The Many Seasons of a Woman’s Life

Just as the earth has seasons in the same way women have various seasons of life. As women, we are constantly moving in and out of season whether it’s physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

Sometimes we graciously flow into one season and at other times we are dragged into it. The many changes like family, career, relationships, church, community and our body all impact us. Even the phases our children go through seem to leave an impression on our lives.

No matter what challenges we are faced with in this season let’s remember that we may not have it all together, but we know the One who does.
God is always at work.
Nothing is wasted with God.

Let’s invite God into each season of our life.
As you read this blog post I want you to consider this question–What season does God have you in at this stage of your life?

Things to Remember in the Four Seasons

Have you noticed how God speaks a lot about “process” in the Bible? The word “process” is not necessarily used but people and situations being in “process” are constantly talked about in scripture.

When we look at Hebrews 11 the “Faith Hall of Fame” each one of those people mentioned Enoch, Rahab, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses; every single one of them was in process.

  • God values “process”. So one thing we can take away from the many seasons we will encounter in our life is how much God values this thing we often fight called “process”.
  • In nature, the fall season of harvesting doesn’t happen overnight. We need the tedious work of pruning, weeding, and sometimes even replanting that happens in the summer. The hope of life that we see bud forth in spring as the earth is awakened is only possible because of Winter.
    The lovely thing about our Heavenly Father is that He is walking with us in the darkness and the light. Jesus Immanuel means “God with us.”
  • He doesn’t expect us to reach the point of completion while we are here on earth. We live in this tension where we possess every spiritual blessing in Christ on this side of heaven, but we will not yet experience the fulness of it. He uses our brokenness, failures, challenges, all as a part of our faith process. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
  • God also doesn’t expect us to be in a season that He has not called us to. So you can stop comparing your season to someone else’s season of life.
  • God knows that death and darkness are inseparable and are a vital part of the process for life.
    So you may find yourself knee-deep in a season of darkness and it may feel like you’re being buried, but maybe, just maybe, you’re actually being planted.

Are you in the season of spring, summer, fall or winter? Whatever season we find ourselves in let’s remember to embrace the season God has us in right now. In order to do that we need to remind our wandering heart who our God is and who we belong to.

Here’s what some of these seasons may look like:

  • Spring Season – “Hope of life” is what I call this season. It’s a seed planting season when we see signs of life shoot forth from the dark soil. It’s a time we discover God’s delight after a dark winter season. It’s a time when God is planting new seeds in our hearts. I see this stage as similar to what I do with my kids when I want to plant seeds of faith in their hearts. I teach, share, model, remind them of whatever faith principle I want them to recall, walk-in, and fall in love with. Sometimes God reminds me of His truth by crossing my path with a person, or through a sermon, a song, a scripture passage.
  • Summer Season – It’s also a time of hard work that involves watering, pruning, weeding, and sometimes even replanting. It’s a lovely time to play but it must be balanced in order to enjoy the bounty of fall.
    In this season we learn lessons in obedience, service, and preparation that may involve painful trials or change. This growth season maybe those moments when the faith lessons have clicked and we are walking in them or when we fail and we are learning from our mistakes.
  • Fall Season – is what I call the Harvest Season- The season of reaping the bountiful harvest. This is a time when we get to enjoy the blessings of God’s work in our life and our faithful service. It’s a time of reaping the benefits of our hard work in the summer. It can be a child who is finally cleaning his room. Maybe you walked him through this monotonous routine for what felt like a 100X but now she’s doing it on her own. Maybe the bounty you get to enjoy is in your ministry, career, marriage, or healing relationships.
    Here in this season, we may be faced with a different challenge of not becoming complacent because of our blessings.
  • Winter season – This is a challenging season in our life when we find ourselves asking, “Why God?” When we may find life to be overwhelming and filled with darkness that threatens to devour us. It can be a move, job change, rebellious children, health issues, relationship issues.

No matter what challenges we are faced with in this season let’s remember that we may not have it all together, but we know the One who does. We get to call Him our Abba, El Roi, Almighty, Provider, Redeemer and Waymaker.

He has made everything beautiful in His time! Will you trust Him?

You can download this beautiful verse and print it off by subscribing here: ecclesiastes13_11 Printable

Influence In Every Season

I want to leave you with this encouragement — Ask God to open your eyes so that you may see the influence He has given you in this season of life that you’re in.

He did not call you out of darkness for nothing!

