On Target

"Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18a).

What plans have you made for your children this summer? During our first years of homeschooling, I made the mistake of failing to plan activities for our family. Tired of schedules and organizing throughout the school year, I wanted to take each day just as it came. Although this idealistic thought of allowing my children to play and explore on their own worked initially, I soon found them bored and looking for things to do. Coming to me for suggestions, I realized that even in summer, they needed a purpose and a plan for each day. Frittering away the summer was simply not going to do, and I needed to stay in tune with God's plan for their lives.

Wasting time is never wise in living the Christian life either. Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about sitting back and letting life pass you by. Rather, the apostle Paul repeatedly addresses the need to discipline ourselves to achieve our utmost for God's highest. Buffeting our bodies and taking on the mind of Christ, we are to live each day wholly committed to doing the Lord's will. In fact, God commands us to present ourselves as living sacrifices that He might use us for His glory — no matter what time or day of the year (Romans 12:1).

What about you? Do you think you've earned time off from serving the Lord? Until the Lord returns, God expects you to be about His business each day using the gifts and talents He's given you. Don't be like the lazy slave in the parable of the talents who hid his talent in the ground (Matthew 25:14-30). Instead, come to the Lord each morning in prayer and discover God's purpose to keep your life hitting the mark. "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

Lord, forgive me for being lazy in my walk with You and ignoring Your plan. I recommit my life to You today to use for Your glory. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(14 comments)


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LAUREL S 06/15/2009 14:32:42

This is a very sweet post. My issue is that a lot of families overschedule the summer, but my children do have something to do on most days, and then we also have things like our "Summer Bridge" workbooks to do. Idle time doesn't happen very often at my house.

DAWN K 06/15/2010 04:41:47

Thank you for this devotion. I am a new homeschooling mom. I agree that we need to have a plan for our children daily. There are always opportunities to learn. We school year round with breaks that work with my husbands schedule. Since he is in the military we always have different opportunities for vacations and field trips. I am so excited about this new adventure we are on.

Stephanie W 06/15/2010 19:37:25

Loved reading the devotion. I think a plan helps children a great deal. It has been proven by child psychologists that order helps learning. Why waist any summer. I like doing the Montessori Great Lessons over the summer. The kids have so much fun. It helps them put order to what they are learning.

JESSICA C 06/15/2011 04:10:42

While I love your devotion I have to disagree with today. Everyone needs a vacation, and kids will eventullu rebell when put under too much presure. I think hidden learning oppurtunities and field trips are a much better use if the summer. We only take 2 months off and then another month off between thanksgiving and new years but that free time is just that. Also I solved the " I'm bored" problem. When someone says that they get to pick out of the "I'm bored bucket". Cloth for doing baseboards old toothbrush for doing toilets..... You get the idea. Also one final thought I never saw the servant in the parable as lazy, more scared and unsure what to do. Don't we all bury our "talent" in the ground sometimes.......Thank you for your daily encouragement and for making me think!

SUSAN H 06/15/2011 04:11:50

We plan short review of difficult concepts and daily reading during summer, so that our children can reinforce the learning that has occurred and then to be able to appreciate and make use of their free time. We take daily walks outside in the woods. This has been kind of nice after a year on the road living in a 40 foot RV and four children ages 4 to 15. We have had a great year of learning, traveling, and refocusing. Over planning doesn't allow for the child to learn to make use of his/her free time and be creative. Our 15 year old, unable to bring her harp, taught herself to play piano using u tube (unsure of the spelling) tutorials. Our 9 year old has learned to make jewelry with beads. Our twin 4 year olds have become much more independent in their choices and their need for parental input. Remember to put the child in childhood.

HEATHER M 06/15/2011 04:56:23

I noticed the comment made last year, and I just wanted to post a word of warning. Please be careful of using the Montessori Great Lessons. I guess I should say, "Please, do not use these lessons at all." They are full of evolution and false teachings.

PAULA K 06/15/2011 05:47:59

I agree my kids need some kind of focus to the summer. I don't think it should be overly scheduled and regimented, but without it, they are drawn to TV, video games and couch potato-ing! We are working on our Keepers of the Faith activities this summer as we are too busy during the school year to work on it much. (It teaches girls how to become Proverbs 31 women and covers topics like sewing, swimming, baking, canning, camping, Scripture memory, scrapbooking, hiking, etc.) We can cover it at whatever pace we like and choose what we want to do. We also take a daily trip outdoors for exercise and fun! We also enjoy watching movies in our down time :) LOVE THESE DEVOTIONS!

