There’s a hopefulness that is unique to summer. Maybe you’ve felt it. It’s the promise of . . .
A slower pace.
More family time.
A relaxed schedule.
Creating memories with the people who matter most.
The truth is, the anticipation of what summer could be is normally interrupted by the reality of what summer is. Maybe you’ve realized that, too.
The slower pace makes you feel restless.
More family time means more opportunities for conflict.
The lack of schedule turns into fear of not doing enough.
Our quest to make memories leaves you feeling depleted.
As a result, you schedule outings, retreats, and Bible studies. You fill your planner with one on one’s with leaders and groups of students. Not to mention, your own kids are staying up and out later than ever! Now, you’re more exhausted than you were before summer began. You’ve filled every bit of your schedule with busyness, your email inbox is overflowing, and you don’t even want to think about all the work it’ll take to plan a vacation right now.
And there it is . . . that longing for your normal life back. Humans are designed to live life guided by rhythm. Our schedules and relationships crave it. With that in mind, maybe the key to enjoying summer is to stay connected. There are ways to take advantage of summer with connection instead of allowing summer to take advantage of you.
Here’s how you can stay connected . . .
. . . to your schedule.
One of the lies of summer is no schedule = life will slow down. But families and working parents know that math doesn’t quite add up—schedules can become crazier than ever. So, prioritize looking over your weekly schedule so you can understand where you may feel stretched. Don’t over-schedule or over-promise because of the fear of what a slower pace can bring. Your calendar and schedule are yours. And by being intentional with it, you’ll be able to stay connected.
. . . to your family.
Resist the temptation to sacrifice your family on the altar of events, retreats, and all of the other responsibilities that come with life as a ministry leader. Summer is attractive because of students’ open schedules, but it’s easy to overlook our own families in the the whirlwind of ministry. Remember, your family is your first ministry. It’s important to maintain connection with them. Schedule your time with them first and your ministry second.
. . . to your church.
Attendance dips in the summer. It’s not unusual for your priority to shift away from church during the season. However, focusing on connection during this time may be more important now more than ever. Try placing a higher emphasis on online connection for messages and maybe take your small group connections to email or group text. “Meeting together” may look differently during the summer months, but you don’t have to sacrifice connection because of it.
. . . to yourself.
Stay in connection with your body and mind. The school year gives us natural rhythms for breaks and moments to evaluate how we’re feeling. Sometimes, those moments are difficult to come by during the summer. Schedule breaks to listen to yourself during quiet times, exercise, or plan a Saturday where there is nothing on your calendar. You matter. And if you don’t prioritize yourself during the summer, you’ll find there is nothing left for you by the end of the season.
Imagine what life would look like if we were intentional about connection in these areas. Imagine what would be different if we led our families and volunteers with this type of intentionality in mind. It’s time to take back summer with intentionality and purpose.
Now, take a deep breath and enjoy the rest of your summer.
For more ways to make the most of your summer, check out this video from Parent Cue!