“Bees will buzz, kids will blow dandelion fuzz, and I’ll be doing whatever snow does in summer.”
Of course we all know what snow does in the summer, right? Yep… it melts!
It’s hard to believe another school year has come and gone, but here we are at the beginning of another summer vacation. Don’t you love summer? No school, sleeping in, staying up late, hours of video games, no school, catching up on your favorite tv shows, vacation with the family, no school, hanging with your friends, eating tons of junk food and most importantly, no school! Summers are great!
However, like all summers, before you know it, it’ll melt away. (Don’t tell Olaf.)
I think what Paul says in Ephesians 5 serves as a great reminder of how we should think of our summers. Ephesians 5:15-17 says: Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
The thing I love most about summer is that typically most students I know have more free time than normal. Less homework and a loose schedule definitely gives you some great opportunities to grow closer to the Lord. We need to be wise and make the most of our “opportunity” to get to know Jesus better (2 Peter 1:3).
Here are a few thoughts on how you can make the most of your summer:
Spend time in God’s word
If you’re like me, you have the best of intentions to spend time in God’s word, but before you know it, the busyness of life kicks in and days or weeks have gone by without you spending good, quality time in God’s word. Summer provides a great opportunity for you to recommit yourself to reading God’s word. What if you committed yourself to spending some time in God’s word every day this summer? How much closer do you think you’d be to God at the end of summer?
If you’re not sure where to start, find a great reading plan from an app like YouVersion and use it to point you in the right direction. Or, start in the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John is always great place to start.
Limit your screen time
This one is tough. We’ve become so dependent on turning to our devices when we’re bored that we’re literally spending hours and hours per day looking at our screens. And when I say “we’ve”, I’m including adults in this one!
Let’s ask a question and try to give an honest answer. Are you happy with how much time you spend looking at your devices? What about playing video games? Do you wanna spend the entire summer sitting in front of your tv playing video games? If you do, what are the chances you’ll look back on the summer and think that it’s been productive?
Wait, don’t give me the old “I’m a teenager, that’s what I’m supposed to do” response. I’m not buying it. God’s got bigger plans for you than that! The key is for you to take responsibility for your devices and set some boundaries of your own.
Don’t wait for your Mom and Dad to set them, you do it. And if they’re spending all their time on their devices, gently ask them to stop it! 🙂
Spend time with real people
Summers are a great time to reconnect with friends and family. I know it’s hard for you to imagine, but someday soon, you’re gonna be a grownup with grownup responsibilities and you’re gonna be busy. Being a student in middle school or high school allows you some freedom you won’t have some day in the future.
Don’t sit around waiting for someone to invite you to hang out. You take the initiative. Call a friend or group of friends and get them to meet you somewhere. A little tip: Don’t always choose things that are going to cost your parents money. They’ll appreciate you planning times with your friends that are on the cheaper side. Visit a local park and bring your lunches or plan a fun day at the neighborhood pool.
I can promise you one thing for sure; someday when you look back on your years in middle school and high school, you won’t be wishing you’d have spent more time updating your social media status. You’ll remember the times you spent with real people, family, and friends. Go ahead, call a friend!
Plan a staycation for you and your family
Here’s what I’m thinking. Sometimes, summers really can be a little boring. If your family is like mine, it’s easy to get into the same summer rut and spend all of your days doing the same old things over and over again. Another great way to make the most of your summer is to plan a staycation for your family.
What’s a staycation? I’m glad you asked. A staycation is like a vacation where you stay at home for vacation instead of going off somewhere. I don’t know where you find yourself this summer when it comes to being able to take a vacation with your parents. Maybe money is a little tight in your family and you’re not able to go somewhere. That’s ok! Ask your parents to commit to a staycation where you all plan to do something every day together. Some ideas would be a movie night, game night, head to the park, invite another family over for a cookout, or go check out a local landmark you’ve never visited before. Just get creative and have fun!
Go to youth camp!
I love youth camp! Hopefully your church takes a group of kids to youth camp each summer. If not, stir things up a bit and see if you can get a group of student from your church to go. You may have to organize a car wash or two to make it happen, but it would totally be worth it.
There are lots of great youth camps out there to choose from for sure, but you might wanna check in to SuperWow camps. Check them out at www.SuperWow.com. It’s a great way to spend a week of your summer growing in your relationship with Jesus.
Whatever you choose to do this summer, don’t let it melt away! Make the most of it!
This story was provided by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board Student Ministry Network.