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Published on May 29th, 2009 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Don’t Waste Your Summer




Intentional Summer Break

Our friends over at Boundless have a published a great article by Lindsay Talsness encouraging students to be purposeful about their three months of freedom. Whether you’re in college or not, you’ll appreciate Lindsay’s advice on making this summer a time of spiritual growth, accountability, goal-setting, personal outreach, and growing closer to family and friends. Don’t waste your summer!


Intentional Summer Break
Boundless.org – Lindsay Talsness – 05/12/09

I’m sure that nearly all college students would agree they are relieved when finals have ended and the spring semester is over.

No more nights spent staring bleary-eyed at a computer screen until 3 a.m. No more cramming facts into every last square inch of your brain, and no more IM-ing with friends about the virtues of leg warmers the night before a 10-page paper is due, simply because you can’t write another academic word.

Thank goodness for three months of class-free bliss!

It’s a time to go home, spend time with your family, play with your dog/cat/tarantula, and catch up with old friends. To be honest, though, I’ve found that summer break can be a very difficult time as well.

Read the entire article »


Once you have read the article come back here and join the conversation. The discussion questions below are intended to be helpful whether or not you attend college. Choose a few to respond to and let us know what you think.


Some questions for discussion:

  • Do you have a harder time growing spiritually over the summer? Why or why not?
  • What are your plans for this summer? What would it look like for you to glorify God with those plans?
  • Is your summer crazier than you wanted it to be? What lessons might God be teaching you through that?
  • Is your summer quieter than you wanted it to be? What lessons might God be teaching you through that?






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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • Tony Rodriguez

    Cool Post

  • Tony Rodriguez

    I thinks thats is really true.

  • Holly M.

    Good discussion questions.
    For question 3: For as long as I can remember, my summers have been crazier than I wanted because my horrible procrastination would leave me not finishing school until late July. God has taught me (over, and over, and over) the price of procrastination and the importance of diligence. This year I had a much earlier deadline because I was graduating from high school, so suddenly I have a summer open in front of me that I’ve never learned to use.
    Which leads backwards to question 2: What I wanted to do this summer was volunteer to help with the Do Hard Things DC conference, but God shut that door–by the time DHT comes to DC I’ll be well into my first college semester hundreds of miles away. Now I plan to do a lot of reading (highly recommend Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian), and I believe God has put it on my heart to reach out to my elderly immigrant neighbor. Whatever I do, I pray I can do it to God’s glory.

  • Kay Morris

    Question one: I am growing (spiritually) more now than ever before and probably will continue throughout the summer.
    Question two: My family, with the exclusion of a couple of us (me being one), don’t really like to plan things out. So far I don’t have any idea what I’ll be doing. I do plan on a few minisry events, though. I’ll also be driving this summer (yaaaay!!!!), so I’ll be able to do a bit more than before. Like I said in another comment, I’d like to start a ministry for the people in Haiti. Not sure if I’ll be able to launch that this year, though. *sigh*. Unfortunately time waits for no one. I’d better get on it sooner than later.
    Question three: My summers are usually VERY boring. Just like any other part of the year. I have a lot of school to catch up on, too. So I will still have to do some school over the summer. :( *sigh*.
    Question four: Well I kind of just answered this. I don’t really think that God is trying to teach me something by the uneventful summer; I never really experienced one. I do believe that God will reveal many things to me this summer, though. I hope so. 😀
    God bless everyone,
    Kay Morris

  • Kay Morris

    BTW,
    Will the Rebelution ever come to Fl.??? I mean who wouldn’t want to come to Florida for a conference??? Especially during the summer. Tampa and Orlando are really big travel hubs, so there are always tons of people here. Plus, I know probably at least five churches that would love to have you come and speak. I hope one day you do come down here. That may be the only way I ever get to go to one of your conferences. Anyway, I wish you guys luck (actually God’s blessing) this summer.
    Alex, how did your dentist appointment go? Hopefully it went well! :D.
    ~Kay Morris

  • Rachel

    1) I have only just begun to really grow spiritually, so I don’t know if summer will be harder or not.
    2) I hope to have more time to study the Word and exercise. I also want to make an effort to stay in touch with and witness to my friends. I plan to get a job, spend more time with God, and look into the InFusion program that is coming to Kauai.

    My summers are pretty lazy, I want this one to be different.

  • What a timely post! This has really been something I’ve been thinking about the past several weeks. I just finished my first year at The Master’s College (the best Christian college in the world, I think!) and can already tell that it will be hard to stay spiritually vibrant during the summer. It’s hard to replace the chapel messages, small groups, accountability time, church services, and godly friends that I experienced at college.

