Making the Most of Summer

What are your favorite memories of summer as a kid? Hanging out at the pool? Roasting marshmallows over a campfire? Riding your bike with friends?

My summers were full of swimming and … more swimming! My family belonged to Arbor Heights Swim Club, so our free time was spent playing at the pool. In addition, I swam for the Red Shield Marlins, a club team which practiced at the Salvation Army pool and Coleman pool in the summer. I swam three (yes T-H-R-E-E) practices a day – 6:30-8am; 9-10:30 am and 4-6pm. I was dedicated to the sport and I guess my mom figured it kept me out of trouble!

As I write this I am smiling, thinking with fondness about my swim family and all the hours and special times I had. Beyond the relationships, swimming provided me a schedule and routine that I “unknowingly” depended on. I knew what was coming and could plan for it.

In this season of quarantine, re-openings, rollbacks, social distancing and masks, we are all dealing with plenty of change and uncertainty. As I write this, I just learned that Seattle Public Schools will be online again this fall! For me personally, I find myself desiring a plan, a routine and schedule similar to my childhood “swimming days”. As I talk to students the unknown is the thing that is most unsettling…one student shared – “who would have thought I’d be LONGING to go back to school?”

I have often shared with students that when I notice I am “spinning”, I recognize that I my posture is out whack. I’m “looking” down instead of up. Stacy is in control instead of God. I personally need this reminder now, in the uncertainty of this season. Join me in focusing l on the things that never change. Psalm 46:10 reminds us to, “be still and know that I am God,” and Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (NIV).

Take this as a family challenge. Keep your eyes on Jesus and His unchanging love for us. You can do this at home by enjoying the simple pleasures of the remaining days of summer with your kids. Start by taking a breath yourself and thanking God for the little blessings each day. Then, as you make memories with your kids, point out God’s goodness along the way and thank Him as a family for the joys of summer.

Pray short prayers such as:
God, thank you for making these awesome days we can be together as a family.
God, that is an amazing sunset! You are such an Artist!
God, thanks for giving us taste buds that make s’mores taste so amazing!
God, thank you for the fun of playing in the cold water on a hot day.
God, thank you for sending Jesus so we can be free no matter what.

Your West Side family is praying that you will have a fabulous August with your family making great memories that your kids will treasure forever.