I cannot tell you how excited I am for the summer months.
This weekend, we got the first taste of sunshine and it was glorious. We spent time relaxing on the patio, playing with dump trucks outside, and anticipating the fun, summer days that lie ahead.
There are so many things I love about summer – the weather, the days spent at the park, day trips to nearby towns, iced coffee & ice cream, time spent with family. However, I’ve also learned that summer can be a bit (or a LOT) of a challenging time.
With longer evenings, changes in routine, and vacation days spent together, kids get cranky, rhythms go out the window, and the things that are important to your family – like devotional or together time – can go out the window.
While every season of life is different – and that’s completely okay – I do believe there are some things we can do during the summer months that can keep our families on track – especially spiritually.
Last week, I shared how kidmin pastors can stay on track during the summer months! Instead of summer simply being the time when all of our anchors, routines and rhythms go out the window, I believe it can be a time that our families are strengthened, drawn closer to each other and to God. Here are some ideas:
Create or choose anchors that will keep your family grounded.
I love the concept of anchors as a way to keep your family on track, no matter where you find yourself during the summer months. Basically, anchors are things that happen each day or week that your family does no matter where you find yourself.
These might be things like a simple bedtime routine (for us, it’s “two books” and a prayer), Friday family night, eating breakfast together on the weekends (whether at home or at a restaurant), or spending five minutes reading the Bible together after supper.
Choosing and creating anchors that work for your family creates consistency even when summer feels like chaos! It eliminates the pressure of having a consistent routine during the summer, but still keeps a sense of normalcy for your kids. Even if you’re in different beds, driving for hours, or eating takeout more than usual – these anchors can and should be able to happen everywhere!
Choose an area to focus on spiritually during the summer months.
I do this in kids’ ministry, but I think it can also work really well at home. Let’s be real – summer months can be hard for maintaining a consistent devotional life. That doesn’t mean, however, that the spiritual life of your family needs to suffer.
I love the idea of choosing a theme or specific area to focus on during the summer months with your family. Maybe this is the Fruit of the Spirit, a particular Bible book, learning how to pray, or the life of Jesus! No matter what you choose, summer is a great time to “spice things up” in your family devotional routine.
Find activities that you can do as a family to dive deeper into a particular topic or theme.
Play music that surrounds what you’ve been learning about!
Find videos or websites that your older kids can use to learn more about the area you’ve chosen.
Link up on the Bible App as a family, so no matter where you are, you can read together (even if you’re apart!)
I believe that in today’s culture – with technology and resources at our fingertips – we are uniquely positioned to disciple our kids creatively and consistently. Instead of using technology as a tool to distract this summer, why not use it intentionally to get creative and go deeper spiritually with your family?
Continue to grow personally over the summer months.
Let’s be real – as parents, we often (or always) tend to put our kids first. During the summer, depending on your work schedule, it can be kids from sun up-sun down. Even if you still have a regular job, summer still feels different.
It can be so easy during summer months to just put your kids first in every way. Looking for ways to keep them entertained, happy, and fed can consume all your time. While a noble pursuit, I believe in order to keep our families on track during the summer months, we need to stay on track too.
Continue to make your own spiritual and personal health a priority during the summer months. Make time to study the Word, practice a new spiritual discipline, or read a book you’ve been waiting to (or all three!). Find time to spend alone – even if it means crawling out of bed 15 minutes before all the kids to have quiet time over a coffee.
Whatever it looks like, don’t neglect your own growth over the summer months!
Embrace the season you’re in!
It can be easy to get stressed about how your summer is shaping up. For me, my inner dialogue during the summer months typically is: “NO NAPS! CRANKY TODDLER! WAY PAST BEDTIME! HOUSE IS A MESS.”
Yours may be different, but the reality is that as parents, it is often difficult for us to embrace the changes in seasons – literally and in the life of our homes.
Instead of fighting against summer and the changes it brings, I encourage you to simply embrace it. These moments are ones you’ll never have with your children again. You will survive without the nap, the floors being vacuumed, or proper sleep for a night or two, at least – trust me, I’m on year two).
Summer can be, despite its change, a beautiful season for our families. We can stay on track through the summer months with work and intentionality.
Over the summer, there are several ways I’d love to serve you on this front right here on the blog.
- I’ll be starting #theologytuesday back up on the blog during the summer months – this time with a specific theme! It will be chocked full of ideas to help you stay on track with your kids this summer by teaching on a particular theological topic! It will launch next week, so stay tuned.
- I’ve created a brand new Facebook community called “Growing Together” to help us on #stayontrack together! This group will replace seasonal or themed challenge groups, and instead be a home base on Facebook for ideas, discussions & challenges! I’d love for you to join here.
- Subscribers receive “Friday Night Highlights” in their inbox every Friday evening! Starting THIS Friday, it will be themed to help you stay on track for summer – with ideas for you and your family. You can subscribe at the bottom of this post.
Wherever you find yourself over the summer months, I hope you can be encouraged that you can stay on track with your family. Instead of being a season of chaos and disarray, summer can be a time that you grow and thrive!