    As such, I think summer is a time when our true spiritual colors are shown, because who we are when we’re living in a good Christian environment isn’t necessarily who we really are on the inside. I’m trying by God’s grace to make this summer a time of growth and challenges instead of relaxation and time-wasting. I’ve laid out a daily bible reading plan, am keeping accountable in internet activities with a friend from college, and am trying to find two or three solid Christians in my hometown to stay accountable with. It’s been tough so far, though; I’ve felt very nostalgic since coming home and have been tempted to go back to some of the activities I used to enjoy. Not sinful things, but not hard, Christ-centered things either.

  • Wow. Excellent article! I agree with Rachel, my summers tend to be pretty lazy. And since this is my first summer home from college, I will be facing a big challenge going back into the workplace. Ha. Back into the “monotony of a fast-food drive-thru” – I can very much relate to that! But I must see it as another glorious opportunity to magnify Jesus Christ. To be deliberate in living out his gospel, and not comfortable doing the easy thing. Thank you again for sharing this!

  • Emily Guske

    This is definitely a WOW article! in answer to the questions, my summer has turned into something WAY more hectic and busy than i thought it would. Usually my summers consist of catching up on schoolwork (i’m homeschooled) and lazing around the house. But this year i am graduating, going on a missions trip to Peru, receiving a Guide Dog puppy to raise, and preparing for college in the fall! And the funny thing is; everything has been provided for by God. My faith has continued to grow and i believe will do so throughout the summer (especially on the mission trip). So from one recovering procrastinator to all the others out there; God has SO much for us to do this summer! We just have to get up and do it!!!!

  • Daniel Hayes

    Really good article. My summers usually consist of reading lots of books, wondering what else there is to do, and complaining about the heat. However, this summer will probably be the most packed summer I’ve ever had. In late June-early July, I’ll be out west in Arizona for my cousin’s wedding. In August, I’m going to Boy Scout camp. About 2 weeks after that, I’ll be on a local missions trip with my youth group. I hope that God will teach me a lot during this summer. Hopefully more than “heatstroke is survivable.”

  • Holly M.

    Something else I realized reading this article: it had never occurred to me that people going to a Christian college might not have a strong Christian family and church to come home to. I’ve always taken those things for granted, but now I can see what a blessing they are.

  • My summer is going to be crammed full of activities. First, I have pipe organ camp, then a few days later, summer missionary training (with Child Evangelism Fellowship). After I finish the training, I get to go all over my area and tell kids about the Gospel. And I have a lot of Bible material to study. And some school to do. And I did want to complete reading Milton, Spenser, and Homer. Now, to work on having a good attitude all summer…..

  • Alesia

    My name is Alesia.
    I’m 18 years old and I’ve just started reading “Do Hard Things” and I have to tell you, I love it!
    It is one of the best “Teen Christian” books I’ve ever read!
    Most books like that I dont tend to like reading, but I can’t put this book down!
    I love that it’s written by teens, so they know what I’m going through as a teen!
    Keep up to amazing work you guys!
    God is blessing many people (including me) through your work!

    I think these are some really good questions.
    The difinitaly made me think!

    Q:Do you have a harder time growing spiritually over the summer? Why or why not?
    A: I find I do have a harder time. I’m not sure why, but it just seems furing the summer, I seem to drift away from God. I dont want to, and I wish I knew why.
    I’ve been trying very hard, and auctualy managing to read the bible daily.
    I do feel that this summer I am closer to God then any summer before.

    Q: What are your plans for this summer? What would it look like for you to glorify God with those plans?
    A: I really want to become spirtualy closer to God.
    I know he has set a plan out for my life, and I’ve been too lazy in the past years to take that path.
    This year, I’m going to take it and follow the path God wants to lead me down in life.

    Q: Is your summer crazier than you wanted it to be? What lessons might God be teaching you through that?
    A: My summer is WAY crazier then I want it to be.
    I’ve learned alot of hard lessons, but I know through it, I’m becoming closer to God.
    I feel that God is trying to teach me patience, and to rely more on him, and not friends.
    He’ll be there for me, through thick and thin, I can’t always rely on friends to do that.

    Q:Is your summer quieter than you wanted it to be? What lessons might God be teaching you through that?
    A: No, my summer has been very go-go-go.
    Alot has been going on and the number one thing I have on my prayer list, is asking God to sell our house.

  • Suzy

    #1 Do you have a harder time growing spiritually over the summer? Why or why not? No, I do not. Probably because the summer is a time for me to go on missions trips and to camps. The camps that I have been through have drawn me closer to God.

    # What are your plans for this summer? What would it look like for you to glorify God with those plans? Again, I have a mission trip to Mexico and a church camp. This summer I plan to pursue one of my Godly callings, politics.

  • Jarrod Lane

    I don’t know whether or not to call my summer crazy or calm. I have only 1 thing planned and that is to go to Super Wow with my youth group. Other than that my summer will be defined by work, football, and school (and lots of the third part, so I can graduate in December). I think I will struggle as I get farther into it with not spending enough time seeking after God, but I hope that with those I have surrounded myself with, that that won’t happen. My football team is Christian so they will help keep me in line too.
    Thank you guys for this post! It made me think about my summer! God Bless!!!

