Wife, Mother, Pastor



“Mommy, why can’t I be like all the other kids?” My daughter asked me during our evening run.
“What do you mean?”
“All the other kids in school get to be in lots of activities, like basketball, gymnastics, and baseball. And they do them all the time. Why can’t I be like them?”

A good question for a nine year old. I wasted no time making this a teachable moment during our run (which was us practicing for her after school activity, Girls on the Run by the way). I explained that during this time in her life it was more important for us to spend time as a family than to be driving from here and there constantly being involved in something. Us running and practicing for Girls on the Run was good because it was us doing it together. That final 5K bonded us.

I reminded her that in Jr. High and High School there will be plenty of time to be involved and she will likely not be home much.  We need to make the most of the time we have together during the younger years.

“Our summers are so busy!” “Summer always goes by so fast!”  Have you said this once or twice? It goes by so fast because we are so busy doing instead of relaxing.  Busy summers are ingrained in our culture and we look at it as normal, but it shouldn’t be.  The busier we are, the more our families suffer.

Pastor, woman in ministry, mom- I beg you. Make this summer a memorable one. Ministry is busy enough. Our kids are involved enough with doing church with us that they need a break too. Dig out your summer calendar.

Look at it. What do you see?

Is it full of running from here to there? Is it full of time spent in the car? Those can be good times too, but take this next week and purge. Between sleep away camps, day camps, VBS, baseball, graduation parties, weddings, is there something that can go so you and your family can rest?

Whether you work full time or not, you can still make this summer a time to remember. Relaxing together with picnic dinners at the park, camping getaways, Friday night hot dogs over bonfires just you and your family. No electronic devices allowed. And really, aren’t we supposed to be taking Sabbaths anyway?

Here are seven ideas to have a Summer Slowdown this year:

1.) Look at your calendar and purge at least one summer activity.

2.) Commit to at least one day a week that you all do something together that is relaxing and forces you to talk face to face- block those dates out in red on your calendar right now.

3.) Create a summer bucket list with your kids.

4.) Start a traditionours is cinnamon rolls every Saturday morning.

5.) Commit to being at home at least four nights a weekhard I know, no one said this would be easy!

6.) Commit from 6 o’clock on all media, iPhones, tablets, etc. will be put away for the night.

7.) Read a series together- we’re doing Chronicles of Narnia.

Creating margin in your summer saves you money, creates family bonding time and teachable moments, makes you the number one influence in your child’s life, and slows your summer down.

Don’t expect your child to be happy. They may buck the fact you are going to purge 4-H this year, but years from now they will thank you for creating a more relaxed family atmosphere.

“Lord, thank you for the gift of relaxation. Forgive me where I, and my family have not honored your gift of the Sabbath. Show me how to bring margin into our lives and slow down. Show me and my husband what needs to go and what needs to stay. I pray for a relaxed, refreshing, memorable, slow summer. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

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