Summer Days

I think something we can all agree on is how awesome summer vacation is. I mean, we can wake up whenever we want, days are long and lazy, and best of all there is no homework to be found (unless you’re like me and had summer homework, but really who doesn’t do that at the last minute). We get to relax in the bright and warm sun, spend time with our people, and our to-do lists just seem more manageable. But there always seems a point where this void of tasks catches up with us and we’re left wondering: what on earth am I going to do today?

I don’t know about all of you, but being home for the last few days has really shown me how much I love structure and how quickly I start to panic when I don’t have a super long to-do list. While we’re quickly approaching warmer weather, this time certainly doesn’t feel like the chill days of July. We have online school, we’re all at home, and we can’t push off our homework.

Maybe you feel aloof, desperately looking for something to do. Or maybe you’re better at this than I am and you are on a one way ride to relaxation nation. But wherever you land, I know one thing to be true: time keeps moving on.

Regardless of how we spend our days, these actions are formative to our personal development. If we funnel ourselves into school, we may grow smarter but may quickly feel burnt out. If we funnel ourselves into gaming, this numbs us to the chaos going on but we may get bored of doing the same things over and over again.

But something else I know? God is still God throughout everything. God is still the giver of life and yearns for our attention and wants us to spend time with Him. We have the choice now to throw distractions up, but these distractions are not the things that give us life: Jesus is. In Psalm 1, the author writes “that person (who is seeking the Lord) is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers”

So rather than trying to distract ourselves from a sudden shift in schedule, I encourage all of us (myself included) to take an inventory. How is our relationship with God right now? Have I been trusting that He is good and He is faithful? Once we start asking those questions and maintaining/getting into the habit of spending time with Him, I guarantee we will feel more at ease, more confident in His constant goodness, and we will be lights to all in this mysterious time.

Whatever we do, time will pass. So we can choose to do something that gives us life, or will our time away. I encourage you all to stay connected to the one who gives us life and look at new ways we can grow closer to the Lord during more apparent free pockets in our lives right now. – Katie Hufnagle

Journal Guide: Take some time to get alone today and take about 15-20 minutes to journal through these questions. Journaling is a way we pray to God, so see what God might be telling you.
1. What have been the things keeping me busy over the last few days? How have they made you feel?
2. What is your favorite part about summer break?
3. What are some ways you have seen God give life to you or your family?
4. Take some time to write a prayer to God.

Conversation Guide: Ask three questions to your siblings and parents. We think doing it over the dinner table or right after dinner is a great time to do it.
1. What is your favorite family summer memory? Describe how you felt during that time.
2. What are some things we can do as a family to stay connected like the tree planted by streams of water? (family prayer, Bible study, etc.)
3. How can we best keep one another accountable to rely on the truth of God’s promise?

Prayer: Read Psalm 1 and then read this prayer by yourself:
Dear God, in the midst of change and uncertainty, you are still God. Grant me and my loved ones peace that only you can provide and give me the time and the resources to stay connected to you, the giver of life. I pray that I can spend time with quality time with Jesus in these next few weeks and that He will reveal Himself to me in a new and wonderful way. You are good, and I pray I can have faith in your promise
today and the rest of my days. I love you. Amen.