  • I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Last summer, I had a great time, met a lot of great people, but my focus really got off and I wasn’t the servant of God I should have been. This summer, I want to be different. I’m gonna be working a lot, so I’ll be around people a lot, which can either be terrible or wonderful. I would really like to finally share the Gospel with someone outside of my family. I’ve never done it before. I’ll see the opportunity and then start to second-guess myself. “But what if I make Christians look stupid, because I say something dumb?” Of course, I never worry about that when I’m talking about other stuff.

    I’ve definitely had a hard time growing spiritually in the summer, probably because every other time of the year I’m at home and I hardly go anywhere. But I’m expecting it to be different this year, not necessarily easier, but something. It may help that a friend and I are sponsoring a kid through Children International, and if I tell people about that, it will most likely surprise them and help me feel more comfortable telling them how God led me to do that.

    I don’t think my summer is crazier than I want it to be, though it will be crazy. I’m pretty excited. I like working and I like people. Hopefully, I’ll muster up the courage to share the Gospel–more than once. That’s my goal for this summer.

  • Ellen F.

    Thanks for posting that!
    Even before I read that, I’d been thinking about what I want to “do” with my summer. I’m homeschooled, so I definitely will have to do some school over the break, but one thing that I thought I wanted was a summer job. I hadn’t yet applied at Starbucks or the local grocery store, when a single mom in my church asked if I would be interested in babysitting her kids a few days a week throughout the summer. I’ll earn a little money and be a blessing for her at the same time… I couldn’t have planned it any better myself!

    Also, I plan on helping with my church’s VBS in July, and I’ll help some with Rainbow Express, a VBS-type program that travels to apartment complexes throughout the summer, also.

    I really hope that this can be a summer of purpose for me… I can’t wait to see how God uses me as a covenantal big sister to further His kingdom and bring glory to Himself.

    Ellen

    P.S.
    I think I’ve asked this before, but will ya’ll be speaking in the DFW, TX, area anytime?? My church youth group needs to hear you. :-)

  • Katelyn

    I don’t go to college, but here’s my answers:

    1)I hope to grow more spiritually this summer than in the past.

    2)Read an economic book, finish a cross-stitch project, and go on a mission trip in a week and a half. Would these glorify God? Yeah, I think so. I am reading the book to understand more about my econony.

    3)Nope; I actually like my summers slow.

    4)again, nope.

    Good questions!

  • Alexandria W.

    I have only been out of school for about a week and I have already found that staying close to God is harder in the Summer! At least as far as having devotional times go. I am one of those people that need a structured day to be motivated to do anything. If my Summer is boring, and I don’t have goals or some kind of plan, I just wake up in the morning and I’m able to do whatever I feel like doing, since I don’t have any school work (I’m homeschooled). It frustrates me because then I realize that half the day has already gone by and I STILL haven’t read my Bible or prayed! I find it easier to have devotional time when I have to get up earlier in the morning and I know I have lots to do that day. I guess it’s because I feel like I need Him more then. But I know I need him just as much during the Summer when I don’t have a crazy schedule.
    There is so much potential for students during the Summer, though. There is so much more freedom to grow in your relationship with God and your family because half of the worries in your life (school) are gone. But you have to be willing to really intentionally go after it. For me, it has to be all or nothing.
    This Summer should actually be interesting for me though. I expect this Summer to be more different than any Summer I’ve ever experienced. God has provided me with a wonderful babysitting job for three boys, and just in time for me to be able to drive too! I will be making a good amount of money to save for the future and begin financing my own budget. I think this Summer will be a really good growing-up and maturing time for me. I expect to learn alot. I’m going to be busy all day every day on week days, so it will be fun but challenging. I’m not sure what to expect exactly, and I don’t know what I”m going to learn. But I know God has a plan for me for this Summer greater than I am able to know right now, and I look forward to what He’s going to teach me through it! I pray that I glorify Him! This article was a wonderful reminder, thank you! :)

  • Hannah Peck

    1.) I don’t really think that I do, well, as long as I stay faithful to having a devotional time.

    2.) I have a job, I’ll continue to take music lessons, and I’m going to study Spanish and Arabic. (among doing other things =) and I’m going to one of Summit Ministries’ sessions later this summer.

    3.) my summers are always busy but that’s okay.

