How to Keep Jesus at the Center of Your Plans This Summer

This has been an exceptionally odd year. There’s no denying it. We’ve all had to adjust our way of life to get through these past few months. From quarantine to schools being canceled, to trips being postponed, wearing a mask in public places, and businesses shut down everywhere – summer looks a whole lot different this year.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything going on in the world. There’s definitely a bit of a damper on the typical “summer fun” that many anticipate throughout the year. It’s easy to let certain things fall by the wayside – including our relationship with Jesus.

But, really, what better time is there to get closer to Jesus than a season of life where there is significantly less “stuff” to do? No matter what your plans are this summer – staying close to home, a socially distant trip to the beach, or keeping busy with house projects, there are a lot of ways to get to know Jesus a little better.

Here are 4 ways to keep Jesus at the center of your plans this summer:

Get outside.
One way I have been trying to take advantage of this season is to get outside. No screens, no distractions. It’s a great chance to introduce the kids to the awe and wonder of God’s creation, and a great reminder to me as well. With not much else to do, it’s an easy option. Many parks and trails are still open for visits, and we’ve found a lot of cool spots that are usually empty. We highly recommend Green Lane Park, Black Rock Sanctuary, Warwick Park, and Monocacy Hill to name a few. Get out there and explore!

Spend extra time in prayer.
With summer comes extra hours of daylight, and this year especially, extra downtime at home. Use this time to pray, to be silent in God’s presence, to read his word, and soak in his glory while you’re soaking in the sun. All parents of small children know they can make alone time very hard to come by, but I encourage you to either tag team with your spouse to enjoy some time with the Lord or include your kids in your daily devotional. Encourage them to pray for people who are hurting, and to lift up any needs or anxieties they may be harboring with their schedules disrupted and their lives turned upside down in this season as well. Pray with them any time of the day, it doesn’t always have to be at mealtimes or bedtime.

Add an inspiring book to your summer reading list.
Reading is an essential part of the summer for me. I usually read fiction, but I’ve been trying to include non-fiction books in my summer reading list. Specifically, books that will inspire me and encourage growth in my walk with Christ. If you are trying to read more books this summer, I encourage you to do a little research and find a book that will reveal Jesus to you in a new way. Anything by C.S. Lewis or Bob Goff is always a good place to start.

Don’t check out.
Summer church attendance is notorious for being low. While many people go on vacation, many just decide to check out from church life for the summer. This summer, with most of our services being online, and gatherings looking very different than normal, it’s even easier to check out. But, I encourage you to stay involved in your church and in your community, no matter what that looks like. That could mean checking in with a friend and offering to pray with them. It could mean being faithful with your online service attendance and sharing the Facebook stream with friends and family. It could mean helping prepare the church building for regathering. It could even mean holding your own service at home! No matter how you do it, consistently enjoying a regular Sunday morning of worship and hearing God’s word is so important. You never know how God may speak to you!
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