In 1 Peter 2:9 it says, “You are a chosen people… God’s special possession, so that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into the light.”

Sometimes we get confused and we think this “influence” is for when we have it all together, in 5 years, when we have more time, we get a bigger platform or promotion, when we lose weight or the never-ending excuse of “when the kids get older”.

It’s not! Your influence is for right here where God has placed you.

In my book that I recently published called “Proverbs 31 in 5 Minutes a Day,” I dig deep into the Proverbs 31 passage. As I look at the passage I see a woman who uses her influence because she knows who she belongs to.

In the various seasons our Heavenly takes us through hold on to the fact that God is walking with you, alongside of you.

God is always at work!

Nothing is ever wasted with God.

As we look at Ecclesiastes 13:11 we are reminded that “He has made all things beautiful in His time.”
There’s a God-given purpose our Heavenly Father has invited us all to as His children and that is to glorify Him in everything we do. You may remember it from the Westminster Catechism “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
That’s why you and I no matter what we do have–influence. Not because we are famous or have some high powered job, but because we are made in His image and we have been adopted into His family therefore giving us influence.

So what are you waiting for? God has already given you a purpose as His child and He has already given you influence right here where he has placed you.

Praying For Your Children From Head to Toe

For years my subconscious mode of operation was–It’s all up to me!

I’m not sure where I came up with that idea but it was leaving me exhausted and unhappy.

Well, I’m happy to report that this is NOT how God designed motherhood for us to go at it alone. We are not meant to carry the burden and weight of the souls, lives, emotions, actions, heart and words of our children. Yes, we are to train them, guide them, love them and coach them through life but it is God who does the heart work.

God has been teaching me this lesson over and over again in my 16 years of motherhood that I don’t need to save or fix my children. My mama bear heart wants to save them from hurt, pain, challenges, bullies but I also know that God can use that pain to strengthen them, redeem them and draw them close to Him. My mama heart wants to “fix” their weaknesses but I also know that in their weakness His power is made perfect.

God didn’t make me a mother so I could fix or save my children but to love them, guide them and pray for them.

So today I want to focus on the honor and responsibility we get as mothers–to pray for our children.

Praying For Your Children From Head to Toe

You can download this printable by clicking—-> Praying for your child from Head to toe but the longer version is below.

We are going to pray for our children from “Head to Toe”.

Pray for Their Mind:  Lord, I pray that you would help ___ catch every thought and make it obedient to you. Help ___ not be conformed to this world but that __ would let you transform ___ into a new person by changing the way ___ thinks so he can discern what is good, acceptable and your will. (Romans 12:2, 2 Cor. 10:5)

Pray for their Eyes: I ask that you’d give __ eyes to see the wonders and goodness of who you are in and around him. Help ___ really see people for who they are and respect them. Give ___ the ability to turn his eyes away from evil and focus them on you.

Pray for their Ears: Heavenly Father, There are so many voices out there that want to influence our children but ___ tune those out so ___ can hear your voice above all of them. Help ___ discern evil from good and choose truth in the midst of it all.

Pray for their Mouth: Lord may ___ words be pleasing to you; filled with truth, gratitude and kindness so that others may see You through ___. Remind ___ to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. (James 1:19)

Pray for their Hands: Lord, May they use their hands to work hard and may they be willing to serve those in need. Let the beauty of the Lord be upon them, and establish the work of their hands. (Psalms 90:17)

Pray for their Feet: Let ___ throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let ___ run with perseverance the race, fixing __ eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2) May ___ walk with the wise and not the foolish. Give ___ the courage to stand fast and to remove those stumbling blocks from ___ path.

Pray for their Heart: Heavenly Father, May ___ desire to be in your presence above all else, draw ___ close to you. May ___ trust you with all ___ heart and not rely in __ own understanding but in all his ways acknowledge you. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Teach ___ to hide your word in __ heart.

This school year may look different for your children but we can still pray that the Lord will work in them and through them in a might way.

 

How To Break Negative Thought Patterns for Kids and Adults

The act of pausing and stopping to see what you’re thinking is on its own monumental. I’ll share below some tools to help you break the negative thought patterns that spiral you down. I’ve taught these to my kids and I definitely use it myself.

You see the enemy would love to keep us unaware of our thoughts that are wreaking havoc in our hearts and minds. You are probably familiar with those thoughts. You know the ones that keep you feeling defeated, overwhelmed, not enough, too much, alone, abandoned, unseen, bitter, angry… ”

So I want to challenge us as moms and women to say to ourselves or to the devil– Not today!

