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We’ve looked forward to these days for months. After wishing and planning, hoping and waiting, summer is finally here! Long days of outside fun, road trips, and ice cream dripping down sticky fingers are ahead of us.
But before you know it, August will roll around again. We’ll wave goodbye to summer days while waving hello to routines, packed lunches, and new beginnings. Instead of dreading the eventual end of summer, let’s live purposely during the days we have. Let’s create a summer to remember, one that we’ll look back on fondly when the next season arrives.
Here are 5 practical ways to create a summer to remember:
1. Put down the camera and pick up a journal.
This is a great, practical way to practice 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
It’s important to capture moments in film -- photographs and videos forever cement a memory in our minds. But don’t forget to put down the camera and live the life you’re documenting! Get out from behind the lens and get in the shot -- and then, with your hands emptied, grab a pretty journal and jot down a memory or two that you don’t want to forget. Some of the best parts of life will never make it to social media. And that’s more than okay.
2. Serve your community.
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. - John 12:26 NIV
During the summer, countless non-profits and churches host events and programs for their local communities. You might already be planning to attend, but why not offer to come early and set up tables or stay late and wipe the tables off? Don’t worry about the size of the impact, just grab your kiddos, your spouse or your girlfriends and serve those around you! Whether it’s picking up and throwing away a piece of trash in the supermarket parking lot or serving at a local food kitchen, be faithful to serve and God will handle the rest.
3. Invite your neighbors over for dinner.
Whether you live on a cul-de-sac in a suburban neighborhood, on the top floor of an apartment complex in the inner city, or you’ve returned home from college for the summer, choose to invest in those around you. It takes time and effort to walk next door or across the apartment breezeway. It takes bravery. But who knows, your neighbors may be strangers who will quickly become new friends! (Check out our new inspirational tableware here - who knows? - these could be great conversation starters)
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. - Hebrews 13:2 NIV
4. Reconnect with your kids.
Take advantage of the extra free time summer brings by volunteering at Vacation Bible School (VBS) or planning a special me-and-you day with each of your children. Keep it simple and connect with your daughter or granddaughter while using the newest Illustrated Faith kit, or plan a day-long road trip with your son or grandson. The days are long but the season is short, so let’s invest in our kids today.
5. Spend time outside worshipping.
One of the greatest gifts summer brings is a looser, more flexible schedule full of new opportunities. Try finding a new place to sit outside, soak in the sun, and worship the Creator. You could organize a worship service with music, take your weekly Bible study outdoors, or spend your quiet time alone with God and the beautiful world He has created. (Learn more on how to create an outside worship space here.)
It won’t be long until we’re spending one last summer afternoon at the neighborhood pool, unpacking the bags from a summer road trip, and preparing for the fall season. Change will come as it always does, but for now let’s enjoy the ordinary beauty of a summer day.
Be sure to send your loved ones a Summertime Ecard to remind them to praise God for his beautiful creation during these sure-to-be glorious summer months.
Want more inspiration? Check out these related articles:
Combine Faith and Fun This Summer
6 Verses to Help You Rest this Summer
A Prayer for Your Family Vacation
Kaitlyn Bouchillon is most often found with an iced coffee in one hand and a pen in the other. She’s the author of "Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between" and works as a virtual assistant for Holley Gerth, Jennifer Dukes Lee and DaySpring (Woohoo!). You can connect with her on Instagram or at KaitlynBouchillon.com where she writes about how every story matters -- including yours.
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