Summer's End

The kids are back in school, and the weather forecaster just predicted tonight's low temperature to be in the 50s. I guess summer is officially over. Before you let the lazy days of summer slip too far into the past, take a few minutes to evaluate how it went.

At the beginning of the summer, I challenged you to make your summer count and be intentional about the things that you did this summer. Now that summer is over evaluate how you did. This isn't an exercise in beating yourself up for not accomplishing everything you would have liked. You want to take some time to evaluate what you did do, so you can better understand what works and doesn't work for your family. That Jell-o fight may have sounded like a great idea but when you actually did it you discovered you have a child who hates to have slimy stuff thrown at her.

You may have had several things planned that you didn't get to do. Don't worry about it. Sometimes God takes you in a different direction than the one you had planned. Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." That verse doesn't tell us that everything we plan will succeed, just that when we commit our plans to the Lord, whatever happens is a success. Proverbs 19:21 tells us "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Keep that in mind as you evaluate your summer.

Now, to the nuts and bolts of evaluating your summer. Sit down with a piece of paper and write down all the things you planned for the summer. Next to each one, write down how you think the activity went. If you had a goal for what you wanted to teach your kids this summer, write it down and evaluate how well you accomplished that goal.

Next, sit down with your kids and ask them what their favorite parts of the summer were. Make notes of what activities they would like to do again and which ones they didn't like. Ask them if there was anything they would have liked to do that you didn't get to do. Put those things on your list for next summer.

Find some quiet time and sit down with your lists. Pray over your lists and ask God to show you anyplace where you could do things differently. Ask Him to show you the things to put on your list for next summer that you might not think about on your own.

Finally, talk with other moms about what they did over the summer. Some of my best ideas have come from other moms. Put any of those ideas on your list for next summer.

Now, tuck your lists away where you can find them in the spring and enjoy the cooler, routine-laden days of fall.