Rrriiinnnggg! The bell rings on the final day of the school year, and the child in each of us gleefully shouts “School is out; summer is here!”
The phrase last day of school, first day of summer still carries a nostalgic tug. The season between Memorial Day and Labor Day holds promises only dreamed of back in icicles and snow. Shorts and sandals replace heavy coats and boots; mentally we shed our calendars of full schedules and daunting demands.
Or do we?
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life sits on my bookshelf as a classic. I recently reread author Charles Swindoll’s take on summer. He wrote, “If God considered this planet needed several months of summer, it stands to reason that His people are equally in need of refreshment and rest…That doesn’t mean a lazy, irresponsible life-style full of indolence and free of industry. No, this is first and foremost a mental rest, a quiet confidence in the living Lord. A refusal to churn, to fret, to strive. The summer season symbolizes all this and more, much more.”
I need Swindoll’s reminder, especially the refusal-to churn-to fret-to strive part. How about you? Could you benefit from unstringing the bow for a bit?
Regardless of our season of life or season of family structure, the season of summer offers opportunity to pursue refreshment. I created a variety of twenty-six suggestions to encourage the both of us to let up, and embrace the opportunity to pursue personal enrichment.
Sit outside and drink ice tea
Go on a daily walk
Invite a friend and her children to go on a picnic
Invest in a pool pass
Attend a seminar at the local library
Visit a relative
Plant an eggshell garden and later transfer to the yard
Read a book (Consider Swindoll’s Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life)
Trade babysitting with another Mom and go alone to a museum; stop for tea and scones before returning home
Eat meals outdoors as much as possible
Listen to an audiobook
Get a pedicure and use an outlandish polish color
Go for ice cream even when restaurant dining is too costly
Attend a baseball game
Pull your hair back in a ponytail more often
Have a lemonade stand with your children or grandchildren
Go on a bike ride with a friend
Have a scavenger hunt with the end treasure being tickets to the zoo
Offer to babysit for a young couple to have an evening out
Read Proverbs each of the 31 days of July - one for each day
Consider opting out of Facebook for a season
Wade in a stream
Be glad to see the arrival of September, knowing you enjoyed your summer
Living with Eternal Intentionality: What will you do for refreshment this summer?