June 17, 2012

A Life-Giving Summer: Part I

Wow!  Sorry to have disappeared for a week.  We've had a lovely first week of summer vacation.  How about you?

I've been thinking in the last couple of weeks about how to make the summer special and fun for the kids, different from the norm.  But at the same time, I don't want my kids to get out of good disciplines that are easier to maintain during the school year.  I guess I don't believe the summer for kids - though it does include some out of the ordinary trips and activities - should only be about fun, as if somehow we're completely off the hook for any work over the summer. (Oh, I'm such a killjoy!)  As I pondered, then, what our summer should look like, the phrase LIFE-GIVING came to mind.

Yes, I want this to be a LIFE-GIVING SUMMER.

What does that mean?  Well, I've been asking myself the same question!

I've been thinking things like, What will fill us up this summer, mind/body/soul?  How should I organize our days so that what I want to be priorities actually are prioritized?

People, I have great ambition for the next couple of months: house projects, personal reading lists, school subjects to plan, visions to cast.  I also have children who I want to enjoy being with this summer: going on museum trips, playing the sprinkler, spending afternoons at the pool, reading books together, hanging out on the (newly cleaned up and so relaxing!!) front porch.  But as I mentioned in the previous post, it's too much for me to think about all at once.  I imagine right away that I'm going to fail at accomplishing anything of purpose this summer and get tempted to just let the days come as they will.  But then I know for sure that my priorities won't be prioritized and, well, it's a self-fulfilling prophesy.  Ah!

If you're still reading, you're really nice, because clearly, I'm crazy!  Or do you feel this way too?  So much potential with so much possibility of blowing it?  (I may be a bit dramatically pessimistic when I'm overwhelmed, eh?)

So, here's what I've been thinking.  The basic idea I borrow from a classic children's fable, The Tortoise and the Hare: slow and steady wins the race.  This little phrase has been keeping me from worry, helping me to dream big, stay on task, and plan with joy.

I'm gonna continue with these thoughts tomorrow, so c'mon back!  In the meantime, join in the conversation by leaving a comment about how you're approaching your summer.


  1. Who cares about summer when you've just sent us grandparents the cutest picture of life-giving joy!

    Summer is everyday here.. so it actually makes it harder to focus on what needs to be done... who to have over... what trip to plan, etc... I could just sit on one of the patios... have coffee, talk to people via email or phone ... have some of them over.. prepare for company and life would be grand!
    That is all life-giving to me. But the most life-giving will be in August when i actually get to be with you all! Can't wait!

    1. I thought you'd like that photo, mom! :)

      Wish I could join you for some sitting and chatting in Rwanda. But we'll take it here in Pittsburgh in August. Yeah!

  2. Looking through pictures last night I was surprised at all we've already done this summer that I didn't even remember (getting old, I know). So I resolve to take more pictures so I can realize that we probably did more by the end of the summer than I thought. I also generally write down everything I hope/want to accomplish and then only *really* expect to do 30%. Somehow that's my ratio of reality-to-plans. It's still good! -- Lydia