Can we talk about summer? And #18summers #631weekstograduation #makeitcount?

Aside from the above hashtags, here is what I’ve read about summer so far this year…

  • Read with your kids
  • Flashcards (Don’t let them lose those skills they acquired this year in school!)
  • Let them be bored
  • Have plenty of activities ready for them in case they get bored (this should be done in a creative and artsy way)
  • Make them do chores when they’re bored
  • Make memories
  • Make every moment count
  • Spend as much time as possible outside

These are all good things written, undoubtedly, by wonderful people with the best intentions. I don’t want to cast any shade their way, but I’m not doing those things. Okay, maybe I’m doing some of them, but to be honest, it feels like with every article I read about summer, I just feel pressure to do it all. The average lifespan of a woman in the US is 81 years. I only have (roughly) 45 summers left! I’m really hoping that my kids outlive me, so I’m not doing this whole #18summers deal until I’m at least 63.

My goal this summer? Get their backpacks cleaned out before school starts again. I’m going to eat pop tarts and corn dogs with my kids. I’ll attempt to get them to help me clean the house. I’ll eat ice cream after they go to bed so I don’t have to clean up 8 bowls of ice cream. I’ll try to get everyone to read at once. We’ll grocery shop. We’ll go to the park and probably to the pool. I will yell at my kids for fighting. I will pray for them. I’ll let them watch The Lion King (again) so that they don’t burn the house down or spray paint the van (again) while I’m reading my Bible. I might even take an occasional fun day out with them and go to the zoo or some other shenanigan. I’ll scold them for asking if we’re there yet and then wonder if it’s time for school to start again.

I will be me.

I’ve got 45 summers left to get to know these people. I want them to know me. I want them to know what matters to me. I don’t want them to have to make every moment count for anything other than the Kingdom of God. I want them to know grace. I want them to know their mom didn’t do it all perfectly, but that God loved her and He loves them.

I’m not really one for formulas, but this summer, if you truly want to thrive, do 2 things.

Do God, and do you.

Spend time with God. Get to know Him better this summer. Model it for your kids.Take time during your day to be in the Word. It doesn’t matter when or where. Whatever works for you, do it. Your kids will see it, but more importantly, nothing will impact your mothering or your life, like the Word of God. If you don’t know where to start, Galatians, Ephesians or Philippians are all great places to start!

Be yourself. Do some of the things you like to do with your kids. Talk about the books you like, garden with them, bike together, watch a movie. You probably like to do more than one thing, so do a bunch of stuff you like to do and be willing to try some new stuff too. But don’t spend the summer beating yourself up because you don’t like to _______ (fill in the blank) and the internet said you should.

God has created you, given you a personality, talents, gifts and a purpose. He has prepared good works for you to do. He has chosen you to mother your kids and love on the people in your life. Live in that space this summer, where you use your personality, talents and gifts to live out the good things God has purposed for you to do. Whatever that is, testify to Him while you do it. Whatever you do, hiking, baking, swimming, gardening, movie watching, bring God into that space where you and your kids live this summer.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Deuteronomy 6:4-7