The List of Summer Essentials

Grab those sunglasses, wave a beach towel in the air, and reach for a lime popsicle from the freezer. It’s summer!

Summertime is one of my favorite seasons here on the blog. I love that our readers get a well-deserved break from school, have more time to dig into God’s Word, and we get to hear from you more in that comment section! (Have we mentioned how much we adore hearing from our readers?)

Isn’t summer a beautiful thing? (Insert all the sunshine emojis right here!)

Here’s something else I love: passing along resources and ideas to help you learn, grow, and thrive! Summer is the perfect opportunity to take a break from calculus, chemistry, and world history and to explore new interests, hobbies, and ideas.

So I’ve got a list of ideas, recommendations, and a special announcement—our Summer Book Club reveal!

You, Your Bible, and Jesus

The very best thing you can do this entire summer is to open your Bible.

And here’s my challenge for us: Let’s believe that God’s Word really is enough (Ps. 19).

It’s not wrong to follow a Bible study plan—we love Bible studies, and there are some truly helpful and Christ-exalting resources out there. (We’ve listed some of our favorites here.)

But lately I’ve been wondering, do we believe we can learn about God just by opening His Word and reading it? Do we need someone else to walk us through Scripture—or can we trust that the Holy Spirit will do the work in our hearts to help us understand, grow, and crave God in the pages of the Bible? (We’ll unpack this more in a future blog post!)

Let’s set aside everything else and open our Bibles. His Word is what we need. He is what we need!

Reading, Listening, Writing

  • Listen to podcasts this summer. I bet many of you are already on the podcast bandwagon, but if you aren’t, here are some solid ones to listen to:
    • Revive Our Hearts, our “big sister” ministry. If you want to know what the Bible says about holiness, surrender, humility, serving others, womanhood, marriage, and motherhood, this podcast will teach you so much! You can download the Revive Our Hearts app to listen to the daily podcast—and our blog posts are right there on the app, too!
    • Set Apart Girl podcast. I appreciate Leslie Ludy’s Christ-centered ministry that calls young women to be set apart, living for the glory of Jesus. Each podcast episode is challenging and encouraging.
  • Grab a pen and start writing this summer.
    • Handwritten notes are my jam. And I think we could all bring back the lost art of encouraging each other through handwritten words. You never know how much someone might need to read your kind words.
    • Get creative! I know we have some truly talented readers who write songs, poems, short stories, blog posts, novels . . . If you are gifted with words, get those creative juices flowing!
    • Write in the margins of your Bible.
    • Take sermon notes.

Ignite Your Prayer Life

Want to get passionate about God and His kingdom this summer? Pray.

Prayer is more powerful than we often recognize (James 5:16; 1 John 5:14–15; James 1:5). Can you imagine what God could do in and us through us if we all got serious about praying this summer?

Start a prayer journal, and let’s get serious about going to the God of the universe in prayer (Heb. 4:16). (I love these $8 She Reads Truth prayer journals!)

Clean Out That Closet

Okay, this idea sounds like the biggest bummer, I know. But I just finished clearing out bags and bags of clothes from my closet—and I am straight up pumped!

The freedom of letting go of things (that don’t really matter anyway) is glorious.

So clean it out. Give away things you no longer need. Bless someone else with them! Simplify. Make room for what matters—and what matters is people and loving Jesus. (Do all my old clothes help me be more effective for the kingdom? Nope!)

Feel the Burn!

Yup, I’m definitely recommending that we get active and start sweating.

Exercise: It’s the thing that makes us feel so guilty when we don’t do it, but it’s also the thing that makes us feel so good when we do.

There’s definitely a future blog post coming about what I’ve learned from exercise in the last two months. But I’ll leave us with this challenge for now. Let’s stop making excuses and start exercising, not to achieve an ideal but because our physical health matters.

Grab those tennis shoes and do something you enjoy—biking, jogging, tabata (my new favorite!), hiking, chasing kiddos at VBS!

Discover What Makes You Tick

Ever wondered why you think the way you do or why you process emotions or complete projects so differently than your friends or siblings? I certainly have.

I can think of a few solid personality tests that have provided valuable insight into my own tendencies, fears, strengths, and thought processes. These tests don’t excuse my sinful tendencies or responses, nor are they meant to put us in a strict personality box. But they help me understand more about myself and my gifts so that I can be more effective for Christ.

16 Personalities is a great—and free—test you can take online. (I’m an ISFJ!)

Join Our Summer Book Club!

It’s time for the big announcement of our 2018 Summer Book Club! Ready?

This summer we are diving into Family: How to Love Yours (And Help Them Like You Back) by a long-time friend of the blog, Jessie Minassian!

Here’s how the study will work:

  • We’re kicking it off in one week, on Monday, June 18.
  • We’ll study one chapter each week—super doable!
  • In every book club post, we’ll get to hear from Jessie in a vlog. (You won’t want to miss these. Jessie is engaging and a great teacher!)
  • And in every single book club post: a book giveaway!
  • We’ll also discuss what we’re learning together.

This study is going to be so good, so challenging, so practical. I cannot wait to dive in with you all!

We’d love to see readers everywhere getting their hands on a copy of Family. (You have a whole week to get one before the study starts!)

But even if you aren’t able to get the book, you can still follow along with us on the blog—and we know you’ll learn a ton!

Let Us Know . . .

  • What would you add to the list of summer ideas and recommendations?
  • Are you planning to join our Family Summer Book Club? Tell us!

Keep Reading!

If you are still looking for more ways to use your summer days wisely, these posts should be right up your alley!

About Author

Samantha loves lazy lake days, strong coffee, and writing about the ways Jesus transforms our everyday messes into beautiful stories. She digs the four seasons in northern Indiana, is probably wearing a Notre Dame crew neck, and serves as the social media manager on the Revive Our Hearts staff.

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