Summer is basically here! *cheers*
BUT! I have a challenge for you today: Don’t waste your summer.
Summer is meant to be a time of relaxation, and that is all wonderful. It’s meant to be a time of refreshment and recreation, so take whatever time for true recreation that you need. But…don’t spend the entire summer browsing blogs, watching YouTube or Netflix, or scrolling through social media.
Here are some ideas for spending your summer in a productive way…
1. Get deep in the Word.
During the school year, no matter how faithful you are with daily devotions, it can be hard to really take the time to do some deep studying of God’s Word. So use your summer for that!
Spend a lot of time on a single verse or chapter, dissecting it and really getting the meaning out. Go in-depth with a specific topic or book of the Bible. Get a journal and write prayers as you go. Try verse mapping. Get books or commentaries to help you; even try some theology books or something a bit more challenging than you are used to!
But whatever else you take from this list, and however you go about it, spend time in the Word over the whole summer.
2. Read some great books.
Of course this one comes to the front of my list of summer plans 🙂
If you’re always complaining that you “don’t have time” to read, then make it a priority over the summer! Make a list and knock out some of the books that you’ve been wanting to read for a long time.
Here’s my tentative list for the summer:
- Finish The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
- The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (don’t worry…this is a reread!)
- Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
- A Place of Quiet Rest
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
- The Divergent series
- The Five Enchanted Roses collection
As you can see, it’s a mix of challenging books and lighter ones. Several of the books on the list will require a significant investment of time and thought. I do have lighter reads, like Narnia, that will give me a break from the harder stuff.
Don’t be afraid to use your summer for books that are not traditionally “summer fluff”. Since you aren’t in school, use your free brain power to read something a little more challenging.
3. Use Duolingo to learn a new language (or two).
You can download the app (super convenient) or use it online if you don’t have a smartphone. I downloaded this app a little while ago and started learning Spanish, and it’s really fun, quick, and hopefully effective although I haven’t been using it long enough to really know.
They offer tons of languages and it’s basically a game, with daily goals and streaks and rewards. If you have the app, then you can literally practice with headphones almost anywhere. It requires little to no thought or time, or you can play it for hours on end. Highly recommended!
4. Spend time with your siblings.
Summer is a great time to build family relationships, since you have less responsibilities and are at home more. Don’t discount the value of spending time to just hang out and laugh together or work on crazy, weird, and ambitious projects.
For more ideas, see my post on 31 Things to Do With Your Siblings.
5. Learn new things with Khan Academy.
Khan Academy is primarily for math practice, which is definitely useful for students who need to brush up on their skills over the summer. But they also have videos on TONS of other subjects: Physics, Chemistry, Health/medicine, Computer science, Art history, US history, and Economics, not to mention standardized test prep, just to name a few.
Imagine if you replaced YouTube with their endless library of videos…how much could you learn in one summer? Just learn about things for the heck of it, without worrying about whether you will ever use the knowledge. Learn about random history or coding or anatomy even if you never plan to be a history teacher or a programmer or a doctor. Spend some time going where your interests take you.
6. Really relax.
Despite everything I’ve said about using your summer productively, don’t be afraid to take some chill time. Sleep in! Watch a movie with your siblings or friends. Read some “fluff” or a magazine. Hang out at the pool. Sit around and play with your dog or chat with your family and literally do nothing. Just be careful that your relaxing activities don’t become time-sucking time-wasters. They should truly refresh you and make you feel relaxed. (See my article on the Sabbath; a lot of what I say there can also apply to summertime.)
Those are just a few ideas for ways to spend your summer productively and enjoyably. There are, of course, many other things you could do: get in shape, learn an instrument, work around the house, pursue basically any hobby you can think of…but hopefully this article sparked your ideas and got you excited to see how you can use your summer for the glory of God!
What do you think? What are your summer plans? How will you rest, recharge, and glorify God this summer? Will you take any ideas off this list? Do you have any to add? Share in the comments!!