I love all things that have to do with studying the brain and our thoughts. For awhile I was speaking to women whenever I had a chance to share at either MOTS groups, as a retreat speaker, and on my blog.

****I do want to mention that as a mental health coach and family life coach I always encourage people to seek out a Christian counselor if they are struggling beyond their own ability to cope. There was a time in my life when nothing I was doing was helping me. As a counselor, I knew all of the things to do and I tried to self-counsel but quickly I realized what I was doing wasn’t helping and I needed outside help. So I found a Christian counselor who helped me beyond I could ever imagine. There is something beautiful in having someone hear your story with the only intent to help you heal. Please be brave and find a professional Christian counselor if you’re needing help. It’s worth it! You’re worth it!****

What resources are out there?

So I started by digging for resources on how to help our kids with their thought patterns and I couldn’t find much. There was lots of material for adults and especially women but not kids. Well I did find material either focused on pornography for teen boys and low self-image for teen girls.

I was recently telling a friend that one of these days I will write a book to help kids & teens on how to stop the downward thought cycle. To help our kids become more aware of what they’re thinking. That’s is not happening anytime soon so for now I’ll stick to writing on my blog about my research and experience in this area.

Early this summer I found the “Get Out of Your Head” Bible Study by Jennie Allen which is really for adults but I decided to use it for our family. It’s not a kid study so my husband and I have been tweaking each lesson and skipping lots of things so it’s understandable to 9-16-year-old boys.

Easy Enough For Kids to Learn

I took the material I have taught to women at MOPS and I came up with the 3 C’s to explain to my kids what I’ve been telling them for years. This catchy 3 C’s is simple and easy to remember in the midst of a downward spiral moment.

  • Catch it!
  • Check it!
  • Change it!

One of the things I loved that Jennie Allen emphasizes in her book is the idea that “We always have a choice.” This is what’s been on our kitchen chalkboard most of the summer.

So here’s an example of a downward spiral:

  • Trigger
    You’re faced with a trigger situation. Let’s say you saw on social media that all of your friends are together enjoying coffee and you weren’t invited. This may trigger negative thought patterns like: I can’t believe they went out without inviting me. Ugh, of course, they invited her and not me. I must not be fun because I never get invited. I’m so lame and boring nobody likes me. I knew she was mad at me. I bet she purposely excluded me just to get me mad.
  • Affects Feelings & Thoughts:
    Some thoughts that might arise are: resentment, jealousy, self-doubt, fortune-telling, negativity, bitterness, anger, and hurt.
    Here’s the thing, I discovered several years ago as I read a book by Caroline Leaf called Switch on Your Brain. These thoughts that enter our brain don’t just come and go, they actually grow. They are dendrites in our brains that keeps getting bigger the more we feed them.
  • Impacts Your Actions:
    All of this that is going on internally affects you externally. It impacts your actions and behaviors. You may see it with heightened anxiety, worry, outward anger but if you’re good at bottling it all up it may come out through physical ailments.
    So If I’m feeling angry and hurt this may play out by you huffing and puffing around the house. Maybe when you see one of those friends you ignore them. Or you write an angry email to those friends accusing them of… Again if you’re a peacemaker kind of person or don’t like conflict you may shrug it aside but if it’s still bothering you, you might find yourself being in a bad mood all day, you might get a headache or stomach ache, or possibly neck pain.

Triggering Situation—> Affects Feelings & Thoughts—-> Impacts Your Actions—Consequences

  • Consequences:
    Let’s not forget about those good old “Consequences”. There are always positive or negative consequences to our actions. Remember you always have a choice. Nobody made you do anything. So if you choose to focus on your jealousy and bitterness you’ll ignore your friends when you see them. Then they’ll think you’re mad at them and they really won’t want to hang out with you. Only creating more isolation.

The 3 C’s to Help Break the Negative Thinking Pattern

Listen closely! We can break this negative thinking pattern! We do not need to respond as victims. We have been given victory in Jesus and only through Him will we find the inner healing our hearts need. We can do lots of behavior control and make ourselves think positive thoughts but that internal heart change only happens through leaning into Christ. (Please read my *** paragraph above if you’re struggling with circumstances beyond your own coping abilities.)

