide (for free) simply sign up for her newsletter HERE.
The countdown in underway at our house. Summer, we can’t wait to see you!!