I am leading a camp for teens and adults with disabilities this summer. It has been so much fun! Our weekly theme for the week is self-control. I thought no big deal, I got this. We start the week watching a short video and then talking about what it means. After that we make a poster and cut out examples from magazines. Now I know what self-control means but boy it was hard to think of examples or find pictures of them in magazines. As we were doing this activity with 3 campers, one wasn't talking and just sitting there, one was falling asleep coming off of a weekend, and the other was ready to participate fully. I started to feel my heart beat faster, my teeth clench, and my mind racing with different ideas. As I calmly found some ideas for them to think about I realized I couldn't control all of these campers attitudes and feelings first thing on a summer camp Monday morning.
Now I know you all know what calm is, but have you ever heard of the term "summer calm"? Well now you have I just made it up. Summer is a time for rest, vacation, and rejuvenation. It is also a time when our kids are home for long periods of time and that can also be stressful. Our schedules are usually much looser and not as tight. I felt some of you needed some quick help on how to make summer feel calm.
- Pray- this is crucial. I know it is not a shocker, but quiet time with God is a for sure way to feel peace and His love for you no matter what is going on around you. Prayer sometimes also means just quiet listening to God and not saying anything. It can also mean going to Him with thanksgiving and requests. I love to go to God with what I am grateful for and very quickly I figure out what is important.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
2. Breathe and Breathe Again- It sounds silly and easy but it is important. What I mean is to inhale and exhale slowly. Doing this intentionally helps so much. When we are able to stop and breathe it centers us and helps us to feel calm. Summer brings on many activities and that can feel overwhelming, just take one day at a time.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6
3. Create Mini-Schedules- I know, I know school is out and you don't want to work right? Well, this will really help, I promise. Taking just a little time to create a mini schedule will help everyone to feel more summer calm. You can use a dollar dry erase board to write the schedule for your child or teen and make a check-off area when they complete the task. If they are younger you can even have a reinforcer at the completion of the tasks.
What do you do to feel calm? Are you able to escape in your room to get some rest? Are you the one helping your loved one and don't have much help? Whatever you are doing and whatever your needs are for calm, God is the one who can help you with this. Go back to the first way to get to summer calm—Pray! Go to Him, Trust Him, and Lean on Him. He will guide you and give you what you need to feel His love, and His power.
Patty Myers - www.building-pathways.com