Thursday, April 28, 2016

Summer 2016 with family: 6 things to consider

The summer is almost here! If you have been planning and thinking through many commitments, consider these things I am not planning to do:

I will not overbook my family - I think I have spent close to 3 hours just studying different summer programs and trying to fit it in our schedule. I am aware of the red flag right in front of my eyes that is warning me of overbooking. If I'm gonna become a shuttle service, I'm not signing up. If we are all going to be stretched thin, I am not signing up. I often remind myself that some year round commitments such as church and Bible study do not stop during the summer. It is important to be wise with my precious time.

I will not feel pressured to do all the cool activities - Let's me honest, there are some  summer activities are cooler than others. They're all (supposedly) super important for my child's development. I have learned not to succumb to pressure but to see "pressure" as a warning sign. God doesn't put pressure on me, He gives me choices and He clearly encourages me to choose life.

I will not dread my own schedule - This has happened to me before. Do you know what's worse? I am the master of my own schedule. I dread my schedule when we're out of the house all of the time. I dread my schedule when my kids are overtired. I dread my schedule when I am overtired. I believe that the summer should give us some activities but also the rest we need to recover and actually enjoy the things we sign up to do.

Here are the things I am committed to doing:

I will remember that I need recreation too - You can't give what you don't have. I am determined to enjoy recreational activities so that I too can be refreshed and renewed. Unless I take the time to relax and do something I enjoy, I will run out of patience, joy... you get the point. This doesn't take 40 hours a week, all it takes is doing something you enjoy that can give you a sense of renewal. I encourage my readers to make a list of those things. My list includes running, reading, writing, meeting a friend for coffee and going to an art gallery.

I will remember that this summer will part of my family's memories - if I am to look back at this summer, what type of memories will I want to create? I believe that this perspective is helpful when creating a summer schedule my entire family can enjoy. When the kids were little we focused on bonding and enjoying simple activities we could do in our backyard. When big events came around, we enjoyed them too. I am a believer that the best memories do not revolve around things but people. I am committed to be available, peaceful and joyful so that our summer memories will be supreme (yet real).

I will consider God when creating my family's summer plans - Have you considered that God has something to say about your summer plans? I am convicted that what everyone is doing might not be God's plan for our family. I know that He can lead me and guide in the way I should go. I am fiercely convinced that I need to involve Him in my plans before I say yes to another brain-forming, life-enhancing, academically and fitness beneficial activity. The Maker of the Universe, our God, has something to say about our summer plans. Let's give Him permission, or "Lordship" over our schedules. I believe it will revolutionize our lives. I also believe that while I might want to go for the elaborate, God might want me to keep it simple and leave room in my schedule for human interaction. What do I mean? Instead of committing 12 hours of my week to an activity, God may lead me to be available to sit with a friend and enjoy conversation while the kids play. I just want to plant a seed in your heart my friend. Before you sign up for anything else, consider God and what He has to say.

Before your summer even starts, what are you committed to do or not to do my friend?

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