It’s halfway through the year! With the changing of the seasons into summer I felt the need to open back up the Bible study I wrote, “Refocused: fixing your eyes on Jesus for the year ahead.”
In this post, I’ll share how the Lord has prompted me to Refocus and find the best summer rhythm for our family in these four areas:
God and Me
The study will help you focus on God’s best plan for you in the season ahead. You can get a copy here.
Come away with Me
My summers are always extremely different than the other three seasons of the year. Before I had kids I was a teacher and that meant long hours laying out by the pool during the summer. Then my kids were babies and toddlers, which meant chasing them around the pool. Now that my kids are independent swimmers it means laying by the side of the pool and jumping in for some fun periodically.
Summer is absolutely 100% my favorite season. As it was approaching I felt the Lord gently telling me it was the season for me to rest. To rest from so much blogging, so much social media, so much preparing messages to share with others. I felt his Holy jealousy for me luring me away for intimacy just for him and I. Much like Israel in the book of Hosea, He wants more of us for just Himself, because He desires our hearts totally sold out for Him.
I felt His luring and followed.
““Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.”
Hosea 2:14 ESV
I jumped off social media for the last few weeks. This is the second summer in a row I’ve retreated to a quiet place. Last summer I practiced “Basking” in God’s presence and shying away from social media.
I’m back in Genesis, reading my favorite story from the beginning. It’s so good! I bought this paperback copy so I could toss it in my pool bag when I’m headed out the door to the pool.
There’s nothing like being on the same page in marriage. One area that causes so much tension and conflict in many marriages is finances. Over ten years ago, Nick and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Unversity course at our church. It gave us a firm foundation for handling our finances and we started a journey to get out of debt.
Fast forward ten years: when we went into full time ministry and our salary was reduced to half what we were currently making six years ago, we went into survival mode. It took a while, but we adjusted to our new income, and God is always so faithful to give us what we need, with extra blessings abounding.
A few months ago, we decided it was time to buckle down again and get serious about our student loan debt. Once again, the Lord has helped us get the “snowball” rolling pretty quickly. Plus it feels so good for us to be so motivated together as a couple in our finances. We just want to be faithful with His money. He’s shown himself so faithful to us.
A few days ago, a friend of mine told me that her word for the year was “fun.” Not super-spiritual, but don’t be fooled, it’s in the Bible.
“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15
The wisest man in the Bible, Solomon, wrote that near the end of his life. Mind you, he said it in the context of also honoring and obeying the Lord. Good news, though – you can do both!
Our kids are ages 7 and 9 this summer, and we are having oh so much fun! I want them to remember their mom playing with them throughout their childhood, especially during summer. So I’ve been doing just that. Being off social media has helped me be present to seize the opportunity to do this and to make awesome memories with them in the month of June!
Cleaning one room a day
In our summer rhythm with no homeschool (well a tiny bit of homeschool) we’ve been successful at cleaning one room a day. The first week of summer I had a scrubbed clean house by Sunday. It felt amazing. The kids have a checklist on a dry erase board in the kitchen to complete every morning. There is a “daily” chore and a “scrubby” or “room of the day chore” so we are maintaining spaces but also getting one room scrubbed a day. This is huge for me. I have always struggled to keep house, but now that my kids are getting bigger I’m determined to break this cycle and the Lord is so good to help!
God has been freeing me from being on a “Christian hamster wheel.” The world says, “what’s next,” go faster! Produce!
But Jesus says, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
So I’m practicing remaining.
I challenge you to do the same the month of a July. Really practice Jesus’ presence. Give Him thanks for those around you. Enjoy their presence. Read his Word like it’s the newest love story. Pray like He’s your best friend.
Let Him set your summer rhythm.