5 Steps to Turn the Summers Nasties Around

One of the great joys of childhood is looking forward to summer vacation. It seems like an eternity of freedom stretching out beyond the last day of school: a little bit of heaven on earth.

In reality, along about the middle of summer, things begin to appear less than wonderful. There is tension from the heat and from the increased number of people not going to school or work hanging around the house. Boredom may set in. And then there is the subtle, insidious, gnawing irritation that can spring up when people’s life patterns change and they stop praying or even paying attention to God.
Let’s face it. The Happiness Fairy is not going to descend on your household one night and make life wonderful. It takes some adult attention and, yes, some faith to turn the summer nasties around.
The first step is accepting that this is a natural part of life. Not liking to be around the people you love is as old as humankind itself. Feeling irritated comes with being human. Accept that it’s OK. Even Jesus dealt with irritation… and occasionally got ticked off.
Step 2 is to bring prayer back into your day if it’s slipped away. Actually, perhaps you need to slip away to a quiet spot or grab a few minutes first thing in the morning to tell God how you’re
feeling. Tell him everything, honestly and in detail. And then ask him for what you want. And ask special, specific blessings on anyone or anything which is contributing to your summer
Step 3 is to plan ahead so that each day when you awake there is something on the agenda that you can look forward to. It might be a root beer float or a swim or watching a favorite movie (popcorn optional) or finally starting a new book or just soaking in the bathtub. If you like to shop, start thinking Christmas! You have a double dare here: find a gift and then figure out where to hide it.
Step 4 is to accomplish something. This does not have to be a big something, like cleaning the garage.  It can be a tiny piece of a big task, like opening that box that’s been sitting there since you moved in and which you have no idea what it contains. The accomplishment is opening it and looking inside. There may be some surprises there or at the very least the fun of throwing the whole thing out. But it’s an accomplishment.
Step 5 is to remember God when you go to bed. He’s there waiting for you and waiting to make your tomorrow a little more blessed and a little more peaceful.