How to Not Waste Your Summer

Ah, summer. Fresh fruit, iced coffee, beach trips, and a slower pace [in theory].

Some argue it’s the greatest season of the year, and obviously those people have never lived through August in Texas, but we still love it. As long as we’re neck-deep in a swimming pool in the shade…

I’ve lived so many summers in camp ministry, it came as a surprise to hear people talk about keeping summer significant. This was always the season we were at our peak intensity, and I loved the intentionality of every single second. No conversation or moment was wasted.

Life outside of camp in summer is different. The slower pace comes much-needed, but as exhausted as we tend to be from those over-worked semester schedules, time drained away becomes all too easy and familiar.

My team at work recently put together this brilliant resource for parents and families to help make their summers significant (check out the link for the free pdf download!). The resource is more than an activity book; it’s more of a charge to families as they go this summer. (Deuteronomy 6, anyone?)

I did not write the curriculum, but the more I read it, the more I love it. Even better- the principles apply to all of us. Ready for your summer challenge?

1. REST

Did you see this post from Michael Hyatt on sleep recently? Spoiler alert: Sleep is clearly linked to creativity and productivity. (Shocker!) Also, it turns out rest was a big enough deal to God he made it one of the Ten Commandments. And yet, rest is consistently not how we live our lives. We refuse to be still before the Lord (psalm 46:10), and then we wonder why we get anxious.

2. GROW

Instead of spending the next 18 hours of your life on a Netflix marathon (no shame here- we’ve all been there), take some time to learn something new. Set aside time to study a few books of the Bible this summer. Memorize a passage on a topic you’ve struggled with recently. Read a biography of someone you admire. Go learn a new skill and take the time to practice it.

3. SERVE

Summer is one of the best times to get out there and serve your community. Maybe sign up for a local service project through your church or your local food bank. You could even visit a nearby nursing home and take some handmade cards to the residents who never get visitors. (We did this one Valentine’s Day in college and it’s still one of my favorite memories!) Take dinner to the neighbors. Babysit for a single mom.

4. PLAY

Two words: Game Night. Because, you never know a person’s true character until you play them in Catch Phrase. Make a summer bucket list for your city, and grab a few friends (or even different ones each time!) to check off each item. Take your nieces and nephews to the pool, then jump right in for some sharks & minnows. Adventure Awaits

((isn’t this the greatest print? From Whimsy & Wanderlust on etsy. Love))

Not everyone is a parent, and not everyone is a camp counselor. But we are all becoming today who we will be tomorrow, and who wants to look back at a summer or a life wasted? Now’s your chance- Dream big!

Oh and absolutely go get a Nerd Slush from Sonic. That doesn’t really fit into a category, but just go ahead and trust me on that one. Happy Summer! Tell me how you plan to rest, grow, serve, & play! Also- seriously go check out the family resource. You’ll love it.

2 thoughts on “How to Not Waste Your Summer

  1. Loving all these posts, Chels! Joining you in striving for a summer of purpose and joy.

    Oh, and if my true character is what comes out during Catch Phrase, I’m a little more depraved than I’d like to believe.

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