Let’s dive into the 3 C’s to interrupt and stop the downward thought spiral that leaves us with consequences like further isolation, bitterness, anxiety or worry.

Catch it!

The process of becoming aware of what is going on in your head is what we have named–“Catch it!” Once you find yourself triggered. You can catch that thought or feeling by asking yourself what am I thinking about? What am I feeling? What happened that triggered these thoughts and feelings. It may take some processing because remember you’ve had your brain on cruise control and learning how to shift gears will take some practice.  Start by reminding yourself–It doesn’t have to be this way. I have a choice.

I was just telling my boys this morning: The enemy would love nothing more than to keep us unaware of what our thoughts are dwelling on. So we must learn to start thinking about, what we are thinking about.”

God’s word reminds us to take every thought captive to Christ so we don’t let the thought linger just a little bit, we don’t let them in when they come knocking at our door.

We catch those thoughts and say, “Not today Satan!”

You can download this FREE printable by going HERE!

Check it!

So catching our thoughts is monumental but checking them and changing them is life-changing.

In this step, we are taking it to the next level. The checking part involves asking yourself some questions. Is this true? What are the facts about this situation? What does God say about this?

You can use Philippians 4:8 as a checklist. It’s a great verse that our family has been memorizing this verse over the summer.

Is it true? Honorable? Right? Pure? Lovely? Admirable? If anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about these things

I constantly have to ask my kids this question as they blurt out in anger or frustration, “He’s always mean to me!”

Once they are calm, don’t try this in the heat of the moment, ask your child, “Is what you said true? You said, ‘He’s always mean to me.’ It’s fine to be upset and hurt but it’s also important that you’re telling yourself the truth in the midst of those moments.” Or once you’ve done this enough you can simply use code words. With your child come up with a code word to remind them in the midst of the spiraling to come back to truth. Maybe something like–Is it true? Truth sets you free. Focus on facts…

In this step, I try to remind myself and my kids that I can go to God with ALL of my BIG feelings. I don’t have to fake it or make it all better before I go to God. I can say to God, “I am so angry because my brother is so mean to me.” Or “I feel so hurt and mad that my friends went out and they didn’t invite me.”

We are not attempting to stuff our feelings!  Stuffing thoughts may sound like this: “It’s fine I didn’t want to go anyways. It doesn’t matter. I shouldn’t feel angry they didn’t invite me instead I should be happy for them.” All of that might be true but it’s okay to acknowledge the hurt, pain or other feelings to God and let Him guide you. So in this step, we are coming alongside our feelings with the truth, we are not stuffing the feelings.

It will definitely involve calling yourself out and asking yourself some hard questions. Sometimes we can’t do that for ourselves. If we struggle with a victim mentality or any of the patterns below you may not be able to check yourself. You’ll need to ask an honest and grounded friend to help you by saying, “Am I only seeing the negative? Is this a fact or a lie? Am I engaging in fortune-telling?

Here are some common negative thought patterns that you can start becoming more aware of as you “Check it!”. I will share a full post on this in the future but for now, here are a few:

  • All or nothing thinking– Something is either all good or all bad. A complete success or failure. It’s either perfect or a complete failure.
  • Fortune-telling thinking– Jumping to conclusions. Assuming the worst will happen without all the facts.
  • Catastrophizing or Disaster thinking– Thinking this is the worst thing ever, the end of the world.

Change it!

Often we are tempted to go straight to this final step and then we are disappointed when it doesn’t work. We immediately quote a verse but then discover that we are still in the same place. It’s important that we start with Catch it! and Check it! first, before we go into Change it! This will allow you to become more aware of what you’re thinking.

Now there are times when you need to immediately go to change it because you find that your mind is quickly spiraling down. In a situation like this just backtrack to help you process how you got there. It takes time to think through and identify what triggered this or to process whether you’re falling back into “Disaster thinking” but it makes a difference in helping your brain not to continue going down the same thought patterns.

Let’s discuss “Change it!” I’m learning that “change it!” doesn’t ONLY mean behavior change but it’s heart change. Sometimes I like to convince myself behavior change is enough. In the midst of the behavior change, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to do the deep heart change that only His healing hand can do. In “Change it!” it is helpful to focus on the facts, not the “what if’s” or lies. It’s a shift in my thinking. Depending on the severity of the situation it may take some hard work to shake it off and shift our thinking.

