How My Summer Went from Drab to Fab

Updated Jul 03, 2023
How My Summer Went from Drab to Fab

When I dedicated the first month of my summer to resting and relaxation, the second to organizing and improving my life, and the third to vision and mission, my summer went from drab to fab. 

This past summer, I embraced my longest period to date away from work. If, like me, you have the summer off due to the nature of your profession or have saved up vacation days, you know it can be daunting to maximize your time during the summer months. Take heart. There are things you can do to rest and relax but also maximize your time accordingly. Here are some ways to have a fabulous but less daunting summer: 

Resting and Relaxation

First, I segmented my time into three-month sections, the first set aside for recreation. We took time for vacations and other creative projects. The goal was to feel energized for the next two months. We planned a vacation and took the first two weeks in June. The last two weeks were designated for hobbies and outdoor activities like fishing, bonfires, and other creative projects such as painting, crafting, etc. When able to enjoy the physical, creative, mental, and emotional rest we need, we are better suited to complete the household chores necessary when we return to normal routines. 

Organizing and Improving

Next, we designated the second month for household projects such as cleaning and organization. This is important for my mental rest. As I looked around my home toward the end of last year, I got annoyed with the large amount of clutter in different areas. It wasn't horribly cluttered, but there was a lot of stuff I didn't need. By having more physical space, I created more mental and emotional freedom. I started with a few spare rooms that weren't normally used, finding I had the most clutter in items that weren't needed. 

The two areas we have the most unused clutter were books and clothes. Many of the clothes were still in good shape, and I wasn't ready to part with them yet. I loaded some sturdy containers with clothes I didn't want to get rid of but didn't want to have on the rack, either. I removed all my smaller clothes and made room for other-sized clothes. This helped me organize and color coordinate my clothing so that when it came time for church or other activities that required me to get dressed quickly, I could grab a wardrobe without having to search for it on various racks throughout the home. Once I could get rid of the vast amount of clothing and books, I sorted through an excess of furniture and accessories I didn't need. I also cleaned out a special closet in one of our rooms full of extra seasonal items. It was nice to discover a new space in my house.

Third, I changed my schedule. Mostly, I maximize time quite well throughout the school year. But I felt I needed a new and improved system. I was able to switch around my exercise routine along with some extra work to get ahead for the fall. My goal was to complete work by early afternoon so I could enjoy more of my day. This helped me create a schedule where I could incorporate more rest. I also cleared out my extracurricular schedule. Because I'm in ministry, certain things need to get done. I volunteer at my church and within my denomination to mentor and help other writers. But all of that can seem very cluttered if I don't have an effective schedule. Therefore, I was able to maximize it so that I wasn't feeling overwhelmed or cluttered throughout the week. 

Vision and Mission

I used the third month to create a vision statement. This may seem odd, considering I'm a writer. But any area of your life where there's no vision can be time that is squandered or wasted. Proverbs 29:18 says, 

"Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint, but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction." 

Without vision and direction, we can stray into other time and resources that suck our time when we could be busy doing other things. In the third month, I was able to put into effect our vision so the fall would feel much more enjoyable. A cluttered day is not effective for the Kingdom. When I can choose things within my vision, where I feel my purpose and passion, I can maximize my time for God. The key to creating a vision statement is understanding your purpose, passion, and your giftings. 

The first question I asked myself was, "What am I passionate about?" What areas of life has God given me a passion? For example, it can be a particular group of people (like teenagers) or a particular profession (like teaching.) I need to spend most of my time doing whatever I choose. What are the things that I am passionate about? Although I may have many passions, I can't invest all my time into them. Therefore, I must choose one (or two) that will allow me to use my passions most wisely. I love mentoring and making disciples. Therefore, I'm most interested in leading small groups in my church. I lead effectively because I'm working within my passion. 

The second question I asked myself was, "What is my purpose?" What I'm passionate about and what God has given me for a purpose may be different. Although the two may coincide, my ultimate purpose may not always be what I am most passionate about. If I'm not sure what that is, I go to God and ask him to make it clear. Ultimately, my time in life is all his. If I'm yielding my life to him, I will do with my time what I feel he's calling me to do with it. 

Third, I worked within my giftings. My strongest spiritual gifts are leadership, organization, and prophecy. Therefore, disciplining people is within my wheelhouse. However, I use my volunteer time not only to teach but also to teach others how to lead effectively. The people I chose to disciple were made aware that by the end of our time together, they would be encouraged to find other people they could lead and disciple. 

When I used my summer this way, finding ways to pass the time felt less daunting. When I dedicated the first month to resting and relaxation, the second month to organizing and improving my life, and the third to vision and mission, my summer went from drab to fab.  

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/piola666

Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website