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Redeeming the Summer

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure what happened to June. It just … disappeared! My grandkids are in the school-free zone til mid-August, but what of mid-May til now?

I’ve been busy, I know that much. But recently I wondered if I had my priorities mixed up – perhaps substituting what seems urgent for what’s most important. I was frustrated. 

What I realized is that I quite simply can’t spend the time I want to with my grands if I’m focused on my writing goals. Deadlines? Those I must and will meet. But the carefully crafted plans that would have my next book done in August have been scrapped. Although the writing feels urgent, the kids are more important, and I can’t do both well. 

Maybe you’re like me and June got away from you. Maybe you’re staring at the list of all the plans you had – and finding it pretty much untouched. 

So how do we redeem the rest of this summer?

First, and perhaps most importantly, stop beating yourself up for what hasn’t  happened. There’s nothing that will change it now – set yourself free from the guilt and face forward. There are a good number of weeks left and we get to (mostly) choose how we spend them. Looking back at perceived failure robs us of today – and tomorrow for that matter!

Then, refocus. What are the most important things TODAY? Spend your time there. The past is history … and tomorrow is a mystery. Our energy is limited, and most wisely spent on the present. 

Note that focus is different from goals and lists. “Focus” is concentrated attention – and isn’t that something we all crave?

For me, one day this week looked like going to read my 9-year-old grandson two chapters of Narnia. (He’s enthralled!) We’re into the second book, and I love that he still likes being read to. 

It also looked like me the same day scraping that same boy off the ceiling, because he was throwing a giant fit for his mama over doing his 3×3 journaling. I started him on this last month, but haven’t followed up much … today I got the chance. 

He’s to write down 3 things he did right yesterday, and 3 things he’s thankful for. And no repeats (which is the hardest part). As he talked I realized I needed to change the wording –  “things I did right” became  “ways I controlled myself” and I could see the lightbulb come on. Had I been distracted, I doubt I would’ve realized what was tripping him up. 

For you, the focus might be your kids, or nieces, or the neighbor boy. I don’t think we can ever go wrong by pouring good things into the children God puts in our lives, and that seems like an excellent way to finish the summer strong. 

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