On the last day of the school year, my daughter’s teacher wore a shirt that read, “Parents: Tag You’re It!”
I chuckled about it and took my kids home to set up a tent in the living room for our First Night of Summer Camp Out.
Later, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw several parents lamenting the fact that they would have their kids home all summer. One mom posted a count down to the first day of school. She wrote, “it can’t get here fast enough.”
This broke my heart.
Summer is my absolute favorite season.
I love everything about it – swimming, strawberries, drive-in movies, lightening bugs, sprinklers, vacations, sleeping in, fresh tomatoes, staying up late, and snow cones.
I even love the way the heat wraps around you and gives you that little tickle of sweat.
But my favorite thing is how everything slows down a little. My kids don’t wake up quite as early, and the mornings aren’t rushed and hectic. They still go to bed early, but there’s usually time for one more book.
I’m not sure how this works, because when I look at our schedule for summer it is just as full as during the school year.
I think that’s how God designed it to work?
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (KJV)
God gave us seasons not only for planting and harvesting but also seasons for our souls.
He designed us to have certain responses for certain seasons. In the fall, we gear up to get life on track with schedules and menus and routines. In the winter, we celebrate and bask in the warmth of friends and family. In the spring, we clean out and organize and sort.
But in the summer, we relax.
In summer I find myself connecting with God better than any other time of year. My morning quiet time doesn’t get pushed to the back burner in favor of scrambling eggs while signing permission slips and packing lunches. I can do my quiet time with the kids over breakfast. I don’t lose my temper because we are running late AGAIN. It’s summer. Where do we have to be that is so urgent?
In the school year I let other things push to the fore.
The urgent often usurps the throne of the truly important, but in summer our priorities realign and God is unrivaled.
In summer, we make time to disconnect from the temporary and reconnect to the eternal.
So this summer, like many summers in the past, will be a time of spiritual renewal for me. I’ll take advantage of the long days to refocus on loving God and loving others. I’ll use the extra time to help my children to grow in their relationship with Christ. We will focus on speaking with kind words, loving tones, and a pleasant volume. I’ll finally read all of those great Christian parenting books and Bible studies I’ve been putting off.
We will make a list of ways to serve others and work diligently to complete it before fall.
The only thing I don’t like about summer is how quickly it ends. As soon as we get accustomed to our relaxed routine, it will be time to buy school supplies and trade out swimsuits for sweaters.
I wonder though, what if we could hold out against the turning pages of the calendar? Could we reach an armistice with autumn? I will give up our late nights for early mornings, watermelon for pumpkin, relaxation for activity, but there is one thing I will not give up.
I will let go of the heat and exchange it for cold.
I will give my kids back to teachers in exchange for that sad quiet at home, but there is one piece of summer that I will take with me like a pressed coin from a summer getaway.
I will hold on to my connection with God.
I will not let urgency reign over the hearts of my children.
I refuse to let things that are pressing become our priority.
How will you keep your focus on your relationship with God as you move into autumn?