I think sometimes the dog days of summer are almost as difficult to deal with as a mom as the freezing cold, snowy days of winter. At least in the winter, we have school to take up part of the day.
When it gets this hot and humid, the girls don't want to go outside and even the pool is not an option when the sun is high in the sky. This fair-skinned family gets burnt way too quickly to hit the pool before late afternoon. That leaves some long days to fill.
Some days, my inclination is to turn on the TV or Wii and let the kids watch or play. Other days, we work together on some project around the house. By this time in the summer, we're all starting to get tired of spending every waking moment together. The girls are tired of each other and me, and, to be honest, I have days when I'm tired of them.
These are the moments when we need to shake things up with our kids. It's easy to get in a rut during the hot days of summer. It's tempting to simply let teachable moments with your kids slip by because it takes effort.
This is the time of year when I need a renewed sense of purpose. I need to beat those mid-summer blues that keep me from being an effective mom to my kids.
God doesn't want us to just go through the motions. He wants us to be on fire for Him. Revelaton 3:15-16 says "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth."
I want to have a hot heart for God, yet here, in the midst of the hottest days of the summer, I find myself lukewarm. Stymied by the demands of everything in my life, I give up my time with God, and I pass on opportunities to share His love and wisdom with my kids.
If you find yourself in a similar spot, try something different. I find that shaking up our schedule and our focus will often shake me out of my funk.
- Make a new plan. Spend some time thinking about the things you want to concentrate on with your children. What character qualities do you want to focus on with them? What do you want them to know about God? Then, find a fun, creative way to share those things with them. I often find when I'm planning something for my kids, God uses that time to speak to me, too.
- Re-examine the schedule. If you're having trouble finding time to spend with God on a regular basis, then try a new time. See if there are moments in your day that you can reclaim to spend with God. You may need to rearrange a few things and reset some expectations in your household, but if you're not finding time to be filled up by God, you won't have much to pass on to your children.
- Get out of the house and look for everyday opportunities to share God with your kids. Whether its a trip to the pool, the mall, the zoo, an amusement park or a local play space, there are plenty of opportunities to share God's perspective on life with your kids. You can talk about the water of life at the pool, God's provision at the mall, creation at the zoo, fear at the amusement park and abundant life at your local play space.
- Hook up with some friends. Sometimes our frustration with our children, and their frustration with each other simply comes from spending too much time together. Adding some other children (and a mom for you to talk with) adds some perspective to your entire family's life. It adds some new adventure and excitement to the day and leaves you feeling refreshed.