  • Elizabeth Kelley

    1) I don’t think it’s harder for me to grow spiritually over the summer. I still see many of the same Christian friends over the summer who I see during school. Bing in high school, I don’t move locations during the summer. So small-groups stay the same, church stays the same, etc.
    2) Plans. Ah yes. Well, I have a book list that I don’t think I physically can finish over the course of three short months, I’m taking biology, finishing Spanish, doing an acting camp, helping at a VBS… yeah. I think the main way to glorify God in these would be to not attempt to do them in my own strength. It’s so easy to get into the mindset where you just plow through your day like a bulldozer, slamming aside “unimportant” things. But I need to stop and ask God what he wants me to do, not look at my own agenda.
    3) Crazy? No. Academic? Yeah. The lesson there would be to not put off my work, so that I have to do the course over the summer. :-)

    Thanks for posting this! It’s a good reminder. Ad majorem Dei gloriam.

  • Amber Lynn

    wow. that was a great article.
    question: » Is your summer crazier than you wanted it to be? What lessons might God be teaching you through that?
    answer: yes! it always has been. all of my trips and events take place throughout the summer and i seem never to have time to myself. I think that first of all God is teaching my to never, ever, let my children be as busy as i am. I also think that maybe God is teaching me to be very, very patient with others. i do tend to get frusterated as my family/friends/random classmates in highschool who do stupid stuff. Those are my lessons from busy summers.

  • Rachel

    1) In some summers I grow more spiritually than in others. I’ve gone on a week-long mission trip with my youth group since 8th grade, so that helps with the spiritual drought.
    2) I have quite a lot planned for the summer: I’ll be going on vacation with my family and on a mission trip to Montana (I can’t wait!) with my youth group. While I’m at home, I’ll be working, trying to get scholarships, applying at colleges, etc. I’ll definitely keep busy. I suppose a good way to glorify God would be to not get caught up in all the things I have to get done and trust that everything will turn out all right when I don’t get everything done. I have a tendency to trust myself instead of God.

    Thanks so much for this post! It really got me thinking.

  • Bennett S.

    1. Do you have a harder time growing spiritually over the summer? Why or why not?

    I used to, I would say, because I would not spend my time very wisely–playing video games or whatever. But I have begun to savor and long for God much more, and my time with Him has become crucial to me. Though I expect it to be a struggle, I plan on reading many books over the summer–and many will be by John Piper :D. (They’re free on his website, http://www.desiringGod.org/ResourceLibrary/OnlineBooks/ByTitle/ . And that’s good for me, because I love reading his books!)

    2. What are your plans for this summer? What would it look like for you to glorify God with those plans?

    Oh, and I guess that answers question 2. But, to be specific on the second part, I will be re-reading “Don’t Waste Your Life” (John Piper) and will be helping with discussions in the Cafe. The other books I read will, I know from experience, inflame my heart into enjoying God’s presence. As I learn more and more to love God most, love for others must follow, and therefore it will. I think one way that God will call me to do this specifically would be speaking in youth group.

    Now, I have a somewhat related question for anyone who reads this (including Alex/Brett). I know this is a long post, but please take the time to read it:

    Would you be willing to spend some time reading through the excellent book, “Don’t Waste Your Life,” with us in the Cafe in the Rebelution forums? (Discussion starts on June 15.) I think that this would help fulfill the several points that Lindsay Talsness mentioned in her article:

    (1) It would be a specific study of many Bible passages, not a random hodgepodge from day to day of unrelated texts (though certainly even that would be better than nothing).

    (2) It will certainly keep us accountable, for we will be talking with real people and will be sharpening each other throughout the summer (though I would advise against this being your only form of accountability).

    (3) Since we will be reading based upon a schedule, you will have a goal to meet–finishing an excellent book with great discussions. But, I am not sure when exactly discussions will end; it may extend past the summer. A goal will be in mind nonetheless.

    (4) and (5) Reaching out to Christian friends and family members would probably not be directly related to this study–though perhaps there will be non-Christians posting on the threads. But, the book will hopefully impact your life to such a degree that personal outreach/evangelism will be a result, along with a love for one’s siblings, parents, relatives, etc.

    (6) Since we’ll be pursuing having the best discussions possible, and since that is possible only if God blesses them, I would certainly hope that we would be immersed in prayer during these discussions, asking for God’s blessing. Beyond that, all five of the previous points ought to have an amazing impact on one’s prayer, just as one’s prayer should deeply affect these points. And this book will help you to want to pray more.

    So this is my challenge for you for one dimension of a well-spent summer. This book–which I have read once already and am very excited to read again–is one of the best books I have read in my life. Don’t waste your life!–don’t waste your summer! What a perfect fit.

    I do not know how many will see this, but, if you do, I hope that you will seriously consider what I have said.

    In Christ,
    Bennett S.

  • Great article…even better suggestions!

