I know it's just the beginning of February but the countdown to summer has already begun at my house. We currently have 76 days of school until summer vacation begins. Thanks to a later start to the 2012-2013 school year our summer break will be 3 months and 3 days long. That's 94 days to enjoy family life without worrying about a schedule. Well at least not a school schedule. With football players in the house there will be lots of football stuff going on. I also learned several years ago that we still need a daily routine to make the days more enjoyable. Otherwise the house is a mess, the kids are irritable from too many video games and not enough sleep and mom finds herself needing some Calgon to take her away several times a week. So we still do a few chores each day, monitor the time spent playing the Wii or Xbox, visit the pool a few times a week and get lots of sleep.
Last summer we had the opportunity to do several things with our church both locally and overseas. We also had lots of down time to watch movies, play games and go to the pool. It was one of the best summers that we had ever experienced as a family. I think that's because we had a good balance between serving - working - playing. So this summer my plan is to be intentional with our activities and live each day with the purpose of glorifying God.
One of the highlights of our summer will be missions trips. This year my husband, myself and our 14 yr old will be travelling with a group from our church to Managua, Nicaragua. Last year we went and took our oldest. It made a huge impact on all three of us. This year our oldest will be travellng to Haiti with a group of youth and adults from our church. We will also be doing other outreach projects within our local area. I want my children to be willing to serve others here and in other countries. I am very thankful that my children are reaching the age where these types of family projects are possible.
Another highlight of our summer is Vacation Bible School. I absolutely love working with the kids during VBS. It's exhausting work planning and prepping for the week. However, sharing the love of Jesus with children is a life-changing experience for me and the kids. In VBS four summers ago my daughter accepted Christ. So VBS is very special to me.
One thing that a friend challenged me to do was to get to know my neighbors and to pray for them. Get to know them so you can celebrate the great things in their lives and be a support to them in the tough times. Pray for an opportunity to share Jesus with them. I believe when God says "Go into all the world" he's not just talking about going to a foreign country. He wants us to be his missionaries in our own backyards. I'm excited to take on this challenge and .
What about you? Is there something you and your family can plan to do this summer that will make an impact for Christ? Does your church need VBS volunteers? What about helping in a small group and giving the regular teacher a Sunday or two off? Do you know your neighbors? Are there needs you can meet?
It's not too soon to begin looking for things that you and your family can do this summer to make it more than just a vacation full of lounging by the pool and sleeping in.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.