What NOT To Do This Summer

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What NOT To Do This Summer
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

I LOVE to-do lists!

It’s really quite pathetic how much joy I get from checking something off my list (or, in my case, deleting an item off my electronic calendar).

I also really enjoy creating summer bucket lists. I love brainstorming with my two boys about all the fun things we hope to do in the warm, summer months. Last year, I shared 50 Summer Boredom Buster Ideas on the Mothering from Scratch blog.

This year, though, I decided to try something different.

Instead of creating a list of things I want or need to do, I decided to create a list of things I WON’T do. Call it a “to don’t” list.

What NOT To Do This Summer:

1. I won’t rush.

Sure, there will be times when we have places to go. But I’m going to be intentional about not rushing my boys. I’m going to stop saying, “Hurry up” and start saying, “Look at this!”

This morning, as I walked my five-year-old across the street to camp, I saw a tiny frog hopping along beside us. (And I mean TINY! It was the smallest frog I have ever seen).

Normally, I wouldn’t stop to point out the frog to my kids. Not when I have somewhere to be.

But not today.

Because of my decision to slow down and enjoy the moments, I had the amazing privilege of watching my two boys bend down and inspect the smallest frog they had ever seen. I had the privilege of witnessing them jumping back as the frog leapt toward them. I had the privilege of breathing in a beautiful moment that I easily could have missed because of the clock.

This summer, I will breathe in the moments instead of rushing past them.

2. I won’t over-schedule. 

With library summer reading programs, vacation Bible schools, camps, etc., it’s easy to fill up every spare moment of my summer with activities.

But this year, I won’t. I will leave my calendar somewhat empty to make time for relaxation with my family.

We might miss some things. We might not make it to all of the library events. But that’s okay.

Because here are some things we’ll get to do instead:

We’ll get to read books together.

We’ll get to play catch in the backyard.

We’ll get to go on evening walks as the sun goes down.

We’ll get to play outside.

We’ll get to camp in our backyard, eat s’mores, and point at the constellations.

We’ll get to snuggle up for a summer movie.

And we’ll get to be together…without an agenda dictating our day.

3. I won’t miss what matters most.

It’s probably because my oldest is officially done with preschool that I’m getting all sentimental. I can’t believe he will begin kindergarten next fall. KINDERGARTEN!

It just doesn’t feel possible. He shouldn’t be learning to read. He shouldn’t be asking to have friends stay all night. He shouldn’t be able to pour his own milk. Not yet! (Don’t get me wrong. I love all of these things. It just doesn’t feel like he should be five already. It feels like just yesterday I was pregnant with him.)

Time is passing WAY too fast and though days with small children can be very long and difficult, the years are short.

I’m finally realizing I don’t have that many summers left with my son. Counting this one, I think we’ll have 13 summers, give or take a few.

I will NOT miss any more because of busyness or distractions.

4. I won’t neglect my Bible.

With summer comes a change in routine. And a change in routine often means my daily time with the Lord gets neglected.

Not this summer.

Though my summer routine is more relaxed than my school year routine, I will continue to stay in the Word. That time might move around a little bit (in the morning one day, in the evening the next), but this year I’m making sure it doesn’t get missed often. I need time with my Lord, so I’m making sure I don’t miss it for three months.

Here are a few things I’m doing to make sure I don’t forget.

I’m moving my Bible to my bed first thing in the morning. That way, when I get ready for bed in the evening, if I haven’t read it already, I’ll remember to read it before bed.

I’m beginning a new Bible with my kids. It might not have all of the stories like my adult Bible, but it can still change lives!

I’m praying when I dry my hair each day. It might not be ideal circumstances for prayer, but hey, it’s relatively quiet (meaning I don’t have children talking loudly in the background) and it’s focused time that I can’t spend doing much else. Plus, because my hair needs dried daily, it’s a great way to make sure I talk with God at least 10 minutes a day.

What about you? Any other suggestions? What would go on your “To Don’t” List? 

*Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

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Lindsey Bell is the author of Unbeaten and Searching for Sanity . She's also a stay-at-home mother of two ornery boys, a minister's wife, an avid reader and a chocolate lover. You can find her blogging about faith, marriage, family, parenting and miscarriage over on her website. You can also keep up with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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