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Summer’s on Its Way
BY BARBARA RAINEY
One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind. - ECCLESIASTES 4:6
Before summer started, Dennis used to say to me, “Sweetheart, what do you want us to accomplish by the time we finish August and move into the school year?” He knew I was the one who had my finger closest to the pulse of our family’s needs and schedules and would probably have the biggest hand in implementing the answer to his question.
Truly, the pressure to create the right kind of summertime environment in your home falls largely on Mom. Summer should be a time of rest, but it’s also up to us to keep things moving in a way that integrates rest with a measure of purpose. For me, it meant letting our kids have lots of time to play—building forts in the yard (or in the living room if it was raining), going on hikes, going swimming—anything that didn’t involve wasting a perfectly good day in front of the television. It also meant having some enforced quiet time, when I would read to them or send them to their rooms to spend time alone. I wanted to discipline their hearts to enjoy solitude and to help truly recharge after the fast pace of the school year.
If you’re a mom who puts a lot of emphasis on structure, I’d encourage you to tone your plans back about 50 percent as summer approaches. Take the time to let some air blow into your schedule, and resist the urge to be constantly checking your list for accomplishment. If you’re more of a free spirit who basically lets both hands off the reins, try to put a little thought into summer on the front end. Set a few goals for the type of activities you’d like to pursue, the relationships you’d like to deepen, the trips you’d like to take. Make this a summer you’ll never forget.
Talk about and decide what you want to accomplish by the end of August.
Ask the Lord to establish your plans and help you see them through . . . with lots of fun to spare.