by Emily Lopez
Take a very deep breath . . . inhale . . . and exhale.
We have survived May and it’s worth a moment of silence! We have acknowledged the end of the school year with everything from kindergarten commendations to college graduations. We’ve celebrated a long season of preparation for key sacraments with first Communions and confirmations.
Spring is marked with a flurry of excitement that leaves us counting the days until June.
As we head into summer, as our schedules change and our attentions shift, we have an opportunity to establish (or re-establish) some key connections in our life. Every change in our lives offers us a chance to redefine our goals and reset our priorities.
This summer, I encourage you to take the opportunity to reset, to plan with a priority on strengthening your connection with God, your family and your community.
It is tempting to fill the empty spaces in our summer schedule with a different type of busy. We want to be movers and shakers that get stuff done, plowing through our to-do list!
Maybe we’re looking forward to taking our busyness on the road, planning that action-packed vacation with all the bells and whistles. We might be interested in using our busyness to tackle that house project that has needed our unbridled energy to finish.
However ambitious our endeavors might be, I encourage you to also plan times to connect. Look for gaps in your schedule that can be reserved for non-busy engagements — a weekly family movie or an evening dedicated to eucharistic adoration.
If you’re juggling a number of work and family schedules, have a conversation about finding a mutual weekly commitment for everyone. Maybe it’s a Wednesday evening walk? Or a Saturday morning pancake breakfast?
It’s also important to encourage each individual to schedule time for connecting with God. What opportunities exist to grow in our prayer life? Can we dive deeper into Scripture or seek a quiet place for interior reflection? How are we prioritizing time with God in our daily schedules?
Finally, how is God calling us to more deeply connect with our community? Maybe your community shares your refrigerator and driveway. If you have college students or young adults in your life seeking genuine community, have them check out the activities and gatherings offered through our young adult communities.
As this beautiful weather entices us out of our houses, maybe there’s a new neighbor or someone you feel pulled toward engaging in conversation. If you’re new to an area, how are you initiating conversations and/or building community?
No doubt you’ve already penciled in a number of fun activities, camps and vacations.
But also schedule times for connection . . . and write them in pen.
As we shift into summer, let’s limit our busyness and plan moments of encounter with God and others.