I know. It’s not officially summer yet, but in my mind, summer begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day. Do a search on that, and you’ll find we have 98 days between those two holidays. So, on Memorial Day my daughter and I had a conversation about how we plan to make these 98 days of summer 2021 extra special, and what we’d like to do to make this season memorable. Because we know full-well how fast these days will speed by. (How can it be June already???)

5 Ways I'm Choosing to Make Summer 2021 Extra Special

How do you plan to spend these 98 days?

Friend, have you thought about this at all? I understand if you haven’t. Because our days are full, and some days it’s trying enough to just get through them. I get it!

But, in our conversation on Memorial Day, my daughter and I talked about activities we want to do, how we desire to spend our time, things we’d like to accomplish, and also things we want to let go of in summer 2021. We planned a little, dreamed a little, encouraged each other, and entrusted this season to God’s plans for our lives.

Then I made my personal plan. Plans help me. I shared a piece of it on Instagram earlier this week. A few more details are here:

5 Ways I’m Choosing to Make Summer 2021 Extra Special

1. I plan to sip more than slurp.

What in the world do I mean? Well, to sip means to drink from a little at a time; to take in; absorb; savor; partake. To slurp means to devour; gobble; gulp with loud noises. No, I’m not really referring to drinking here, but to living life. My desire is take in and soak up God’s goodness and blessings, to notice and savor the little things, to enjoy the moment I’m in, to partake in every gift God gives me. One way I’m doing this is journaling each morning. I record what’s on my mind, on my heart, what I’m working through, any prayers, any ideas. This has been a game changer for me! This exercise showed me a way to change my schedule for summer 2021. (See # 4 below.) I’m not always aware of what’s going on in this brain of mine, but journaling has enlightened me!

2. I plan to walk my errands instead of running them.

I’m slowing my mind, my pace, my heart, my rhythm way down. Sometimes it’s my mind that’s hardest to slow down, because I’m always thinking about something… my next step, what I need to do now, what’s on the horizon, etc. It’s not the easiest to switch gears, but I plan to rest, to reset, to un-rush, and to refresh this weary soul of mine. My brain, my body, my heart, and my soul need this time of rest. I’m okay with growing slow in this season. (By the way, have you read Jennifer Dukes Lee’s new book Growing Slow? Friend, it’s so good. I highly recommend it!) You know? It’s refreshing to casually stroll through the grocery aisles instead of racing through them. I invite you to try it.

3. I’m removing all the extras that I don’t need to do right now.

I don’t have to do it all in summer 2021 to make it extra special. In fact, I’m pulling back from all the extra stuff I don’t need to do. I’m stepping back from speaking engagements, except for the ones I’m already committed to. Bill and I are choosing other fun things to do instead of RAGBRAI this year. (I know! That’s weird in itself!) We plan to embrace new adventures and hopefully settle into a pace that invites joy and peacefulness. We can still have an extra-special summer without all the extras.

4. I’m switching up my schedule.

Transitioning into a new season sometimes requires transitioning into a new schedule. The thing is, I just can’t sit around and rest all day. Who can? I have job responsibilities, writing deadlines, ministry growth plans, a home to care for, and weekly commitments. But I’m changing my schedule to accommodate the ten extra hours in it since BSF has ended for the year. Most of those hours will be filled with writing. But the other hours will be spent outdoors, or with family and friends, or reading, or expanding my skills. I have dedicated “care for Nolan” (my grandson) days (M, W), I have dedicated writing days (T, Th, F), and I have dedicated fun days (the weekend). But I can be flexible with them if needed.

5. I’m intentionally pausing.

I’m just building this new habit into my life, but throughout each day I’m pausing to ponder what’s around me and praising God for what I notice. For example, this morning I paused early and pondered that it’s June 3. (There’s something about marking each day that slows down time for me. It helps me to not get to the middle of the month and wonder, where has this month gone?) I pondered that the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the light breeze was moving my tiny garden plants outside. I then praised God for each of those gifts. It’s interesting how this exercise has helped me live fully each day. I’m noticing things I’ve not ever paid attention to before!

Friend, how to you plan to make summer 2021 extra special?

Feel free to use any of the above for your summer 2021, or none of it. Or if you have ideas to share, please do so below in the comments. I love how we can learn from each other!

Bottom line, I believe we all desire to make the most of our days without sacrificing meaningful moments. God gives us each day, and we want to honor Him in how we live each one, right? I love how Psalm 90:12 reminds us to ask God to teach us how to live.

Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well!

Psalm 90:12 MSG

And then He directs us on the path He has for us.

You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment.

Psalm 16:11 VOICE

I pray we each know true joy and contentment this summer. May God bless you each of these 98 days with His peace, His provision, and His presence!

Much love,

5 Ways I'm Choosing to Make Summer 2021 Extra Special
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