    In response to your questions:

    I am going away to serve as a counselor at a Christian camp this summer. Away from home and all familiarity for 2 months is exciting, but also a whole new experience that will probably leave me homesick at times. I am really looking forward to how God will use this summer. I’m looking forward to meeting new godly friends. I’m sure this summer will be crazier than I imagine, but I’m looking forward to honoring God even when I may wish I could sleep in or just take a break from the craziness of camp life. I think summer is actually easier for me to draw closer to God. Probably because I commute to school, so the only thing I miss spiritually at school is the Christian club, but otherwise I still have my church, caregroup, same friends, etc. This summer may be even easier to stay focused on God because I’ll be primarily with Christians all week, developing close friendships. Not to mention, learning about God through group devotions and all that stuff. As for the last question, if my summer has any quiet moments, I will gladly thank God for those moments, knowing they’ll be rare until I return in August.

  • Taylor Rae

    1. Do you have a harder time growing spiritually over the summer? Why or why not?

    •I have only recently started to be really serious about my spiritual life, and I am not quite sure how Summer will affect it.

    3.Is your summer crazier than you wanted it to be? What lessons might God be teaching you through that?

    •Actually, my summer is a little hectic so far. With studying for the Bible Bee, pool parties, friends’ birthdays, my birthday, co-authorings, writing, visitors…I don’t remember ever having so many things to do in summer.

    •The Bible Bee is a great way to get to know God a little more, and spend time with Him. I just need to remember I’m studying to glorify Him, not to gain for myself. I believe that by using all this activity and studying for the Bible Bee is God’s way of helping me incorporate “alone time” with Him into my schedule….I’m sorry, let me rephrase that. I believe that God is using all this activity to help work out a schedule that will fit my spiritual needs yet also, give me time to fellowship with my friends and family so that we may help each other to grow in Christ.

    Wonderful post guys. I pray you continue to use your abilities to praise Him!

    Be blessed,
    Taylor

  • Zach Gunier

    The one thing that I find most fascinating & either completely captivating or deadly is time. You have so much of it! Whether you are in high school or college you most likey willl get the summer off of school and you will have a lot of choices to make. In that I find it both difficult and simple to glorify God & growing closer to him. So do I ultimately grow closer to God over the summer or not?
    Overall? Yes. Because of all the time I tend to venture off in both directions of right & wrong unfortunately but as the summer progresses I see the faults in those sins and run towards my Father. Which causes me to become more & more invested in the Holy Spirt which is positively wonderful.
    I feel a passion to serve & search out Jesus more in the summer than any other time because I believe it is SUCH a great opportunity for Him to come alive in our lives and for us to grow with Him.

    Bottom line?: Embrace your summer by studying the Word of God and delighting yourself in Him! :]

  • First thing: Cool post. I really like what Lyndsay Talsness wrote.

    Second thing: I’m not exactly sure how to respond to the questions above. 😛 Summer is actually ending for us in the Philippines. It’s almost time for us to head back to research papers and long lectures once more. BUT, I can say that I praise God that this summer was a very fruitful one. I honestly can’t remember what summers were like before I entered college. I was homeschooled, and we stretched the school year the whole year round, taking a break whenever we felt like it (ahh, the blessedness of studying at home!–you plan your own vacations). 😛

    My two summers since I started college were pretty fun though, and fulfilling at the same time. My first summer, I got to volunteer for two weeks at a Bible school. At first, I couldn’t really see the why in that. I mean, how it would help me, other than keeping me from bumming around the house. Later, I realized how God used it to help me when college began again. I learned a lot during that summer experience that I applied later in a Bible course.

    This summer was, yes, crazy. Crazier than I expected it to be. But I wouldn’t trade a million peaceful summers for this one because God revealed a lot of things. First, He is powerful and in control. Even if my days were messed up with so many activities and events, God put each event into place and made all things happen beautifully in His time. The second lesson I learned was how to manage time and how to choose what is important over what is urgent. I also learned to have relax (not the lazy way of relaxing, but the “trusting” way :D) and let God shape things according to His perfect will. :)

    Enjoy your summer, guys! 😀 God bless!

  • I am not a college student, but here are my answers anyway ; )

    #1 I think that I grow more in my faith during the summer. It depends on what I spend my time doing, but missions trips are good ways to give your life a spiritual boost.

    #2 This summer I am definitely going to be doing hard things for the glory of God. I am spending a month away from my family at a Christian dance program. (This is hard because I have never been away from home by myself!) I will also be working on starting a nonprofit organization to fight abortion. To get involved go to http://www.theirvoice13914.blogspot.com! I am sure you can see the “hardness” in this endeavor!

    #3 My summers are always crazy, with relaxing time in between. God has taught me something in every summer, and even more as I look back on them!

    Thanks Guys, Have a great summer!

  • I also just wanted to ask if the Rebelutionary ever comes to Canada?
    I’d love to go to it if it does!

    Thanks for such an amazing book!
    You’ve inspired me to start my own blog, and just by writting down my thoughts and writting about my relationship with God, I already feel close to him!

    God Bless!

  • Sarah Beth

    For question number one: I got saved three years ago, and I have steadily grown in my relationship with Christ. However, this year I am trying to make that my focus. I don’t know if any of you have read Eric and Leslie Ludy’s books, but they are excellent. They have challenged me to really try even harder to grow in my relationship with my Savior.

