Dad used to hum along and try to sing a song that Nat King Cole, Les Paul, and Mary Ford all made famous: “In the Good Old Summertime.” Dad mostly got that refrain down, and he would sing it over and over as he puttered around the house, fixing porches, mowing the yard, and doing little summer tasks. It colored summer accurately:
“There's a time each year
That we always hold dear
Good old summertime
With the birds and the trees'es
And sweet scented breezes
Good old summertime
When your day's work is over
Then you are in clover
And life is one beautiful rhyme
No trouble annoying
Each one is enjoying
The good old summertime”
Of course, summer always has its share, too, of not only sunshiny days, but rainy days, even some thunderstorms—and that not just literal, but also figurative. I pray that your summer is mostly full of the “sweet summer breezes” and being “in clover,” and that you will be able to see good things grow from the times the rains fall.
One way to make certain that happens is to invest in family time during the summer. Here in Northeastern Ohio, we have cooperative weather, great climate, and so much beauty around us. It’s a great time to get out of the house and make some memories with the family. There are apples to pick, so many free places to visit, porches that desperately need someone to just sit on them and talk. There is watermelon to eat and set a new record for seed-spitting, ball games to watch—the little league is as much fun as the pros! There are so many possibilities of things to do—you’ll run out of summer before you can do them all.
But the activities aren’t the main thing. The main thing is developing and deepening relationships with your family. In the relaxed atmosphere available to us in the good old summertime, we can have casual, yet deep conversations, and make memories that will last past our lifetimes. The best investment of your time is to strategically and intentionally plan easy times for the family to hang out together, and just make room for fun, love, and conversation.
Kids grow up and are gone before we know it. Life has funny and sometimes painful twists and turns, and we suddenly are out of time to do the things we’ve been postponing and procrastinating. Slow down and make a couple of memories this week. The day will come when you will be so glad you did. Remember these two words: INTENTIONAL (choose it on purpose), and STRATEGIC (for a significant reason). That’s the only way it will happen.
Two very wise men share some powerful thoughts that if taken seriously will help you change your summer into the great old summertime:
Paul: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,making the most of every opportunity.” Ephesians 5:15-17
Moses: “Teach us to number our days so that our hearts may grow wise.” Psalm 90:12