Guest Post by Rodney A. Wilson
Come August of this year, what is one of the most common statements we will hear? “Wow, this summer just flew by!” Or, “This life passes so quickly.” You might have said something similar this morning already.
We cannot do anything about the speed of summer. What we can do is look ahead and set some simple plans to help us embrace the summer and not just watch it zoom by. The list below contains some suggestions for you to seize your summer. Hopefully as you read them you will think of other things you and your family can do to celebrate this quickest of all seasons.We can't do anything about the speed of summer but we can setup simple plans to help us embrace it! Click To Tweet
10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Quick Summer
1. At the first of the summer, hold a Family Conference. The homework assignment before the meeting is for everyone to bring at least one idea of what they’d like to do together this summer. Strive to incorporate at least one idea from each family member. Document them. Date them. Then do them over the summer.
2. For your marriage, at the first of the summer, get the kids to bed and have a dessert date in the living room floor. Then elect “officers”. Elect one of you to be the cook and the other the recorder. The cook gets the ice cream while the recorder writes down the three dates (without kids) you both decide you’d like to have this summer. Be creative. Only rule: anything but dinner and a movie!
3. Go hiking. This is one of the first things our family discovered we could do together. So much fun! Some state parks have shorter and longer trails. Hike the length appropriate for your family. Make the first part of your hike the time when each family member looks for a hiking stick from the woods. Soon your family will have a favorite hiking trail.
4. Catch fireflies in the backyard! See how many you can catch and try to beat that record the next night. This usually needs to be done in the early part of summer as the Lord just seems to “call them home” as it gets hotter.
5. Watch 4th of July fireworks together. Find a special observational point for your family and go there every year. I can see it now. A tradition begins!
6. Have a celebration plate. Buy a gaudy red white and blue dinner plate (or whatever color is vastly different than your normal dinnerware) and make it the “Celebration Plate”. For each birthday or special achievement (Sarah’s t-ball team finally won a game!) let the one being honored eat from the special family plate. For younger kids, it can quickly become the coveted plate to eat on.
7. Take your bikes (and a picnic lunch) to a nearby greenway. Renting bikes and riding them each summer through Cades Cove in the Smokies are some of the most cherished memories I have of our family summer fun.
8. In the heat of the summer, find a local park with “play fountains” in it. Take your beach towels and let your kids cool off in the water. Bonus points: take your swim suit and get in there with them. Talk about making a memory!
9. End of summer, for your marriage: living room date #2. Review, affirm and celebrate what you did as a couple this summer. What did you accomplish? This celebration time is vital because it can build momentum in the relationship. What needs to be done yet? (We have lots of those.) Seek to work on those not-yet-done ideas by planning three more dates in the fall.
Thank God for what you two accomplished as a couple this summer. He is the giver of every good gift including your marriage (James 1:17).
10. End of summer Family Conference #2, It’s family celebration time. Make some home made ice cream and celebrate your summer. Show videos, pictures, and those ever-present selfies that made you laugh.
Homework for this family conference: each member come to the party with their favorite or funniest activity your family did this summer. Then thank God for the family summer fun you have had.We're launching into summer so setup a Family Conference to plan good times ahead with your family! Click To Tweet
CAUTION: do not neglect numbers 9 and 10. Schedule them. Not only do they create momentum. They create identity as well. (“This is a can do family!”) Also, Philippians 4:8 tells us that “whatever is pure and lovely and excellent and praiseworthy” – we are to think about these things. Your marriage and family summer fun certainly qualifies as things your family needs to think about and celebrate.
Yes, the summer will fly by but with some marriage and family collaboration, you can enjoy it regardless of its speed!