    Question two: My plans for this summer include going to Colorado for Eric and Leslie Ludy’s conference, babysit, move from Illinois to North Carolina, decide for certain if I am going to be homeschooled next year or go to school, read alot, and the list goes on and on and on. Even with all this my priority will be to deepen my relationship with Christ. It is going to be a crazy summer, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Queston three: I’ve always had busy summers; I can’t think of one that hasn’t been busy. Is God trying to teach me something through this? I know he has taught me a ton every summer. I can’t wait to see whatHe will teach me this year.

    Question four: I’ve never had a “slow” summer. I like to be busy though.

    By the way, do you guys plan to come to Western North Carolina any time soon. It would be a great place to do a conference.

  • Becca

    Question 1: Normally I do because our youth group takes a break over the summer because of everyone going on vacation. But this year we are starting a bible study over the summer so I don’t think it will be as spritually dry. Also, I often slack off about going to church when summer comes, but I have an accountability partner for that this year.

    Question 2: I will be working. By being a respectful employee, I can honor God. Also, I’m taking summer school because I really struggled in calculus and want to have a solid ground in that class so I will have the chance to minister to my peers.

    Question 3: It always is, but I like being busy.

  • kiley h.

    #1 God has blessed me with an AMAZING youth group that continues through the summer; however, i have recently been struggling with making the choice to open my bible each day-i LOVED the idea about going through a ‘too busy during school to enjoy’ devotional over the summer-i’m going to start a book called ‘stoked’ by danny lehmann!

    #2 I’m going on a missions’ trip to mexico, training with my dad to become a better athlete, helping in two vacation bible schools (these have always been my favorite part of the summer!), participating in my youth group’s summer camp, going to a soccer camp, and flying to a do hard things conference with my dad! :)

    #3 I absolutely LOVE being busy so i am so excited for my summer! I believe God will be growing me in the areas of contentment, patience, and trust. For the few weeks when i am not doing anything, i will work on being content with just hanging with my family and taking the time to rest, spend more time in my bible, and pray. I’ll need to work on being patient and understanding with the people i’ll be working/traveling with-and i’ll need to work on trusting God for all the unknown little details that still need to be worked out for the upcoming trips i’ll be going on…

    Thanks so much for the uplifting article-i loved it!

    -kiley

  • Sarah Handley

    Hey guys!
    Thanks for the chance to seriously evalute what I’m going to do with my summer. I know that if I don’t consciously plan anything, the summer is gone before I know it.

    1. It’s easier for me to grow spiritually over the summer, because I feel I have more time to spend with God. I don’t have to get up at five-thirty to have quiet time with Him in the summer, which makes it easier to do.

    2. This summer, all I have set in stone is teen leadership camp, learning more Spanish, and working for college tuition. I’m still praying about other options, and trying to jump into a ministry at church.
    I can glorify God through how I interact with my customers at work, going beyond what’s expected to show God’s love.

    3. My summer is quieter than I want it to be, though I know this will give me more time to get ready for my freshman year in college. I’m disappointed that I won’t be going on a mission’s trip this summer, but God is probably going to show me how I can minister to those around me every day. I’m excited about that.

    Thanks again for the thought-provoking article!
    -Sarah

  • Dave

    1. Do I have a harder time growing spiritually over the summer? Why or Why not?
    Honestly, yes i do have a harder time growing over the summer. Why I have a hard time may be kinda vague to me but, I think it might be because of the busy summer schedule, or the fact that I feel just plain lazy in the summer. The difference about this summer though is that my youth group is going on in through the summer and hopefully that and applying the tips in the article will help me to grow like never before.

  • yet another Grace…

    The Bible Camp I have attended for the last four years has provided me with a quiet retreat during which to seek God’s face! As I am struggling a lot spiritually (how easy it is to let my trust break over free will, election, God’s goodness, etc!) I’m hoping that somehow this summer can be the breaking point into a better relationship with God.
    I was looking into some kind of ministry opportunity this summer, but nothing has come up. Perhaps I’m not ready, for the reasons stated above. Being a very active person who loves opportunities and trying new things, this is very hard for me.

    Busy, but with the right stuff?
    With Driver’s Ed 3 times a week, Ballroom dancing once a week, horses, writing heavily, finishing Biology, Geometry, and Spanish, my summer is looking very busy. Not to mention Summer camp (maybe) and volunteering at VBS. I feel things getting packed, but I just keep adding more, because I’m addicted to spending time with PEOPLE. Perhaps if I attended Public School I’d be sick of other kids by now.
    Do any of you Homeschoolers feel that way too? That you just want to be with more young adults more often?

