Embracing the Emptiness of Summer

Embracing the Emptiness of Summer

It’s been several weeks now since school got out. Whether you have a school age child or any children at all, it’s likely you, like me, are starting to feel the effects of all this “free time.” Most churches take summer off from scheduled bible studies and small groups. Other gatherings like BSF, CBS, or MOPS are off for the summer, too. We are set adrift for the summer on our own, trying to manage our children, our homes, our marriages, our faith, our friendships without the assistance of these regularly scheduled programs.

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, career woman, devoted grandma, or somewhere in between, summer provides all of us with some space.

We are relieved of a few of the responsibilities and commitments that we have the rest of the year, and we look forward to this “break” all year long. But as much as we love the idea of “summer break,” we often find ourselves struggling in the middle of it.

Perhaps you, like me, had a plan going into it. You bought a book or a journal. Maybe you printed out a prayer calendar or scripture reading challenge. Maybe you scheduled get togethers with your small group and made it happen that one time in between housework and naptimes and everyone’s various vacations.

Here we are midway through the summer months, and the plan is beginning to unravel. So how do we embrace the emptiness of summer?

How do we stay connected with Christ without our regular women’s bible study? How do we maintain those friendships when everyone is traveling in different directions? Here are some practical ideas to make the most of the rest of your summer:

1. Experience a clutter-free quiet time.

We often can’t wait for our schedule to free up so we can fill it with “relaxation.” Sitting by the pool, going to the beach, going on vacation, taking a roadtrip, hanging out with friends, finishing house projects, going, going, going, going. We don’t often plan on leaving our schedule empty.

There’s too much to do, too many people to see, too many ways to “relax.” An empty schedule is a waste of time. Or is it?

I don’t know about you, but one of my greatest struggles with my quiet time is distraction. My mind just can’t stop wandering over to my overfull schedule or my crammed to-do list. Embracing an emptier schedule means making room in my brain for once. Not filling it with vacation plans and beach days and park playdates. Allowing my brain to rest and not worry about being on time or meeting up with someone or packing up for the pool. Maybe having an emptier schedule will actually give my mind less places to wander and provide me with more focus when I do spend time with God.