Ahhh, summertime! The season for catching fireflies and catching up, for taking vacations and taking a breather, for slipping into the pool and sipping lemonade on the porch. Or – fine, let’s be honest – sometimes summer is the season for back-to-back barbecues, summer school and reading programs, and a triple-digit heat index on the day you plan to visit the zoo.
No matter which kind of summer Saturday you’re having today, we hope you can take a few minutes, grab a glass of iced tea (or a mug of coffee – whichever you prefer, of course!), and enjoy a few minutes looking back on some of our favorite summer posts.
It isn’t the place that brings peace. You have to bring peace with you. And that means leaving your mindless obsessions – the insecurity over that project you’re working on, the fear about the outcome of the inspection, the awkward conversation you had with the dog-sitter on your way out the door – these you have to leave at home and are only as big as we make them.
Vacation isn’t just to vacate a place, but to rest from the whirring in your head, the running list and the constant looking to the future. You have to fight for slow, and sometimes the fight looks like sitting on the rug with a deck of Go Fish cards.
4 Tips for Vacationing with Your Family by Emily Freeman
The Word has done it. The Word holds up a mirror and the Word peels back the mask and the words are who we are. We weep out of recognition. This story is us. This is the read that is deeply revelational. We see us. When we pick up Scripture, we do not read, a verb; we become, a realization.
The Best Read This Summer — Guaranteed by Ann Voskamp
I write it out to remember the smell of the driveway and the drive, the morning air with hornets buzzing behind the dew berry bushes. We all have to stop once in a while to gather up these good summer days, no matter how sometimes our hearts can ache. Look around. We are blessed here, even just with this breath.
A Deep Summer Breath by Amber Haines
The summer snapshots are endless. The memories shape us, for better or worse. The stories are told and re-told — if not in words, then in our choices, our insecurites, our loves and our aversions. It’s why I sometimes still hesitate when I put on flip-flops, why Dolly Parton sounds like home, why it feels extravagant to drink Coke from a can.
Learning to Tell Your Summertime Stories by Emily Freeman
Don’t live your vacation on instagram or Facebook. Live it over hot chocolate around a bonfire or on a pack of bicycles or eating ice cream by the pool. LIVE it. Be present for your friends.
Vacation Tips for the Single Ladies by Annie Downs
I know I’ve said it, but I’ll say it again—if Susanna Wesley, 17th century mother of 19 kids, managed to find some rest, we 21st century gals can, too. The story goes that when she’d pull her apron over her head, the kids knew to be quiet. She was getting some alone time to pray. We can, too.
Summer Breaks: Not Just for Kids by Tsh Oxenreider
The list doesn’t have to be long but it should be slightly different than what you normally do, a bit uncomfortable even. Let us come into this brilliant summer with others on our mind and with hearts open to give and to love.
Summer Bucket Lists Aren’t Just for Kids by Sarah Markley
Don’t look at Instagram to judge what makes a good summer memory. Look in your own backyard. Because you WILL see the glory of God in sandy shoes left next to the sandbox and hoses strung across the yard. I have seen it every day and it has made my heart full. No, we won’t be taking a beach vacation this summer. But yes, our summer will be glorious.
Make Glorious Memories by Jessica Turner
What are you looking forward to this summer?
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
Thank you for the summer reading list of favorites. Here’s to a great job of continually providing a safe place of encouragement for your readers!
Oh this- just the reminding my soul was needing!
Thank you, Sarah Markley, for reminding me that putting purpose to my summers requires paths and visions to follow (hello bucket list)
Thank you, Annie Downs, for reminding me that beach-side vacations *are* possible on a budget- and when we’re in community, everything just works out for the better (hello sand-in-my-toes and late night heart-to-hearts)
Thank you, Emily Freeman, for reminding me that stories with the most beauty are often those that seem at the time mundane (hello everyday blessings)
Thank you, Jessica Turner, for reminding me that glory is spontaneous choices that makes your heart feel alive (hello spur-of-the-moment plans)
Thank you, Incourage writers, for the sacrificing you do with your own summer free-time so that you can meet us all here and share from your hearts!
I am hoping to not have any regrets at the end of this summer. Every year I wish I had spent more time outside, went to the drive-in, or invited someone over. When I look over this short list, these 3 things look pretty easy to do. So, I have to ask myself, what is it going to take to make my summer a good one?…determination, motivation and perseverance. This list is where I could use some help. (For those of you who read this, would you mind praying for me?) Thank You!
Margaret Polino Nicholas says
Thanks for sharing. We often have what we call staycation, in the yard. It’s all here, pool,furniture,grill,gazebo,etc. we do try to engage the family to be present.
Beth WIlliams says
We usually have a staycation. I enjoy sleeping in and just doing some fun things with my hubby. We plan a few dates in the week and just enjoy.
This year is special. We celebrate 10 years of marriage. In late August/early fall we will be renting a beach house in N. Myrtle. It will be nice to reconnect and talk over life. Getting away will be good for both of us as I’ve had a busy/crazy year getting my aging father settled into an assisted living and dealing with medication issues.
Thank you In(Courage) for the timely encouragement you bring to our in boxes daily. It has been wonderful being able to express my opinions and vent some here.
I pray everyone has a wonderful summer with family!