    Altogether I feel directionless- though excited for some neat lessons and the fellowship they bring. I do know that I will try to earnestly seek the Lord. BTW, I’ve read Beautiful Girlhood, Dear Princess, Talks for Girls, la dee da, all those books so much that I feel if any one mentions a good devotional for “strengthening my femininity” I’m going to scream!
    I want to care less about whether I’m filling my proper roll and more about investing in God’s word. Any good devotional recommendations? Something that will give me a good road map for what to read in scripture this summer?
    As mentioned earlier,
    I also envisioned for myself a lot of ministry action- but maybe God’s timing isn’t NOW. I find myselfgoing to SC for NCFCA Nats rather than Mexico to build houses. I just need someone to tell me I’m doing enough- or show me what to do.

  • Christa

    This a great article. I’m not a full time college student but I’m a home schooled student and I’ve been taking a few classes the last two semesters at a Bible College. I’m graduating from High School this week. I definitely agree with this article. It’s easier to stay close to God in an environment like a Bible College. When you lose that environment and have to be totally self motivated towards learning without the encouragement of so many other Christian people it gets way harder to grow.
    I am going to have to find something to do this summer besides work or I’m going to go crazy out of boredom.

  • Josiah

    Nice, that is so true.

    I am doing Homeschool during the whole summer, which I am excited for, not only do I get to finish school faster, but I also have to stay home and stay away from all of the worldly places.

    I do normaly get bored though, I need to find a summer job, but it is very hard to find (even a little job) for a 14 yeard old where I live.
    If you have any suggestions please tell me!

    Josiah

  • On my first day of summer, my great-grandmother past away. We packed up and headed for Michigan (we live in Arizona). My family had a whole weekend planned that morning we were going to a movie. We were going to celebrate my mom’s birthday, but God through us a “curve ball.” I did not know what to expect or what to think,but because of her death my dad got to preach the gospel to everyone at the funeral. We got to see all God is doing in Chelsea, Michigan. I believe God is teaching me that He is in control, and that He will rule no wether it fits into our schedule or not. God will work all things together for good according to His purpose to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

  • Well, my plans for the summer. Im going to do school through the summer that way I can graduate high-school in December. I hope that me doing this glorifies God. Im finding out that I dont have the moxy to do this on my own. So I hope that when people look at what Im doing they see God’s hand in it all. My summer has most assuredly been crazier than any other summer, and its only been summer for one day. The thing that God IS trying to get across my thick head is to just give it to Him. Last summer was the without a doubt the most spiritual growth I have ever experienced. But ove the past few months I have let things slip in that lured my focus away from God. At times I find myself viewing Him as a means to an end. So without a doubt God WILL teach me something this summer. Either “I told you, all you had to do was submit” or ” If you are going to be stupid, you better be tough ” Great article it caused me to think about, or I should say rethink my summer plans. Thank you guys very much!

  • Camille

    Hey Grace, I am a homeschooler. so I can sort of relate. We (my family) never really did the “homeschool group” stuff, so, besides church, my brother and I didn’t really “socialize” that much! I LOVE the Bible Study Youth Group thing I go to, but it doesn’t continue over the summer which makes me very sad. :( I am going to a summer camp that my Bible Study is putting on! (I go to Precept) We are also learning Latin over the summer (blah) which takes up a lot of our time. So directionless is kind of a good description for me too right now! I started but never finished Beautiful Girlhood. I’m trying to study a book in the Bible over the summer, may I suggest that as a devotional? :)

    Bennett: I think that’s a really cool idea! I’ve never done a forum thing before, and I’m not sure if a can. But I thought about what you said and I think it’s pretty great! Best of luck (and God’s blessings!)

    Camille

  • Victoria Houser

    Oklahoma. We won’t be back home until June 27.

    At first I was really mad about be dragged along on this trip and spending a month of my life in a car with nine other people when I could be out DOING things. But God had a much bigger plan for this trip than I thought. I realized that I didn’t really, truly love my family. This wasn’t glorifying God at all, but I kept it on the back burner. It was easy to forget about it when I was at home doing school or going to open gym, or Right now I am on a vacation with my family. We’re driving down to Georgia and we’re currently in track practices.

    I’ve also been doing a lot of reading on this trip and right now I’m about halfway through The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. This book has really opened my eyes to spiritual warfare. Because of this, I’ve realized that my not loving my family not only displeases God, but it actually makes satan happy!

    My main goal for this trip is to genuinely love my family the way God wants me to!

    Tory

  • Mikayla

    Question #3: My summer is way crazier than I wanted it to be. Everything I’m doing I’m absolutely loving–voice lessons, guitar lessons, piano lessons, exercising, community service, etc–but it’s just alot more than I’m used to. I’m used to sleeping in until 11am, going to the pool everday, and on the unfortunate event that I can’t, reading, writing, sleeping, or surfing the Net. But this year is going to be very different, especially considering I’m going to get up at 7am almost every morning to exercise.

