Tuesday, May 21, 2013

{God-sized Dreams} Summer To-do List

Hematite Lake. Earlier May 2013. And I want to go back.

I've already let you in on how I was feeling weary of the school-year routine and commitments. Well, Summer is here. Yes, technically, as my rising first-grader reminded me, it's not actually summer yet, but it's been in the high 80s and school is out, so let's call the rest of May "summer."

So, Summer, I'm glad you're here. I've got a little to-do list for us. Truth is, I've got a not-to-do list coming too. But, you know, I thought I'd start with this list of things I want to do with my family.

Pick strawberries
Go to the Louisville Zoo
Pick blueberries
Pick blackberries
Swim, swim, swim
Play in water in the backyard
Read “Beezus & Ramona” and “Ramona the Pest
Watch Disney’s “Planes” (Comes out Aug. 9)
Hike at Hematite Lake
Play at the lake
Take the kids to a St. Louis Cardinals game
Go to the St. Louis Zoo
Eat at Belew’s
Play more board games
Host a neighborhood party
Participate in vacation Bible school
Go to Dairy Queen and snow cone shack {And I'm sure we'll be back again and again}
Getaway with Greg while kids hang out with Gran-Gran

Some of these things are on my calendar, so they'll probably happen. I'm sure nearly none of them will go like I expect. It's mid-way through the Year of Imperfection. Summer, you're my favorite time, so regrouping here with you makes sense. I want to enjoy the moment and make memories along the way to accomplishing these things come with you, Summer, and embrace unexpected adventures.

In an effort to embrace this freedom Summer brings and truly live with my kids, I wanted to write a not-to-do list. Balance, people. One time I wrote a list of things I don't do even though lots of other people do. It was quite freeing for a perfectionist like me who many days tries to do too much.

Perhaps it will help me not be so hard on myself and truly embrace this season. So here it is, my not-to-do list which has mostly been worded to really be a second to-do list. Yeah, I'm sorry, I've kind of confused myself.

Give my day to God before I get on Facebook
Close the laptop and be present
Don't cry over spilled milk ... or crushed cracker crumbs
Remember it's not all going to get done today
Speak softer
Walk instead of drive when I can
Plan not to plan every minute of our days
Say yes when I can
Let go

This all has been on my heart, so much so I let Ben skip his nap yesterday -- our first weekday of Summer Break -- so we could go to the spray park and then have snow cones. And you know what? It was fine. His behavior is so much better when he can run and play and discover outside. Yes, he went to bed willingly before 7 p.m., but our napless afternoon was good.

For our God-sized Dreams post this week, Holley asks: What part of your dream feels the riskiest? 

I wasn't sure what I was going to say. Then I realized the par that feels riskiest is this hard-for-me-to-achieve balance of work and play. Just because my kids are out of school doesn't mean my freelance job or lake house jobs stop. Here's the thing about these jobs: I gradually added on-the-side jobs and now, as I'm working out a balance, it seems like I accidentally went back to work.

Accidentally in the sense that I never said, "I'm going to back to work." But I did pray, "Give me opportunities to use what I know how to do." I probably shouldn't be surprised God led me here. The way it's been gradual has been good for me. I sense God building a foundation for other things to come. I've wanted to use my skills and talents in a way that lets me stay home but still promote and write things I believe in. So here I am. A work-from-home momma who surprised herself a little when she realized she's at the place she believes she's supposed to be.

All of this to say, being here feels risky for me. I'm an all-or-nothing kind of gal, so achieving balance is a constant process for me. I want to be a wife and mom before I'm a writer. The hows of that change as often as the weather. But, really, isn't that the beauty of seasons? 

For now, I'm here. And so is Summer.

Your turn. You've probably thought about what you want to do this summer. But have you considered what you don't want to do? It's worth thinking about. So, with that in mind, what are you going to do this summer?

Tuesdays are God-sized Dream days around here and I'm linking this post along with many, many other dreamers on Holley Gerth's blog. I'm also linking up with the Soli Deo Gloria party at Finding Heaven Today, where I was reminded for the second time in one day not to be so hard on myself. 

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  1. Hoping to spend some time outdoors in the evenings with the kids and just play! It is tough working FT in the summer...with the nice weather I just want to be outside too! :)

  2. Ooohhh...great post! I've been tossing around ideas in my head with how I want to spend my time with Mae this summer. VBS, play dates, parks (we're part of a group that does a different one every week), swimming, and she'll probably have a few "play dates" with my friends, too. (She does that well.) :) But an intentional goal is to definitely close the laptop more often and soak up the summer days with her. She's heading to PreK in August...I can't believe it! (And a note about the napping thing...my girl quit napping about a year ago, just after she turned two. Our days are longer, but she willingly goes to bed by 7:30, usually 7, and sleeps til 7...so it's win/win.) You are all going to have a great summer together!

  3. KristinHillTaylor5/21/2013 12:41 PM

    Sounds like a fun summer! My kids have been going to bed around 7 or 7:30 too. :)

  4. KristinHillTaylor5/21/2013 12:41 PM

    Yes - I love summer evenings outside! Hope you get plenty of time to hang out with your family when you aren't working.

  5. Since my babies are all grown my summers look a lot like any over time of the year so my schedule don't change much. However, I do love to serve at VBS and some of the activities the local missions host for the local kids.

  6. KristinHillTaylor5/21/2013 8:57 PM

    That's a wonderful way to spend your time!

  7. KristinHillTaylor5/22/2013 9:10 AM

    It's so freeing for me. :) I'd love to see yours after you write it!