  • Ways to Change it!:
    Focus on the facts not the what if’s or lies.
  • Change the negativity to positive.
  • Start naming somethings you’re thankful for in this situation if you can’t then think about other things you’re thankful for.
  • Sing or dance! Put on some praise music or fun music.
  • Open God’s word and read a passage to fill your mind with truth.
  • Recite a verse.
  • Ask yourself: What is a more helpful thought? What is another possibility?
  • I love that in the book of Lamentations Jeremiah reminds us of this “Change it!” step. He says in the midst of his troubling time– “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” So what is it that he calls to mind? In the next verses, he answers that question by saying that He focuses on God’s love, compassion, His mercy, faithfulness, God’s goodness, and provision.

Well, I hoped by now you’ve come to the realization that this whole process is one big constant prayer continuously going before God asking Him to help you Catch it! Check it! & Change it!.

Print out the above printable and place it on your fridge or different places throughout your house to remind you of the 3 C’s and God’s word. You can download it HERE.

Please note: If you are struggling with debilitating anxiety or worry these things I’ve outlined here may help you but you will need to seek other support like a professional Christian counselor and medicine if needed.

Next week I’ll share the How To Stop Negative Thought Patterns (Back to School Version for Parents).

An Amazing Tip to Teach Your Kids How to Handle Conflict & Sibling Rivalry

If you have more than one child in your house you’re probably very familiar with sibling rivalry. No matter how peaceful or smoothly your children play it’s important we teach them healthy conflict resolution.

Some years ago I shared with you our Talk It Out method that we use in our home regularly to help with the conflict between our children.  Recently I decided to condense it in a more catchy way so our kids can memorize it.

Let them Talk It Out

You may have a child who has big emotions and struggles with expressing their emotions in a healthy way or another child who avoids conflict at all cost and he would rather pretend everything is fine. Our simple conflict resolution tool will help children and adults of all ages but we must let them as parents learn to talk it out.

Notice we are not simply just saying “Work it out yourselves!” but we are actually giving them tools to talk it out with our “Talk It Out” method below.

Our Talk It Out method has worked wonderfully in our home for several years. It has also helped my children navigate conflict outside our home. I’ve even had teachers tell me that my children were helping other kids navigate conflict. It made me so happy because conflict is a part of our life no matter how friendly we are. You can see the original “Talk It Out” method HERE.

Even though it has worked wonderfully it did take some time from us as parents with being consistent and not taking on the role of “referee” but allowing them instead to talk things out. This was very hard for me at the beginning but it was worth working through it. With practice and modeling, we’ve become good at it.

Our rule of thumb is if you can’t ignore it or walk away from it then you need to talk it out. They must try those three things before we get involved as parents. The caveat would be that violence and damaging something requires the help of an adult immediately. You may need to tweak this rule of thumb to fit with your kid’s personalities. If you have a child who would rather ignore conflict or walk away from it to avoid conflict then you’ll probably not include the beginning part of our rule of thumb.

An Amazing Tip to Teach Your Kids How to Handle Conflict & Sibling Rivalry

Have you heard of “I” Statements? Basically “I” statements help you address conflict by letting someone know how you felt instead of accusing them. Our temptation is to go straight to a vague accusation –You are so mean.

I truly believe “I” statements are helpful for people of all ages. Because as you know conflict doesn’t end when we get older. Practicing healthy conflict resolution at home with the people you love is a great place to begin.

The one thing we do for simple conflict resolution is we have both children use “I” messages. So “I” messages always start with “I” because you’re sharing how you feel as a result of someone’s actions or lack of. This helps the other person not feel attacked because you are sharing how you feel not coming at them with an accusation. Then the person you’re talking to shares their “I” message that is slightly different and ends with asking for forgiveness. Children do not automatically know how to apologize so it’s important that we teach them this just as we would teach them to say “thank you” and “please”.

  • The child that is upset will say:
    I feel…
    When you…
    I would like for you to…
  • The other child responds with:
    I heard you say that you feel …
    When I…
    I apologize for …. Will you forgive me?

Here’s an example of what it would look like if one child took a toy from another child.

The child that is upset starts by saying:

I feel really mad when you took my truck without asking. I would like for you to ask me before you use my toys.

The other child responds with:

I heard you say that you feel mad when I took your truck without asking. I apologize for taking your truck and hurting your feelings. Will you forgive me?

You can download this printable for free HERE—-> Talk it Out!!

