I wouldn’t call myself a detailed planner, but I do like a general plan. I wouldn’t call myself one who is regimented, and yet, I like structure.
Last week, I shared how the start of summer brought some angst to my soul. Part of the reason for that was that the structure of summer is looser, which is fun, but can also be draining for me.
God met me in my slimy pit, pulled me out, put me on firm rock and put a new song in my mouth. A hymn of praise for my Lord.
God also gave me something else.
The plan gave enough structure to ease my mind, but yet enough freedom to be flexible. I hope this will benefit you this summer as well.
The plan centered around 3 major areas of life:
Work, fun, rest.
These ideas are all insanely simple but they have been insanely helpful for our family. I hope they will be helpful for you as well.
1. Work. We can’t get around it, we all have to work.Your work may look like a 9-5 job, or it may look like changing diapers, nap times and making dinner. It may look like hard, physical labor or it may look like sitting in front of a computer. It may be what gives you the money to put food on your table, or it may be the work you are doing in your garden to grow your own food.
We all have to work.
For me, keeping up with the housework with six people in our family is work. And while I have able-bodied children who can help, they are not always the most joyful with helping, so I found myself nagging a lot to get them to do their chores. Anyone else have that issue, or is it just us?! Ha!
The plan –
I make them each a chore list each morning with 3-4 chores on it and they have to complete the chores before we do anything fun. No friends, no bikes, no pool, no shows until the chores are done. Simple, but it’s working.
2. Fun. Summer is supposed to be fun, but I can easily get caught up in the comparison game when I see people on social media doing all the fun things while we are just hanging out at the house. I end up feeling that our fun is not good enough and that every single day should be hours upon hours of straight up fun.
Comparison does nothing but bring you down and cause frustration and discontentment!
I was listening to The Daily Grace Co. podcast and they had all sorts of ideas for a fun and restful summer, but there was one thing that I took away from it.
The plan –
Do one fun thing a week.
And the one fun thing can be as simple as going to the pool, meeting up with friends or getting ice cream.
You certainly can do more fun things, but for me, the idea of only planning one fun thing a week is manageable and attainable. It also has allowed for boredom to set in and where boredom sets in, creativity blooms.
3. Rest. We all need margin in our lives. Pastor and author, John Mark Comer, describes margin as “the space between our load and our limit.” I am extremely guilty of having my day so packed that I am going from one thing to the next and not having the space to take a breather. I don’t give myself margin and therefore can go into overload and hit my limit…but that’s another blog post.
My friend looked at my calendar the other day and screamed because it was so full compared to hers! Oops.
God is teaching me that in order for me to thrive and live out who He has called me to be, I have to have margin. So what does that look like in summer?
The plan –
For me, start my day with quiet time with God, allowing me to enter the day from a place of rest (this is not new for me, but may be for you) and midday, revisit that place of rest.
That looks like sitting quietly on our porch; praying; reading; walking around my flower beds; creatively dreaming. Making sure there is margin in my day to just be.
For the kids, it looks like reading; coloring; doing a puzzle; playing legos; swinging in the hammock; any quiet activity where they aren’t messing with each other!
No matter what work, fun and rest look like for you this summer, know that God delights in sharing those experiences with you. He enjoys meeting you in your work. He enjoys meeting you in your fun and He enjoys meeting you in your rest.
Invite Him into your work, fun and rest and you will find enjoyment because His presence is with you.
Do you have a plan for work, fun and rest this summer? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments, on Facebook, or on Instagram. I’d also love to know if this was helpful to you! Leave a comment, email me, DM me or share!
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
Lord, may we rejoice in our work, fun and rest because you are there with us.
I’ve found that chore lists handed out in the morning work much better for me than just asking the kids to do things as we go through the day. That way they know the general expectation and don’t feel like Mom is always telling them to do work. 🙂 We’ve had a lot of travel this summer, some unexpected, and I sure feel the lack of rhythm and consistency. And the stress of trying to get all the work done in less time. I’m a structure person too. I like your rest plan. We might try that this week. Nice to wave at you yesterday!
Yes, Kendra! I always felt like I was nagging them! The list has been a huge help. I do sometimes give them the caveat that I may ask them to do more things throughout the day if it’s a busy day, such as when we are preparing to leave for a trip. That way they aren’t surprised when I ask for more. I hope you tried the rest plan and that it was helpful!