Don't Waste Your Summer: Snapshot

During the busy summer season, we’re taking some time to look at some ways we can strive to use our summers intentionally, for the glory of God and the good of others.

Here’s what we’ve covered thus far:


We’ve discussed some ways to be intentional with our summers and to use our vacations well. The days are getting shorter again, and such times call for honest reflection on how well we’ve stewarded our summer thus far.

As we think these things through, don't be discouraged if things don't seem to be going very well. Remember what Jesus has done, and that His perfectly submitted and stewarded life has been credited to you in His life, death, burial, and resurrection. Because of His work in us, we can course-correct if needed, celebrate the wins, and keep going.

Here’s how to evaluate your plans and tweak them as needed.

One practical and over-arching idea before we get started: write things down. I hate writing things down. But I never regret doing it. At the very least, it helps me process what happened. If you choose to do so on paper, you can always throw it away. If you do so digitally, you can always delete it. But the discipline of processing externally always helps.

1. Talk about your plans with someone else.

This is particularly applicable to families. Make it a habit to “debrief” your vacations, trips, and events. 

If you can, talk with someone else about things that you think went well with the event, and things that you didn’t think wen’t so well. If you’re married, talk about how well you connected as a couple and with others

Now, you probably don’t want to debrief your trip to the grocery store to pick up zucchini. But If you undertake to build relationships, discuss what happened on the drive or walk home, listen actively, and make notes if needed.

Then, you’re better equipped to make plans that build relationships in the future.

2. Know Yourself

This may shock you: People are different. 

Earth-shattering news, right? But it’s easy to forget. We so easily compare ourselves to others and the plans they make, then expect to be able to keep up whether we’re able or not.

But you should know how you get energy, and how you lose it. To which kinds of activities do you naturally incline? Do you get energy by being with people, or by being by yourself? Then, evaluate your summer plans with your inclinations and limitations in mind.

Now, the kinds of things you like to do may not be the ones you frequently undertake. For example, I love backpacking. There is a clarity of mind that comes with being out in the woods with my wife, forcing myself up a steep incline to make camp atop a ridge or in a forest. It’s also exhausting, physically and mentally, and takes me away from other responsibilities for a weekend. So, I probably shouldn’t get out every weekend, even if my responsibilities are taken care of.

As you do this, recognize that God created you with limitations, and He did so with divine wisdom. If you and I could do everything we set out to do in our own power, we would be blinded to our spiritual need.

3. Be Honest

It’s not too late to say “No” or “Yes” to some things. Some of us have made ourselves so busy that we’ve missed opportunities to be intentional. On the other hand, some of us have passed by great opportunities to build relationships because we’re not busy enough.

As we look back on our summers, be honest with yourself about where you’ve failed and succeeded, and repent and change as needed. Remember that Jesus stewarded His life perfectly for our inability to do so.