Summer Strong: Finding Balance

How’s your summer going? ?I think I hear (and ask) that question on nearly a daily basis. Of course, the normal response is to smile and say, “Good!” But what really makes a good summer?

The word that God keeps bringing to my mind is: #balance. Perhaps more than any other time of year, I need balance in the summer. ☀And patience to hang on for the ride on days when life seems out of balance.

I want our summer to be full of fun adventures and memories as a family. So, we go berry picking?, get tickets to an air show ✈, and take a vacation. ⛱ But, I’ve also learned that too many adventures leads to tired and cranky kiddos and a frustrated mama. ? So, to have a balanced and enjoyable summer, I need to work in time to just relax and hang out at home, too. When my eight-year-old son looked at the calendar the other day and saw nothing written down, he literally cheered and said, “Yay!! We get to stay home all day today!” ? It was a good reminder for me to slow down and savor the time together.

The former teacher in me also feels an obligation to make sure my kids are reading and practicing math facts so they don’t lose their skills over the summer.? My kids probably think I’m the meanest mom in the world because I restrict their screen time to only weekends, and only while their two-year-old little brother is napping. But, I’d like to think that gives me the flexibility to surprise them with the “treat” of playing an XBox game or watching a show from time to time over the summer. ?And some days, we just skip our reading time to play a fun game together or to go on one of our summertime adventures. (Shh! Don’t tell the teacher.) ?

I’m never sure if I strike the perfect balance between fun and responsibility or adventure and relaxation in the summer. ☀But, then I remind myself that I don’t have to figure it out perfectly or on my own. I am praying for God to give me wisdom about how our family spends our time this summer. ?And if I sometimes reach the end of the day feeling like our balance was a little out of whack (aka an abundance of kiddo meltdowns??), then tomorrow is just a new day and a fresh start.  ?

So we’d love to know…from how often to let kids indulge in fun summer sweets ???and when to enforce or lighten up on the bedtime schedule ?? … what routine summertime decisions do you face? And what helps you find the right balance for your family?


Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17, ESV)
  • “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV)

Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:

  • The children’s ministry at my church shared this great blog about responding when those dreaded words, “I’m bored!” come out of our children’s mouths this summer.

Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

Living Out the Truth

Ideas to try:

  • During the last meeting of the moms’ group at my church this year, we made little summer activity jars. We wrote a variety of activity ideas on colored popsicle sticks and put them into mason jars. The goal is that once a week you pull one stick and find time that week to do the activity on the stick. I’ll admit, our family has missed a couple weeks already, but it’s been a fun way to work in a variety of activities into our summer and at a balanced, manageable pace. Activities ranged from making s’mores in the backyard to watching a movie at the local drive-in movie theatre. Ideas were also provided for service or volunteer type activities, such as baking cookies for a neighbor or visiting a nursing home. Googling “100 summer activities for kids” is a great starting point for ideas.
  • Another idea is to make an ABC Summer List with activities from A-Z that you and your kids could do in the summer. It’s a great way to help them learn their ABC’s and it’s fun to come up with the list together!
  • This time in the summer may be good to implement a new approach if things aren’t going so smoothly. Are your kids having too much screen time? Maybe make a list of things they need to do before screens. Are your kids wanting you to always entertain them? Maybe stay home for a few days and give them ideas that they could do. Sometimes we just need to press the restart button and summer is a perfect time to do that.

{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more. In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}


About Michelle Warner

The truth about me is that I love spending time with people–whether it be with moms in MOPS, students in writing camps, friends in my supper club, or family on our patio. And if you combine people and words, I am definitely in my happy place. One of my most favorite moments is sitting around a table with the people I love sharing deep conversations about life. Inviting people into our home and pulling out my fancy dishes invigorates me, though tackling the hand-wash pile in my sink does quite the opposite. (Sorry, Hubby. I’ll get to those soon!) I’m learning to enjoy the people in my life without feeling the need to prove myself or always make them happy. God continues to teach me that when I find what I need in Him rather than the perfectly-cooked chicken or the perfectly-timed word, I have a security that can’t be shaken. And that’s a good thing since my hard-working husband and I have two very determined little girls who keep us on our toes!