When Summer Doesn't Go As Planned

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Sometimes summer doesn't go as planned. Our dreams must be laid aside, new responsibilities must be taken on, and we can be left feeling like we haven't given our kids the season we longed to. The good news is,  there are so many hidden blessings and golden nuggets in new summer plans, and we're here to help you recoup.

I had my summer bucket list all ready to go. My Summer Screen Time Rules were hot off the press and ready to help lend some structure to our lazy summertime days.

Then everything changed.

I got a new job.

My husband got a new job.

We moved to a new-to-us house.

All of these were major answers to prayer. After three years of extreme transition, we were finally in a place to put down some roots. My job allows me to work from home which allows me to be present for my kids and not have to put them in daycare. My husband's job allows him to provide for our family and stretch his intellectual and business muscles.

However, even though we are abundantly grateful for these answers to our prayers, our summer plans had changed virtually overnight.

I'd love to tell you that my first response was one of grace, with copious creative ideas to keep my children entertained and on task over the summer, including keeping up with their reading and math so they won't be behind at their new school this fall.

I'd love to tell you that.

But I can't.

Instead, I internally responded the way I know best: guilt. I lavished heaps of our beloved Mommy Guilt upon my shoulders for making my children lose out on a summer of adventures in the blazing Arizona sunshine.

However, I'm learning there are so many hidden blessings and golden nuggets in these new summer plans. So, if you find yourself today staring at an unexpected blank slate of summer plans, wondering how to regroup, I'd like to encourage you with a few ideas.

1. A triple scoop of grace --- for yourself and your kids. So all your Pinterest-inspired summer fun activities have fallen by the wayside and your all-organic, sustainable summer menu has been replaced with frozen pizza and "showering" the kids with the hose outside? So what? Embrace this opportunity to scale back, simplify and focus on the things that really matter.

2. Decide on your summer musts --- and leave the rest. What are the two or three most important things on your list this summer? Find a way to make sure those happen, and don't sweat the rest! Our kids get a great real-life lesson on prioritizing and giving our best yes when they see us live this out first hand.

3. Lean in to your community. When things get crazy and our spinning plates begin to wobble, that's when we need our Christian family most. Don't be afraid to ask for help, playdates, or babysitting. We were never meant to do this life and faith thing alone. Asking for help just might give someone else the courage to ask you when their plans fall away.

4. More grace. Very few things go according to plan in this crazy thing we call life. The sooner we can learn to heap grace upon grace --- for ourselves, our families, our churches, our neighbors --- the sooner that peace that passes understand can work It's holy magic in our hearts. Not to mention the incredible practical lesson our kids will learn in the process.

So, Mama, how's your summer going so far? Do you need to dish up some scoops of grace? Or decide a few things that really don't have to get done this summer? Do you need to re-open the door to your community? I'm right there with you...right after I finally hang up those Summer Screen Time rules.

Blessings,

Jennifer Deibel

Jennifer Deibel

Jennifer is your typical American wife and mother living life, raising kids, and working. After nearly a decade overseas living in Ireland and Austria, her family is starting their new life right back here in the good ole U. S. of A. She has been married to the love of her life, Seth, since 2000 and is extremely blessed to be mom to two delightful girls, and one hilarious little boy. She has a deep interest in creative family worship, marriage enrichment, and the art of figuring out unfamiliar grocery stores in foreign languages. Jennifer passionately loves the Lord, her family, music, dance, writing and chocolate - though quite honestly not always in that order. She believes this world needs more women who stick together, so let's connect and walk this road side by side! You can find Jennifer where she blogs at This Gal's Journey, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.