“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:4)
We’ve come to the back half of summer break and with it very often comes a sense of urgency to rush to get it all in before school starts back, but as always, God’s way is the beautiful flip side to the world’s way when it comes to true joy in life.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philip. 4:6)
Now that most sports are played out and most summer camps are a sweet memory, take a few moments to think about how you can make the “rest” of summer a time of rejuvenation and renewal for your family. This summer our “simplified family” plan is to simply breathe. We’re going to embrace “letting go” for just a little while.
1. One of the most important things on our summer list is for our kids to simply wake up when they wake up. There’s no sweeter sight than a rested, happy face of a child on a warm summer morning, up in time for a relaxing breakfast. For the next four weeks, be mindful of ways that they can refresh and nurture their growing bodies. Experts estimate that preschoolers (3 to 5 years-old) need 11-13 hours of sleep, while school-aged children up to age 12 need approximately 10-11 hours of sleep. Long, restful sleep is such a wonderful gift and our kids should be able to relish in it. Summer is a perfect time to talk with your kids about how important resting in the Lord is when they can actually experience just how wonderful it is.
“I will lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.” (Psalm 4:8)
2. Yes we’re waking up when our bodies tell us to, but summer is also a time for good ol’ hard work. The day begins, in our family, with “gettin’ it done”, and that could mean anything from washing cars to cleaning rooms and doing laundry. I’ve seen big things happen in my kids when they begin their day with a little exertion of some productive energy. Confidence and a sense of accomplishment is growing in them and they don’t even realize it. They just know that the reward is good! Jumping in the creek after lunch feels oh so much better after some summer sweat from pulling a few weeds. The combination of rewarding work with summer fun makes for happy kids and happy families. And then, of course, the bonus is that they rest even better at night.
3. Summer is the perfect time to pack in the nutrition. With more relaxed schedules, it’s easier to think about ways to amp up the goodness of what your family is eating. Take a warm summer morning stroll through a Farmers Market; to me, they are synonymous with summer. Encourage your kids to taste the difference of a tomato bought at a farmer’s market from one purchased from the super market. Now is the perfect time to show them just how delicious “farm to table” eating is, by letting them choose from the huge variety of colors and textures that summer brings.
For a list of Tennessee farmer’s markets visit: Tennessee Farmer’s Markets
Embrace the “rest” of summer by taking time to breathe.
Visit Kelly’s blog at www.thesimplifiedfamily.com