Summer is finally here, which may mean traveling, hiking, swimming, camping, s’mores, etc. In my humble opinion, it is the best time of the year. What’s better than sun, sand, and 90-degree weather? I also love it because I feel motivated to take better care of myself. Why it takes the months of May-September to make me want to be healthier, I am not so sure. I find myself buying better ingredients and carving out more time with friends.
I started to make a list of things to do this summer, and my calendar quickly filled up. As happy as that makes me, I realized I need to carve out time for spiritual wellness too. It can be easy to get caught up in what we do that we forget it is about who we are. Below are some of my Summer goals for not just a summer of fun but a summer of diving deeper into my relationship with God.
1. Rest: My go go go mentality is great 99% of the time. Okay, maybe 70 % of the time. The other 30% is when I need to rest. And not just any kind of rest- rest where I do not feel guilty for resting. Rest that relieves stress, rest that makes me feel like myself again. Rest that is not bombarded with the news, for you pages or feeds of any kind. Rest that is with God; rest that is me not doing a darn thing.
Psalm 23:2-3 says, He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
I want a soul-refreshing type of rest.
2. Read: Currently, I am reading -six different books, two for fun, one for healthier living, and a few for devotion/bible study. Some days I can read them all, other days, I can only get to one. And you know what? That is okay! Take yourself on a date to the bookstore, grab one (or a few) books that can help you learn more about God and yourself, one that is for enjoyment, or one that has new recipes! If you're not into reading, then get a book you can listen to!
3. Less Screen Time: If there is one thing, I do not need more of it's screens. With computers, phones, TVs, Ipads I need a break. It has even gotten to the point where I cannot watch a show without looking at my phone every couple of minutes. Before I know it, I have tuned out the show and have no idea what is happening. Our attention spans are at an all-time low. So to combat this, I have started puzzling, stress-free coloring, or crafting. Find something that will keep you off of your phone because, trust me, neither of us needs to be on our phone every five minutes.
4. Meditation: Meditation is a spiritual discipline, meaning it is a way to mature in our walk with Christ. Put some light worship music on, pick a Bible verse, take a few deep breaths, and meditate on it. Think about what it means and what God is telling you through that verse. If you want, have a passage read to you out loud through an app. This time is meant to be set aside for you to just be with God’s word. There are no expectations for you.
Tip- This could be a great way to start the day!
Psalm 49:3 says,“My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.”
5. Creation: Whenever I start to doubt God’s role in my life, I start to look around. I look at the trees, mountains, sky, and animals, and I am reminded that there is no way there isn’t a God. But not just any God, a God that cared enough to make ladybugs, wildflowers, sunsets, and you. I am empowered when I spend time in and look at his creation because I am reminded of how big God is and how small my problems are. He is all around us, surrounding us with his presence.
Luke 12:27-28 says, “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!
I hope this motivated you to have an amazing summer because what good is a great summer if we don't grow closer to God? Hopefully, come fall, we can keep up with the healthy habits we have developed!