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Setting Strong Summer Priorities

Some podcasts and businesses choose to take the summer off. It makes perfect sense especially if you have kids home for the summer that need your attention. Family time is too important to miss out on. As I listen to other authors, podcasters, and leaders of para-church organizations, two things that I hear over and over again is the importance of prioritizing your family and making sure you are an active part of your local church. It is so easy to get busy doing the work God has called you to and neglect time with your family. As a person who is a high achiever, I can easily get wrapped up in my next project or goal and miss seeing the needs of my family. As this summer approaches and I have this very special time with my boys, I am attempting to let my schedule lean more towards time with the family and place less priority on outside work. Will I still work on the podcast and JOR? Of Course! However, more of my "work time" will be spent planning for what is coming in the fall.

This past week, my boys started summer break and we hit the ground running! While I am not a parent that believes I must entertain my kids every moment of the day, I do want to make our summer is full of activities we might not be able to do during the school year. We filled our first week with swimming, splash pads, playdates, and the library. We also made a full list of activities they want to do as the summer progresses: complete the library reading program, visit the Science Center, find a museum that has dinosaur fossils, go to a bounce house, enjoy time at grandma's house, and invite friends over for a few sleepovers. What does your summer list include?

Our family's list calendar wouldn't be complete without scheduled time with our college students. Many of you may know that Jeff and I serve as a mentor couple in the college group at our local church. During the summer we have organized fun Monday Community Nights. You can see some images from some of our most recent events below. It has been great to hang out with the students on a weekly basis and even get to know some new friends or students that are only in town for the summer. There is something about spending time with someone in a social setting that you mainly see on Sunday morning. You discover things about their personality you didn't know, you find out how competitive they are, and they often begin to open up about other areas of their life. This is why ministry must happen on days other than Sunday! In fact, the best moments I've had in ministry have been on the other 6 days of the week. Days when I have chosen to be intentional, chosen to give up time to meet with someone else, and chosen to take the time to listen. Who knew that Ultimate Frisbee, watching The Sandlot, and a Video Scavenger Hunt could teach you SO much about a person!

This week we also have Vacation Bible School each morning at church. If you never had the pleasure, this is a week where kids come each day, for 5 days, and participate in crafts, games, worship rally, and snack time (so many snacks), all while learning stories about Jesus and his love and sacrifice for them. I have the pleasure of teaching the 3 year old class with my friend Leeann. Don't let that surprise you! They like to have fun, eat snacks, and get easily distracted. So basically, they are the same as my college students! OK, I'm just kidding. However, what a blessing it has been to help these small minds build a little more of their Biblical foundation as we memorize the verse "Make your ways known to me Lord, teach me your paths" Psalm 25:4. One of the best sounds is a room full of 3 year olds chanting their verse in unison. I see this as proof that no one is ever too young to memorize scripture and that we as adults CAN and SHOULD be memorizing scripture on our own. One of the Mom's serving along side me said that they have a series of verses that they have memorized and recite with their 3 year old each night and she was excited to add our VBS verse to the list. How are you interacting with scripture this week?

Since we have no new episode this week, I thought it was a great chance for us to go back and listen to some of our past episodes that emphasize prioritizing family, boundaries in ministry, and the importance of rest. I will list them below before I share some of my favorite pictures from the past 2 weeks.

I pray each of you has experienced a great beginning to your summer season and will find a good balance between family, work, ministry, and fun! Send me some picture of what you are spending your time doing this summer and I would love to post them in my IG stories! Maybe we can give each other some new ideas! We will be back with the next installment in our current series on Tuesday in two weeks! Until then you can find me over on IG and Facebook: @journeyofruth

Don't Miss These Great Episodes!

We start every summer off by picking the boys up from their last day of school and going fishing!

Jeff and I had the blessing of teaching about stewardship in the college Bible Study. Be looking for this topic in a future episode. 😉

Several playdates with friends at local splash pads...

...which leads to VERY tired boys!

Late night, dive-in movie with the college students.

VBS 2023

Learning about Jesus's breakfast on the beach with his disciples and the fact that "Jesus Loves Me"!

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