Modeling and Practicing Conflict Resolution

Our kids need lots of modeling and guidance when you first start using “Talk It Out” especially if you have children who are used to stuffing everything and pretending they are okay or your exploders who are enraged at the drop of a pin.

Talk it Out is pretty simple but these are foundational steps in conflict resolution 101.

I have also used it as well in our home when I find myself feeling irritated but not sure what is happening. This encourages my children to use it as they see me modeling it and it truly does help me when I verbalize, label, and feel heard.

You will also need to walk them through the process the first month or so but before you know it they’ll be doing it all on their own. We have them face each other before they “Talk it Out”.

What happens when the other person doesn’t change?

It’s a good reminder for your kids to know that “I” statements are not magical. In the real world, the reality is the other person may choose not to acknowledge your feelings much less apologize. Just because you used an “I” statement doesn’t mean things will turn out as you wanted.

This is why it’s important to practice this at home where it’s a safe place and to remind our children we choose healthy conflict resolution for ourselves.

Regardless of how the other person responds or if it changes our situation we engage in healthy conflict resolution for our own well-being. It helps us become empowered and self-aware when we can label what is happening within us and to proactively share our needs. And not to mention it’s a peaceful way to move towards conflict resolution.

 

 

Summer Schedule & Check-In To Bring A Little Structure to Your Home

Summer snuck up on us and I wasn’t quite ready. I felt like I was just trying to stay above water with COVID schooling so once summer rolled around I did absolutely nothing. So here’s our Summer schedule for kids & check-in to bring a little structure to your home.

I love structure but I can’t handle rigid schedules so I usually come up with a few things I want my kids to include in their day with lots of options.

As you can see above I’ve divided them up into morning routine, spirit, mind and body. We want them to begin setting faith habits so we have “Grow in Spirit”. We do this in the morning because that is what works best for us but find what works for you. We’ve done family devotionals where we are all studying the same thing and we’ve also done it where they can choose one of the options in that section as they wish but we are all doing it at the same time for accountability.

The “Grow Your Mind” will help get some learning in a relaxed way. My kids love reading so I’m hoping to expand their activities in this section beyond reading. If you don’t have a library card make sure to look at your closest public library they are a great resource for books. We also go to yard sales and stock up on books.

The “Growing Your Body” section is set up to encourage them to get outdoors. My kids play outside a lot but there are days where I have to make them go outside. I know some parts of the country are really hot but I still highly encourage you to find a time that’s relatively “cooler” for your child to be outside because the outdoors really helps them emotionally and physically.

Then I’ve added a “Heart Check-In” to help us practice using our words not just expressing our feelings. It’s great for us to get a feel for how each child is doing. We have found to be amazingly helpful for my child who struggles to tell us what is going on before he has a complete meltdown.

The Secret to Follow Through

My secret to having your kids follow-through is to sandwich these tasks in between their favorite activity of the day. For my kids, it’s screen time. If it’s not done then there is no screen time.

The morning routine and “growing in spirit” are things we want them to complete before their 10 a.m. screen time that lasts for 30 minutes. Then they have the rest of the afternoon to play and do their mind and body activities. Those need to be done before 4 p.m. which is their afternoon 30 minute screen time.

This works wonders! But it will only work if you follow through otherwise they’ll know you will let them get screen time even if they haven’t completed their daily tasks. There are days that we are gone all day so obviously we take that into consideration and shorten the requirements.

I know how easy it is for me to get involved with my projects and before I know it there morning screen time has turned into 2 hours so set a timer on your phone or on your Alexa. If they are using an ipad or Kindle you can also set time restrictions within their device. During summertime, we extend their screentime they get 1 hour of screen time per day during the week and 1.5 hours per day during the weekend. It may not seem like a lot and they’ll complain but I’ll be the first to tell you it’s so worth it. I love finding them reading and being creative. It’s amazing how creative they get when they have the time to explore, discover, create, learn, and just be.

You can download this printable for free here—>summer schedule
I use this one with a bit more details in our home—>summer schedule HOME

What we do with ours is I laminated the printable or you can put it in a paper protector sleeve. I have them use a dry erase marker so it can be reused daily. It’s based on an honor system but sometimes I do have to check up on them to make sure they are actually doing it.

On the weekends we are much more flexible. Though we are talking about and engaging our mind, faith, heart and body we aren’t using this form but they are expected to do the morning routine all 7 days.

Have fun, rest, be flexible, set up routines and faith habits and make sure you have some family playtime this summer!