Surviving Vs. Thriving This Summer

Posted by Nicole Swanson on

1 Samuel 2.9
He will guard the feet of his faithful ones…for not by might/strength shall man prevail.

Psalm 115.7
Be at rest, once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy, or so we’re told. But can I just be honest? As a mom with younger kids at home, the easy breezy image I have of summer in my mind on May 1 doesn’t always match up to the reality of June 22 or July 9 or Aug. 6. 

Both my kids are in school and my work schedule is flexible, so from mid-August to mid-May, my balance of work and the rest of life works itself out relatively easily. Then when summer comes, I think for sure I can continue working and also spend relaxed quality time with the kids, and to do things with them that are memorable, meaningful and enriching (and preferably free). And also go to the pool and have their friends over. And make s’mores. And serve as a family. And renew our relationship with that family devotional book that’s been sitting undisturbed on the kitchen table. And sign up for the summer reading program. And that work I needed to do…um…maybe post-bedtime and after some quality time with my hubby? Never mind. Too tired. Maybe tomorrow. 

And the worst part? This same situation catches me by surprise. Every. Single. Summer.  That feeling of being pulled in a thousand different directions. The sense that when I’m doing A, I should be doing B, and vice-versa. I’m tired, feeling unmoored, and cranky.

Then comes the “forehead smack” moment, when I hear God’s still small voice reminding me that I am once again putting all my faith in what I can do, what I can organize, what I can provide, how well I can survive, I, I, I. And I’ve gotten so caught up in that that I’m neglecting to prioritize unhurried time with God and His Word, neglecting the very thing that would remind me that all is well and that I’m enough, and that my kids are OK and that they are enough. I’m neglecting the idea that me surrendering and drinking from the fountain of God’s Word and then allowing my kids to drink from the overflow is worth more than any activity we could check off a list ( and oh by the way, it teaches them how to engage in their own relationship with Him!).

In an excellent Father’s Day message a few weeks ago at our church, Pastor Tim Overby made the point that “the greatest gift we can give our children is our own transforming lives.” I’m trying to remember that as these precious weeks of summer go by—that who I am becoming in Christ is worth more to my kids than which activities we manage to do. 

My friend and EtchLife co-owner Kelsey Adams has a great word on this ...

The key to thriving is surrender. The way to thrive is to allow the LORD to sustain me by his grace. NOT to survive on my own strength.

I have the fun opportunity to get to work with Carrie, Kelsey and Terri, aka The EtchLife Girls, and I know a huge part of the reason they started EtchLife in the first place is because we ALL need to have God's Word woven throughout our days in order to stay focused on Him. Especially during these summer months, we want you (and us too!) to not just SURVIVE, but actually THRIVE! So we have a collection of carefully-chosen Etch products at up to 50% off that we hope will help you and your family thrive. Let's take a look at the products included in the sale and why we love them!

Abide Sleeveless Tee // Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. --John 15:4  Is there a better reminder to release control and surrender our thoughts, our plans, and our worries to our Lord?

Chosen Trucker Hat // God has chosen you to be his own, and He has chosen you to be the parent of your particular child. It may not make sense some days, but it's true.

Work of Heart Sleeveless Tee // Let's just be honest. Not every day is perfect. And it's at those moments where we need to be able to look in the mirror and see what God sees...a beloved child, and a still-in-progress work of heart.

 ABC Cards // These are one of the first Etch products I bought for my family, and I remember when my little daughter actually memorized her first verse...it was awesome! You can use these to create a display, or work through them one at a time, but either way, they're a great way to keep Scripture in front of you (and they're real pretty too!)

GO! Cards // My family really had fun with these cards that have a virtue reminder on the front and a corresponding verse on the back. They're numbered 1-20, so we'd work on memorizing the verses and try to remember them in order, or shuffle them up and hand them out randomly to practice reciting. It's a good "before bed" practice!

Be Courageous water bottle // whether it's you or your kids who need the courage, we all need hydration, right? This brand-new water bottle has such a cute design and an always-timely reminder. 

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How do you stay centered during the summer months? Here are a few resources that help keep us encouraged...

PODCASTS

Risen Motherhood Podcast // Specifically Episode 133 | Summer Expectations: Setting Our Sights on Grace
Made for This podcast with Jennie Allen // real conversation about the struggles we face and the God that sets us free
That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs // less like a podcast and more like coffee with friends.

 

WEBSITES/APPS

Solid Joys - daily devotionals from John Piper // available as an app

My Utmost for His Highest daily devotionals (you can get them emailed right to your inbox!)
FighterVerses App to help kids (and the whole family) memorize Scripture

BOOKS
 
New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp
Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago

 


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