Does anyone else have trouble holding down a routine during the summer?
During the school year, my schedule is set. I get up, get my family ready to go. Kiss my husband, drop the kids off at school, and then settle in with a cup of coffee, breakfast, and my Bible. It gets my day off to the perfect start. Then I usually workout, take a shower, and am at my desk by 9 am.
Queue summer vacation and I get lost in the shuffle. By August, I’ll have it down. But May and June? It’s a lost cause. The transition gets me every year. And it’s not just one transition, it’s the constant changes.
We abandon our school schedule, just to start a flurry of activities. Summer vacations, holidays, Vacation Bible School, fun summer activities, late nights, early mornings. It’s June 1st and I’m already confused about what day of the week it is. We had a four day weekend that seemed to stretch out forever (which was awesome), but then the week started on Tuesday and I feel like I blinked and missed everything that’s happened since then.
Am I alone in this?
Does anyone else feel the shifting of the seasons as profoundly as this?
My usual morning routine has gone up in smoke, and I’m struggling to get in a new grove. And I know that it’s a lost cause, because next week’s schedule will be different than this weeks. And the week after that will be different again. And the week after that. And the week after that. It’s going to be a long month. Fun, but busy.
It seems like most of my summer tasks are “Jesus-focused.” They are all good things. This week I’ve spent countless hours decorating for VBS. I’ve been spending time with my kids, cleaning the house, being a mom and wife. Later this month we are going on a camping trip with our youth group, and starting a new Bible study at church. Jesus is a huge part of our lives.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (ESV)
We strive to live that way.
But I’ll be honest, I miss my one-on-one time with Jesus.
3 Ways To Spend Time With Jesus
(When Your Schedule Has Gone Out The Window)
Instead of giving up on my Jesus time, I’ve spent the last month looking for opportunities to work one-on-one time with Jesus into my busy summer days. Here are the top three ways I’ve found to include Him in my day, but I’d love to hear your tips in the comments as well.
1.) Take A Time Out (or ten)
While I believe it is important to make time for God’s Word, to plan it into my day, the shifting summer days makes that difficult. So when things don’t go as planned, rather than going through the day frustrated, I look for opportunities to step away with Jesus. When the kids are fed, the house work is done, and I find myself with a few minutes to spare, I can grab my Bible and retreat to a quiet room, or even out to the picnic table for a few minutes of one-on-one time with Jesus. And even if it’s interrupted, I can go back to it throughout the day. Any time I have a spare moment and am ready to collapse, I can choose to collapse with my Bible in hand instead of my phone. So even if I don’t get to start my day off with Jesus, I can still spend a few moments with Him.
2.) Pause to Pray
Earlier this week, I was at the pool watching my kids swim and visiting with a sweet friend from church. She received a text message with wonderful news and right there at the picnic table, mid conversation, surrounded by shouting children, dozens of on-lookers, and wet towels, she dropped everything to pour out her thankfulness to Jesus. She bowed her head and prayed her thanksgiving aloud, praising our great God. I’ll be honest, I was proud to be sitting next to her. Her heart for Jesus, her lack of hesitation, blessed me beyond measure.
I spend a lot of time at the pool each summer. We have a family pass and as long as we are home and the kids have kept up on their chores, we go almost daily. I usually take a book to read, but I don’t think it ever occurred to me to use that noisy situation as a quiet time. But my friend did. And I am so thankful for her. My summer pool days will be brighter because of her example.
3.) Multitasking Moments
This is something I picked up back when my twins were infants. I had one daughter that never slept… for five years. That season wasn’t quiet for me at all. In order to survive, I had to learn to multitask my quiet time. I would prop my Bible up in the kitchen and read God’s Word while I was cooking supper. I would ponder Scripture while I was washing the dishes. Sure, it’s easier to think when the house is quiet, but multitasking your quiet time is better than skipping it altogether. Thankfully, I’m out of that season, but I still find those multitasking options beneficial on summer days when things seem to quickly spin out of control.
I went through some health issues last month where I couldn’t read or focus well, so I used the BibleGateway app on my phone to listen to God’s Word with my eyes closed. I don’t know that I caught all of it, but I was yearning for God’s Word and something is better than nothing. Audio Bibles have opened up a whole new avenue of multitasking our quiet time. My husband has a 45 minute commute to work each day and uses that time to listen to God’s Word. I still prefer to hold my Bible and read God’s Word. I love to highlight, underline, take notes, reread. There is just something about soaking God’s Word up off the pages that draws me in, but I know there is a place for audio Bibles.
A Jesus-Filled Summer
How do you keep Jesus at the center of your summer days? Not just with your plans, but with your quiet time as well? Is this something you struggle with or do you have tips to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!