It’s Summertime! Let’s celebrate the season and not let one summer day slip away.
You have dreams of the beach, the pool, the backyard playtime, the lazy mornings, the park, the zoo, the cottage, the garden, the backyard fires, the sunsets, the bare feet, the bike rides, and the family time. You have bought books to read and are hoping for a trip to Yellowstone.
Too often, though, Labor Day arrives, and you realize you didn’t even do half the things you envisioned doing.
This summer can be different; if you are intentional.
in·ten·tion·al: done on purpose; deliberate, calculated, planned, premeditated, preplanned, thought out in advance, prearranged, preconceived, predetermined
Summer is definitely the season to “go with the flow”. I love to join you and abandon all schedules and enjoy the spontaneity of skipping work, a trip to the ice cream shop, and late-night bonfires.
But I also like to look back at the end of this season with a sense of accomplishment and a heart filled with warm memories.
Every June after school was out for summer vacation, our family would brainstorm around the dinner table and dream about how we wanted to spend these glorious three months. We would set goals and create a dream list.
Our Intentional Summer list looked like this:
- Read a designated number of books.
- Devotions each morning.
- Take a family bike ride after dinner at least once a week.
- Go on a camping trip at least once.
- Attend summer church camp.
- Disconnect the TV for the summer. (Best thing EVER!)
Now that it’s just Scott and I our list looks a little different:
- Have morning coffee in the porch.
- Head to the farm 1-2 weekends a month.
- Grill dinner and eat on the deck most every evening.
- Take a spontaneous road trip at least once.
What do you have planned for this summer?
We are offered so many choices on how we want to spend our time.
We can become overwhelmed and get involved in too many things or we can become overwhelmed and get involved in nothing.
The goal is to find the balance and that comes with being intentional.
Include God in Your Summer Planning
With this in mind, we constantly pray that our God will empower you to live worthy of all that he has invited you to experience. And we pray that by his power all the pleasures of goodness and all works inspired by faith would fill you completely.2 Thessalonians 1:11 TPT
This verse beautifully expresses God’s heart for us as we serve him daily and enjoy all the God-given beauty and goodness surrounding us. He wants to see our lives healthy and prospering – body, soul, and spirit.
Beloved friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and that you continually enjoy good health, just as your soul is prospering.3 John 1:2
As you dream about your summer plans and goals ask yourself these questions:
- Where is the most profitable place to spend my energy?
When we are younger, we assume we have unlimited energy. We think we can work all day and into the night, only getting a few hours of rest, and be ready to start again the next morning. Then one day you crash, come to the end of your strength, and begin to deal with health issues.
It’s time to make changes and prioritize your life according to God’s plan for your life and the design of how he created you.
God will never be persuaded to change His time plan and give you more hours in the day just so you can accomplish your over-extended goals.
No matter how well you manage your time, the fact remains: there are still only 24 hours in a day. When you try to do 30 hours of work in 24 hours of time, the same thing happens to you that happens to an engine that never cools down – you burn out.Holly Miller, How to Stop Living for the Applause – Help for women who need to be Perfect.
- Do my activities and goals line up with my values?
A value is a belief and a mission that is meaningful to you. Values help you determine what is important in our life. They are the silent forces behind many of your actions and decisions.
Some important values may be love, security, health, family, humor, integrity, honesty, freedom, respect, success, stability, adventure, or justice.
Living your life in line with your values is important for a sense of well-being. Living a life which violates your values can lead to confusion, frustration and depression.
For example, if you are a person who values your family, but you are working long hours which means you spend little quality time with them, you will be violating your values.
If you value your health but eat junk food and never exercise, then you are living a life which conflicts with a value.
- What is God inviting me to experience this summer?
Each of us have roles and responsibilities in our life. We are trying to balance our careers with family, friends, finances, self-care and fun.
(Use the Wheel of Life worksheet found HERE to find out level of balance and satisfaction)
List 10-15 roles that describe your life right now.
Balance comes when you learn the unforced rhythms of grace that Jesus is offering you.
Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.Matthew 11:28-30 TPT
I encourage you to be intentional this summer. Review your answers to the three questions above and then start working on your goals and dreams.
Make a list of the things you want to do, goals you want to set, vacations you want to take, people you want to see, and books you want to read.
This is going to be the BEST SUMMER EVER!