SUSAN M 06/15/2011 06:33:07

This is a great reminder. We've taken a few weeks off for general summer things and then b.ball camp but I do plan to have my children work on their two "weakest" subjects. (According to the Standardized Test they took in the Spring.) Just two a day should be enough strengthening to keep them on pace in the fall. I need to plan to start that next week!

JOANNA T 06/15/2011 06:48:52

While I agree that children (my homeschooler is now 14 years old) should never stop learning, I LOVE the bigger point that we all (children and adults) should never relax in serving God. We don't need summer breaks or vacation, because God gives us new strength each day! What a Blessing!

SHERI O 06/15/2011 09:35:14

I enjoyed reading this. I am having the boredom issue now with my oldest. I am encouraged from the mothers above and what they wrote.

KATHY S 06/15/2012 08:02:49

I agree that we should never stop our work or projects, ministering for the Lord. But, I think that every child is different. Not everychild is bored without having something to do every minute of the day. I try suggesting different little outings with my son, and he prefers to be at home. Now, my guess is that because my son has\" Aspergere\'s\" he does things a little different than other children. I know he see\'s things a little differently. He\'s extremley well behaved, is happy just to spend time with a freind coming over once in a while, loves to play his computor and viedo games, and is able to communicate through the headphones with other children playing the same games. Don\'t panic, I\'m never out of \"Earshot\". Actually the 2 children he plays with online are from otrher countries, one of them is also homeschooled. Which, I felt God placed there for him. If we have more than a few errands to run in one day during the summer, he gets overwelhmed. So, we try and schedule the minimum amount of appointments, errands, in one days time. We joined a health club before I had my accident in March, and heart surgery thereafter, We were going there to exercise, which he liked, because we were doing the exercising together. Now that I can walk, I keep offering to take him there to exercise,but, he doesn\'t wan\'t to go unless I can exercise with him. Unfortunatley I have 3 months of Cardiac Rehab to do too. So, I will continue toi keep asking about the health club, because I do wan\'t him to get exercise, but with his special needs, \"pushing\" him is the absolute worst thing you can do ( I was advised this by his Doctor). So Jesus, we won\'t slack off on prayer or ministering when the opportunity is presented, but, you know our situation here. I hope that I am doing the right thing for my child\'s specific needs. If not please show me and make it really, really, clear what else we should be doing. Amen.

TERESA S 06/15/2012 10:53:41

Kathy, If your child is happy and learning something new ( at home) occassionally, you are doing the right thing. Usually a mother knows better than anyone else what is best for her kids. I would like to do more learning with my kids in the summer, but my husband balks at the mere mention of it. I am holding firm to reading some every day, and maybe I can squeeze in some summer \"bridge\" learning without any fussing. My kids are never bored (we live on a farm), well, at least the youngest isn\'t. They say the \"b\" word and I give them chores. This is why I am never bored. Between work, housework, and reading , plus animals, I have plenty to do. Summer time is a good time to de thorough cleaning of rooms (includes the girls). Back to Kathy - it sounds like you need summer just to physically recuperate!!! You are very wise to find playmates for your son - even on the computer. God bless you and your son.

KATHY S 06/15/2012 11:34:16

Thank you so much Teresa. I can\'t describe to you how much I needed affirmation of our daily lifestyle right now. And I am exhausted. Hopefully by the fall, I\'ll feel better. And my son does tell me that he is so very happy, almost daily. So, I truly do feel better. Thank you again! May God Bless you and your family as well!!

JESSICA NESBITT 06/17/2013 13:43:39

This post was such confirmation for me. The last week was very unplanned and a week of relaxation (sort of). However, my kids were starting to go bananas. So, over the weekend I came up with a summer routine. It does include some reading time and a short time of drilling math facts, and I did this because I don't want them to lose ground on what we accomplished last school year come Fall. I mostly want the routine to serve as a way to honor God by starting each day with purpose, and not letting the days slide by, wishing we had been more attentive. Blessing to everyone for a fantastic summer!

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