Summertime Sanity – Getting Started!! {repost!}

Sweet readers….let’s travel back in time, shall we?!  My blogging buddy and real-life friend, Frugalissa, is featuring this Blast-From-The-Past series from my blog, Summertime Sanity.  The not-ha-ha-funny part is that I still struggle with these same things.  Every summer.  Frustration with my kids…frayed nerves…little boy boredom….outburst of anger...I was on the brink of tears last night telling Brent that I may need counseling because I am such a mean mommy.  Summer truly pulls my every chain.  Geez Louise.  So…as I am reading my own words from three summer’s past, conviction falls heavy on this already heavy-hearted mommy.  I need Jesus.  I need a better plan. I need more patience.  I need a do-over.

But as my sweet friend said last week, I am so thankful we serve a “Do-Over God”!  Hallelujah.

So grab your Bible, a blank sheet of paper, and let’s get to planning our family’s best Summer yet!

{May 18, 2010}

OK….Confession time.

The thought of summer stresses me out.

In year’s past, I can honestly say summers have been very hard at the Crenshaw’s. I’ve said before that Grant and I can be like college roommates…gone bad. We butt heads and get on each other’s nerves worse that cat-fighting, teenage girls. Then add the “brother” element. Ethan and Grant fought more times last summer than I dare count.

This summer, I have a 22-month-old little Lukey Pookey, which poses logistical problems all on its own. He just can not do what the older boys can. So he cries… and cries… and cries. On any given day you are going to see him standing at the sliding backdoor, nose pressed to the glass, tears down his cheeks, screaming, “Side? Go ow-side?” Pitiful.

Summer: Three months. Twelve weeks. Eighty-four days. Two-thousand and sixteen hours.

How do we maintain sanity?
I refuse to spend another summer in the same turmoil of years past.

I have a mommy crush on a friend of mine named Stacey. She is an incredible wife and mother of four amazing children. Rockin’ awesome family. All of her kids are one or two seasons ahead of mine so when I am with her I suck her dry of all the wisdom she’ll share. We met last week and she shared about her plans for the upcoming summer. She told me of a book called Sanity in the Summertime, by Linda Dillow and Claudia Arp. Stacey said the first summer she applied the book was one of the best summers that her family had ever had.

I ordered it that day.

SO… we are. One week later. Book in hand. {FYI- It is no longer in print. I ordered it off Amazon.}

I am determined to have some Summertime Sanity. Mommies, you with me?

For the next couple of weeks, I will be posting on my progress. I am going to do it by the book. Just to see what all works and doesn’t work. So I’ll know – So you’ll know, too 🙂

Here’s the premise of the book…. Dillow writes that she is ,”convinced that sanity in the summertime could be a reality for parents willing to pray, plan and persevere!” She says to “remember that summers go by quickly.” Before we know it we will be joining her in the empty nest. “Summer traditions, summer memories – ours for keeping, ours for treasuring, ours for sharing, ours for passing down to future generations.” – So good. I want it.

I invite you to join me as I walk through this book. When I publish each post I will label them as Summer Sanity and they will show up in the side bar under “Labels.” There are more copies of the book on Amazon. Order the book if you wish or just poke your head in on my blog. I will be walking through all she has to say.

Here’s my opinion why summer’s are so difficult…..I believe that summertime could be a rich, rich time to invest in our children and shepherd them towards Christ. What an opportunity to deepen our relationships with our children! But remember that ol’ snake, The Enemy? Yeah. The one who comes to steal, kill and destroy? (1 Peter 5:8) Well, he is waiting in my hydrangea bushes right now, I’m sure. Waiting to pounce me. Get behind me you crazy snake.

Here’s a memory for you….there were always garden snakes in the yard at my Grandmother’s when I was little. Mamaw was fearless. She would go to the shed and pull our her garden hoe. She would quietly sneak up behind that snake and *whack* cut off it’s head. She wouldn’t even flinch. Classic Mamaw.

So today I’m walking into the shed and grabbing my garden hoe – the Word. And preparing myself to find that critter and cut him off. He is NOT robbing my family of our blessing this summer. Mama is not having it.

Summertime Sanity – Step #1

Basically, I am going to be planning our summer. The word “plan” evokes all sorts of emotion. I immediately think of all the times I’ve started to “plan” something and failed. All would go as “planned” for a couple of weeks, and then I just quit. (i.e. sticker charts, a new budgeting idea, a new family menu idea, cutting back on caffeine 🙂 etc…). But this is different.

“This book is a step-by-step guideline for mapping out your summer with your children so it can be a time of rich enjoyment and maximum profit. Psychologists tell us that it takes three weeks to feel comfortable with a new habit (or to break an old one) and six weeks to make it a part of your life.” This book suggests that “summertime sanity is not only surviving the summer but developing new ways of relating to and enjoying our children – ways that, if practiced for the whole summer, will also benefit you when school starts again.”

#1. So first, before taking any further steps…..I PRAY. (you, too)

In thinking through this I asked myself questions like….what has been hard in summer’s past? What areas do my kids need prayer? How can I pray for them relationally? What would I love to see happen this summer? What would my ideal summer look like? What are my summertime strongholds? What areas do I, as mom, need to press into? Where do I need refinement? Where do I struggle? Where do my kids struggle? What are my goals for each child? What are our goals for our whole family? Ultimately, what do I want to see the Lord accomplish this summer?

Whew. That sounds like a lot, but I challenge you to ask yourself similar questions. Take it all before the Lord.

Here are some specific things that Brent and I are asking of the Lord:
* For our kids to learn how to honor each other better
* For our kids to enjoy each other more
* To build deeper relationships and closer bonds between each child and child/parent.
* For us all to grow deeper in our relationship to Christ individually and as a family.
* For us to be “present” with our kids – not just with them. There’s a difference.
* To help us lighten up and handle frustration with grace and grains of salt 🙂
* To make memories
* Make each child feel important individually
* To help up create new Crenshaw family traditions
* That I would would have open hands and be willing to change course at the Lord’s prompting. All of this is about Him, anyway.

Can you all think of anything else? What are some areas I’m overlooking?

Let me just say, too, that this is NOT just for stay-at-home moms. Working mommies, you are in on this, too. Dillow gives working mom modifications throughout.

Step Two will be writing objectives for our summer. I will also share how the Crenshaw’s established our family house rules. 🙂 – Stay tuned.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s plan that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 Have your way with our summer, Lord! Let it glorify you!

So…who is with me?

I’m excited!

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