The slow pace. The sun. The vacations. The cocktails on the patio and the hamburgers on the grill.
Yep. Teachers have to do schoolwork over the summer. I know, right? Of course, every teaching situation is different, so I can only speak for myself, but I spend roughly 20 hours a week preparing for the upcoming school year. And I’m not complaining—promise!—I’m just establishing a little background for you so that this post makes sense. I really love my job and choose to devote that time to school . . .
. . . however, it kind of wrecks my summer schedule.
I always have a list of things I want to do over the summer. This year’s looks a little something like this:
1. set up Influence Network profile and become more involved in Influence groups
2. unpack, get settled, and start curating items we love to make our new home inviting, cozy, and functional
3. find a good devotional for the summer and stick to it
4. keep one plant alive*
* Yep, just one. I’m a firm believer in setting low expectations for myself in the gardening department.
Did you catch #3 on that list? The one about the devotional? This is not the first time it’s made it onto my list.
In fact, that tends to be what I’m most excited about every summer.
It also tends to be what I end up not doing.
This year—mark my words, gentle reader—this year will be different. I will absolutely stick to a devotional all summer. Waking up and spending time in the Word makes the biggest difference in my life. I feel calmer, more prepared, closer to the Lord. I’m able to shine His light and treat other with grace so much more easily. I actually feel like a channel of His peace.
And yet I don’t stick to a devotional? What, exactly, is wrong with me?
Luckily, I’ve identified the problem. I am a morning person, and because I want to devote my best efforts and deepest focus to my schoolwork, I tend to start my day with it, starting in on the reading and planning as I finish the last few sips of my tea.
I always plan to do the devotional right after, but it’s usually close to lunchtime, or the mail comes, or I get excited about picking up where I left off with a craft the day before—always something that involves leaving my desk and doing something other than reading—and so I never get back to the devotional.
Not this year, folks. Not this year.
I ordered the Give Me Jesus journal from Life Lived Beautifully. I opted for the 40 day version because that’s about how many weekdays I have off during the summer (but it leaves a little room for grace days). My plan is to start each day with this devotional and journaling instead of schoolwork so that I can focus. I’m only a few days in, but I’m sticking to it and loving starting the day this way.
After my devotional time, I turn my attention to what I need to do for school. I know I’ll have enough time for both, and I think I approach schoolwork in a better frame of mind than I would without devotional time.
One of my favorite things about the Give Me Jesus journal is that it leaves lots of room for making the devotional what you want it to be. There are quotes and verses on every page, and you could certainly use those as your guide, but you can also set your own verses. If you’ve been wanting to study the gospels in depth or just focus on Paul’s letters or if you’re participating in the She Reads Truth Women in the Word study, you can use this same journal as the place where you record your thoughts and prayers. Pretty neat, right?
Tomorrow, I’ll share a bit more about what Bible study I’m working on this summer. I’m so excited about it!
What are you studying and praying about this summer?