I bet if I looked back and found any blogs posted during the last week of school, they would contain similar themes…
- Excitement about the impending summer vacation and the freedom to step back from the scheduled existence we live during the school year.
- Slight anxiety about the impending summer vacation and what life will look like without the scheduled existence provided by the school year.
- A ramping up in the feeling that I somehow need to increase the control I have over the things in my life I can control because everything seems out of control.
Those three things.
Pretty much in that order, every time.
This last week of school is really no different, even if I thought it was. I think the intensity of the negative emotions are slightly more tempered this time around; I do have slight anxiety about what some of these days might look like, but I’m just choosing not to go there. I know some days will be amazing, and some days will be hard, but this summer cannot possibly hope to top last summer as far as going out of my mind is concerned. Last summer we were still fairly freshly home, we were still cocooning with Julianne, we were trying to finish up homeschool with Rachel, and dealing with a lot of other stuff.
“Crazy” doesn’t even really begin to describe it all.
I’m pretty impressed overall with the way we all came through it (alive), but I do have higher hopes for this year. 😉
Here’s where my mind has been in these final days of the school year…
Spending time with God is a pretty high priority for every day, but especially during the summer craziness! Problem is that with all of the littles home, that time comes at a premium, and it seems more difficult to make it happen. It’s the whole lack of schedule thing. I found these journal via a friend on Instagram, and was immediately intrigued. If you’re a busy mama who enjoyed journalling, who enjoys spending time reading the Word, who is desperately hoping to find a way to make that happen when summer officially hits, this might be for you.
Each page opens up, allowing you to write the date. So you know, if for the love of all that is crazy you happen to miss a day, there is no page to skip. Just take a breath, fill in the current date, and move on.
I love the “I’m grateful for” line. A chance to think about what I am really thankful for that day, that moment. It’s important to go there… every. day.
And then a scripture reference to write out. I love reading the Word, and then writing it out. Something in the act of copying these sacred words with a pen onto paper makes them stick even more deeply into my memory.
The next page over (not pictured) gives a space to write your thoughts. I use this place to pray, to really think about what’s on my heart and talk to God about it. I use it as a place to ask questions and then just wait on the Lord while listening for his still small voice. The thing I’m really liking is that if my mind wanders (as it is so prone to do!) I have only but to glance over to the page before to re-focus on the Word, rather than something else.
If you want to know more about them, check out Lara Casey shop, and look for the Write the Word journals.
A good printable is always fun, right? And this one is my Favorite for Summer 2016.
I loooooove this!!!
It is in a place I look at often, and going along with the Write the Word journal, it’s a reminder to ALWAYS find something to be thankful for.
It has already served as a check on my attitude probs when I find myself going down the road to join my own Pity Party.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a summer in which the pity party ceased to be a THING in our lives? Yes. It would be.
I’m not saying there won’t be grumpy moments, but I so badly desire more for myself and my family this summer. I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon that sings the song titled “Poor Me, Summer is so Brutal”.
FYI – that’s not really a song, but you know what I’m saying.
It’s hard. Summer is hard. But I don’t have to whine about it. Summer is also fun. And that’s where I want to camp. Summer is a time for growth; growth that can be painful, but I want to see the benefits of it rather than just complain about the challenge.
Let’s have some JOY, and that starts with a heart of thankfulness.
If you want to find your own Awesome Printable for Summer 2016… might I direct you to A Holy Experience, where you can navigate to the printable section and browse to your heart’s content? It’s fabulous. You will spend lots of time deciding which one to print… and bonus… they are FREE!
The screen. Yeah. Every summer is the same thing. A technology detox is in the works. Because I don’t want my kids’ memories of summer vacation to involve me holding a smartphone.
So, I delete all of the apps that tend to suck my time up, and I commit to severely limiting my time on social media. The easiest way for me to do this is to just stay logged off. If I hop onto my computer and Facebook is already pulled up, well then, there goes at least thirty minutes of scrolling, amiright?
Scrolling through other people’s best snippets of life also tend to work agains the whole “heart of thankfulness” thing. I mean, I KNOW that Suzie Q has moments of crazy in her life, too, but the pictures don’t show that, so I forget. If you need to be like me and disconnect for a while to help with all of that, then do it!
I also came up with this little gem. It’s a terrible picture, but whatever. I edited the junk out of it to try to make it look “artsy” and stuff, but it didn’t really work. So yeah.
Introducing the Phone Jail.
I found this little basket thingy at Hobby Lobby. It has served a dual purpose so far.
- It keeps my phone off the counter and out of my reach. It’s no longer easy to just reach for my phone to “check the time” and then “check social media”. You know? I know you know. It’s out of my back pocket, it’s in jail. And when it’s in jail, I don’t touch it unless someone calls me or sends a text. Turns out, you can buy a fairly inexpensive watch and it tells you the time without having to turn on the phone. It’s kind of crazy.
- It helps a person not lose their phone. Because… that happens. To other people, obviously. Now when it rings, you know where it is. It’s almost like having one of those old-school phones that actually used to hang on the wall, and when it rings, you’d have to go answer it.
The other night the Hubs told me the phone needed to go to jail. And, he was right. I had gotten lost scrolling through social media, and was really just a lump sitting on the couch.
There you have it!
I’m basically determined to be super weird this summer.
By “be weird”, I mean I am determined to enjoy these weeks… to really enjoy these weeks because these babies of mine will never been 9,8,6,5 again. This. Is. It. How I choose to focus my heart will be the basis of what the summer looks like. If it’s focused on myself and what I DON’T have, it will be time wasted. But if I focus my heart on things higher, on the One higher, well… that’s always time well spent, and the overflow from that is a thing of beauty and not something I can manufacture on my own.
Be weird with me, okay, mamas? Do this thing with me, and when we find ourselves holding an engraved invitation to a Pity Party, reach out to someone and have them talk you out of rsvp-ing “yes”. Because we are made for more than that.