Are you in pursuit of R & R this summer? Think again!

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Summer is here! Time for fun, freedom, vacation, playing, and sleeping in.

We pack the books away, and seem to collectively proclaim: "All that hard work throughout the school year must be rewarded with some R & R!" 

Of course I believe in taking a break and chilling out -- I’ve never really had a problem prioritizing that which comes easily -- it’s intentionally engaging my kids, pursuing enrichment, planning for quality time and meaningful activities, and training in discipline, that I struggle with summer after summer. Truth be told, I sometimes act as if my reward for working so hard teaching my children throughout the school year is to simply do nothing at all during the Summer. And that simply is not what I want my children to learn by example.

We live in a culture that issues a formula for a rewarding life:

Get a good job, work hard, put in the time, then retire as early as possible with as much money as possible...so that you may really enjoy what is good in life. 

While I may find this particular life pursuit worldly and self-indulgent, I must admit that I sometimes inadvertently look to summer vacation with a similar mindset:

Do a good job throughout the school year, work hard, put in the time, then take the summer off and be entertained as much as possible...because that is what’s really fun in life.

That’s when I realize there is a difference between rest and relaxation and rest and renewal.

...renewal’s emphasis is improving, striving, recharging, remembering

...relaxing’s emphasis is letting go, clearing out, releasing, forgetting

What am

I really teaching my kids is the purpose of summer break by the plans we make or don’t make as a family? 

A few things I want to communicate with the way we spend our summer...

  • that education is a blessing, not a chore from which you deserve a break
  • that the reprieve from working hard is rest for the purpose of renewal
  •  that the goal in applying oneself in school is to learn through the process, not simply to achieve a product
  • that laziness is not a reward

So, what are some practical ways to make this summer about rest and renewal? Here are some suggestions (for you and/or your child):

  • Pick a particular fruit of the Spirit to pursue this summer through study and practical application.
  • Work on routines in personal and spiritual disciplines that may be challenging to establish during the school year.
  • Get organized! As a gardener preps the field before sowing seed, preparing for the next school year by tending to “the weeds” of the previous year can be of great encouragement.
  • Use a tool like the Child Training Bible to go through a
  • Read books that will build upon what was learned during the school year. Avoid entertainment that makes imagination and literature seem bland.
  • Plan dates with each of your children to evaluate the previous year and talk about fears and goals for the coming school year.

These are just a few ideas to get us started. What ways will you make this summer a time of growing and renewal for your family? Let’s seek to have a fun-filled, restful, recharging summer break, one that doesn’t release us from diligence and intentionality, but renews us for the journey ahead.

Grace to you,

Ruth, www.gracelaced.com

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Ruth Simons

Ruth Chou Simons is an unlikely mom to six young boys and wife to a very patient man, Online, she's an artist, writer, and speaker, who shares her journey and how God's grace intersects daily life at her blog + shoppe at GraceLaced.com. In her everyday life, she washes 8 loads of laundry a week, cooks for large crowds, and educates her children from home part time through the classical Christian school she and her husband, Troy, founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Get a glimpse + behind the scenes of her heart, art, and home on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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