Summer is a crazy season of sunning and running, right? We go from beach to pool (if we’re lucky), or we’re toting the winter coat to our freezing office space and dreaming about going from the beach to the pool. The kids are out of school and we’re either loving all this homework-free time or we’re crying over the piles of junk they leave in every room they occupy. But despite all the sunshine and the struggle that summer can bring, we still need to connect with God. (And some of us need Jesus all the more — because kids at home can cause some of us to lose our faith!) But how can we get closer to God when our normal routine has already gone by the wayside? Or, if spending time with God during the rest of the year is a challenge, how can we revive that relationship with the added summer time chaos?
Over the years, I’ve found summer to be one of my most challenging seasons in connecting with the Lord. How ironic that when we’re in summer survival mode we are even less likely to connect with our Savior? But for me that’s always been true. I sacrifice my needs for my children’s needs, and by fall, I’m depleted and more than a little cranky. Even homework is appealing again! But, friends, it doesn’t have to be this way! We CAN find ways to connect with God while we’re chasing summer, and it will make us better wives, moms, friends, and leaders when we do.
Here’s a quick guide to reconnecting with Jesus over the summer – no matter your summer plans. Pick a few or try them all, and I promise your faith will be stronger by fall. And you might even wish summer could last a little longer!
- Follow Christian Influencers on Social Media. You know you’re going to be on social media anyway (especially to fill in those summer hours), so let’s fill your newsfeed with inspiration that will point you back to the Lord. A few of my favorites are: Christine Caine, Lisa Harper, Levi Lusko, and Craig Groeschel.
- Pack Your Beach Bag. So you’ve packed the towels, sunscreen and goggles, but what else can you add that will transform your spirit while you tan? While few of us have time for deep reading, we can steal away some time between splashes to read a fun devotional. Stash your beach bag with a devotional that is a little lighthearted but rooted in Scripture. I love Annie Down’s 100 Days to Brave.
- Go to a Christian Music Concert. Who doesn’t love a good summertime concert? What if you could combine worship AND the concert-going experience? Go to the website of your local Christian radio station, as they’ll likely have local concert information there. When you lift your hands up, the blessings come pouring down – no matter the season.
- Memorize a Weekly Verse with Your Kids. Sometimes when we’re struggling with our own faith, we forget that one of our biggest jobs is to disciple our children, and then comes the guilt that Satan will manipulate and use to discourage you. Friends, this is such a simple start that will bless everyone in your family. Pick a verse – from a children’s Bible if you want! – write it down on an index card, invent some body movements for fun, and watch how this Word will transform your perspective and give you confidence in leading your children in faith.
- Listen to Online Sermons on Long Summer Drives. It seems like during the summer there’s no shortage of miles to travel. Instead of watching movies, streaming Hulu or listening to the soundstrack of your kids fighting, try listening to online sermons. In addition to listening to your own church’s sermons, here are a few of my favorite church and pastors to listen to – and most have their own app! Elevation Church (Steven Furtick), Fresh Life Church (Levi Lusko), and Life.Church (Craig Groeschel).
- Open Up Your Home. This is one of the easiest ways to have fun and fellowship with others, and inviting people into your home is also one of the best ways to be Jesus to those around you. Jesus welcomed everyone, and He didn’t worry about clean toilets or the kitchen that needs renovating. People aren’t going to remember the dust on your floorboards, but they will remember the way you made them feel when they crossed the threshold into your home. Invite everyone you know, ask them to bring a meal to share, and watch how the Holy Spirit moves through it all!
- Share Stories Over S’Mores. Who doesn’t love a good s’more cooked over a campfire? It’s a summer tradition of warm marshmallows that also warms our heart. Here’s a fun twist: invite friends and family over and share stories around the campfire of how God has moved in your life. Have a stronghold in your life? Write it down on a piece of paper and toss it in the fire in front of witnesses. You’ll be surprised how a night like this can bring God to life in a tangible and profound way.
- Make Sunday Sermons Last. If you’re still getting to church over the summer, which I hope you are, be intentional about making that sermon last throughout the week. To do this, write down the verse and find that chapter in your Bible. Then, each day, read a few lines of that chapter. Ask yourself a simple question: how does this apply to me TODAY? This is only five minutes of thought-time, friends. You’re scrolling through social media and deleting emails for more of your day than this will take.
- Serve Your Community. If you’re like me, by the end of summer you’re complaining about how spoiled your kids are and how they need a little perspective outside of the pool! What if we were intentional – all of us – about refreshing our perspective while learning to be Jesus to others? We’re taught that serving others, especially the poor and the needy, is one of our greatest gifts we can offer, and when we give our time (our most valuable resource), we are blessed in ways we can’t imagine. God honors those who give freely, and one of the greatest gifts He will give in return is increased faith.
- Give a Portion of Your Vacation Fund to Ministry. We already know God loves a cheerful giver. What if you were to take 10% of your summer vacation fund and give that money to a charity, your church, or a ministry? You’re still going to be blessed by vacation, but now you’re going to be abundantly blessed knowing your gift has been transformative to someone who might only dream of a summer vacation.