Inside: Every season is a precious gift from the Lord, including summer. So, how can we make the most of these summertime days and avoid wasting them?
Here in Wisconsin, it feels like we are already halfway through the summer, and fall will be here before we know it. While we still have many things to look forward to, such as Camp Nana Papa, evening walks after dinner, and having friends over to dine al fresco, there are also things I would like to accomplish over the summer. These include various home projects and working on items for the blog. However, I do not want to find myself wasting the summer.
As a grandmother, I would like to be intentional about the time I spend with my family, especially since the days are longer and my grandkids’ homeschool schedules are freed up. (Plus, we have a pool, which is a huge plus for getting more time with them in the summer 😉).
So, I have put together a list (I love lists) of ways we can make the most of our summer. The list is not meant to include all these items on your summer to-do list, and some are just encouragements. My hope is that it will inspire us all to think intentionally about how we spend our time this summer, whether as individuals, parents, grandparents, church members, friends, or neighbors.
Ways to Not Waste Your Summer:
Keep up with your bible reading plan and if you’re way behind, just jump in on the current day’s reading and keep going.
Don’t neglect the study of God’s Word. Participate in adult bible studies at church. Listen in and work slowly through the Sermon on the Mount series on the podcast. Susan Heck, Michelle Lesley, and Lisa Hughes have some great online options to work through as an individual or gather a group of friends together and work through one.
Plan some fun activities to look forward to as a family; download my free Summertime Planning Guide for some ideas.
Read a book together out loud as a family. The Chronicles of Narnia or The Wingfeather Saga are some good options. Find a family-friendly audiobook to listen to together for 15 minutes every night after dinner or even outside.
Put your phone down. Be intentional and set times to check social media so you’re not on it throughout the day, or just don’t check it all. Instead of checking your favorite blogs on their social media channels, subscribe to their newsletters to keep up with what’s going on. You can subscribe to Thankful Homemaker here. Or just turn your phone off at various times of the day.
Invite a friend to church. Make church attendance a priority, don’t let the kid’s sports activities interfere with church; let them know what your priorities are.
Put together a summer playlist on Spotify or wherever you listen to music and keep it playing in the background in the house.
Memorize a chapter or a larger passage of scripture over the summer. A few that come to mind: Philippians 2:1-11, Colossians 3, Hebrews 11, and Matthew 5,
Host a summer book club at your home and invite your neighbors to get to know them.
Meet with another sister in the faith over the summer and maybe read through one of those books together and discuss it as you meet for coffee or at the park while your kids play.
Keep Christian resources on hand (gospel tracts, good books); keep them in your car so when you’re at the park or out and about, you always have gospel tracts on hand in your purse. Living Waters still has my favorites. They have some fun ones that are easy to spark a discussion with.
Work through what is the gospel as a family. We’re using The Ology Book: Ancient Truths, Ever New by Marty Machowski this summer during our Cousin Camp week with our grandkids and working through the section on The Ology of Adoption into God’s Family.
Would you like to move a bit more than you do? Maybe take a walk together as a family after dinner?
Eat dinner outside and plan more picnics, even if they’re in the backyard.
While you’re out there, play outdoor games together. Play some of the classics with your kiddos, like tag and four square and hopscotch. Jump rope together. Teach them the games you played when you were little.
Make a simple list of your favorite summertime meals and work through it as you meal plan. Add all those summertime favorites into your meal planning, like watermelon, ice cream (try making homemade ice cream), or corn on the cob.
As a family, it is important to pray together. Try to do so at least a few times a week, if not every night. Make Sundays a special time for family prayer.
Plan ahead and invite a family over after church on Sunday to have a simple snack or picnic-style lunch together with your family. You could even all head to a local park together for a picnic after church.
Enjoy God’s creation. Get familiar with and use your state and local parks to hike, camp, picnic, or just take a stroll.
Get to know your neighbors. Plan an ice cream social or dessert and coffee gathering.
Volunteer together as a family. Could you volunteer at church together or at a local nursing home? Summer is a great time to teach your children to serve others. Could you watch someone’s kids from church so the parents can get a date night or even a quiet evening at home alone? Does an elderly neighbor need some yard work help or even just a visit?
Write a handwritten letter to someone you haven’t connected with in a while.
Have you been putting off a task? Maybe it’s cleaning out a closet? Set aside some time this summer to tackle it. Summer tends to bring more freedom with our time, and these projects are perfect for rainy days. Put on an audiobook, make a cup of tea, and start cleaning.
Take the time to just sit outside and enjoy God’s creation with no agenda but to bask in His goodness and great love for you.
I have just shared a few ideas with you, with the hope of encouraging us to be more intentional with our time.
Every season is a precious gift from the Lord, including summer. We can use this time to grow in our walk with the Lord and enjoy our free time and longer days with loved ones and friends.