    Also, my school year was crazy. I was loaded up with way too much work on top of all my recreational activities, leaving me exhausted and often discouraged at the end of the day because I still had more work to do. When I got done with school, I expected my summer to be like what I just explained above, but now that I’m headed into it I’m realizing that’s not going to happen.

    I guess God is just reminding me that even though school’s over, I still need to rest in Him regardless of my schedule. And now that I’ve learned the value of time, He’s shown me how to use it better than just reading, writing, sleeping, surfing the Net, and going to the pool. Instead, He’s taught me to have a devotion at a set time each day, help out with the endless chores around the house, play games with my little brother, and read books that help me in my spiritual growth.

    Ephesians 5:15-17, “Look carefully, then, how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

    I want to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel, even through the summer, and make the best use of my time. And I want to depend on God every single day of that wonderful, school-free summer.

  • Lindsey Weist

    Whoa…whoa. That’s just so awesome how this article pops up answering my questions right when I started asking them to myself. My summer just started today, and I was thinking about how I’ve got nothing deliberately planned out concerning growing in my spiritual relationship with God. I want to actually do something this year, and all the years following, and never waste another minute.

    question 1: I look back and realize that during summers in the past I haven’t even been trying to grow spiritually. I guess I only thought of it as a break from life. And now I think, how the heck did I even survive doing absolutely nothing for three months straight? And then the more saddening thought: What could I have done? How much closer could I have grown to God? And how might I (more accurately: how might God working through me) have affected other people’s lives, or helped them? Just how many opportunities did I lose?

    question 2: I’m determined not to waste this summer–or the rest of my life, for that matter. I’ll find ways to help where I can, like extra chores and such, maybe find some volunteer work, and make a point of tearing through the barriers of my uncomfortably small comfort zone. I don’t have anything big lined out in particular, but I figure God will direct me where he wants me to go. If not now, then when I’m ready. I’ll be overjoyed to follow.

    I want to stay focused on growing closer to God, so that I can feel His passion and do His good work. I’m not expecting anything definite as of now, but God has a nice way of acting when I don’t expect it and, usually, when I need it the most. =]

  • Lindsey Weist

    I just remembered another thing I want to get into this summer. I’ve been a major slacker when it comes to reading Scripture, and I’m starting to get annoyed with myself for it. I plan to set aside time every day to read and study the Word, and to pray more as well.

  • Elizabeth

    This summer is going to be very different for me. This summer I am going to be getting up as early as 5:00 am to be at work at 6:00am. And then working long days. Also I am going to be participating in two Bible Studys, going to church twice a week (that’s normal), taking piano lessons, going to camp, going to tennis camps, memorizing scripture for the Bible Bee, and many other things. Oh and getting ready for my new sister! So no slacking on my part! Which will be difficult because summer is supposed to be a time to kick-back and relax! But I realize I still need to be having my time with God and growing with Him.

  • Kellie L.

    Wow! Good questions! Thought provoking.

    Question 1:
    Generally, yes, i have a harder time focusing on God during the summer because my routine is thrown off, but once I get that all straightened out, I’m usually back on track and where I should be – growing – with God.

    Question 2:
    My plan for this summer is to start up a new branch of children’s ministry at my church called the Lord’s Army. I did it when I was young, it promotes memorization and gives the kids something to work towards. Kindof like Awanas, only (my opinion) better. Right now I’m praying that God will give me someone to work with me in this ministry- i can’t do it alone.

    As i do this, i can name several people off the top of my head who will accuse me of doing this for the wrong reasons. To bring glory to myself and not God, but i am resolved not to listen to them any longer.

    Question 3:
    Well, I’m in Texas, so my summer feels like its already started with the hot weather lately and my new farmers tan, and yes! It has been crazy!! But i think He’s teaching me to lean on Him in these situations, and that His grace IS sufficient for me.

    Question 4:
    My summer is a little quieter than i want it to be because i have several friends who are preparing to leave this fall for either college or mission trips. I’m going to miss them so much!!! But here again He whispers in my ear- “Kellie, am I enough for you?” This is the question that i must answer each day. Without my friends to talk to, I have the oppurtunity to lavish a little more time and effort on my Very Best Friend, Who sticks closer than a brother.

  • Well, I think that clears up a couple of issues for me personally. How about anybody else?

  • Sounds awesome! I just came back from mexico last week and find myself addicted to these incredible enchilada recipes now!! Must go back next year sometime, I suppose, and this time head off the beaten road a little. Looking to reading more!

  • voice lessons that also teaches proper breathing is the best, breathing and singing always go hand in hand _

  • Your blog doesn’t render properly on my droid – you might want to try and repair that

  • 1898620 brewskies over the wall membrane.

  • Spring Packham

    I knew it! Melo just wanted to be on TV. The man has West Baltimore tatted on him, he isn’t coming “home.” Baltimore is his home.

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