A note from Chris Adams: For some moms, the first day of school cannot come too soon! My daughter has 5 elementary-age children home all summer, so she is always ready! But for others, (and I fell into this category) summer means no homework or early rising. Summers were never long enough for me! Today Deb Douglas, Minister to Women, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA writes about some things we can do to help moms get the most out of their summers no matter how short (or long) they are.
Summers “back in the day” were long—stretching from Memorial Day past Labor Day. Things have changed though, and summers are now just 2 short months. There is just enough time for camp, VBS, and vacation before heading back to school.
How can women’s leaders help moms get the most out of summer while also getting ready to tackle the back-to-school schedule? Here are some ideas:
- No competition. Competing with an already full summer schedule by offering too many events for women may add stress to moms who are trying to make summertime memories with their children.
- Encourage moms to participate in online Bible studies. These add flexibility to a mom’s summer schedule. She can participate from home, while on vacation, or even while her children are off at camp or VBS.
- Consider the children. Instead of just offering babysitting for children, offer learning experiences and activities for them as their moms participate in small groups or events. One summer, we offered art classes for the children while the moms had Bible study. It was a hit!
- Make it a family affair. Pool parties, picnics, and mission projects for moms and their children will make it a summer to remember! Meeting at a water park is fun for everyone, and a family retreat or camping trip is perfect for summer!
- Add in relaxing moments. A relaxing environment creates the perfect opportunity for relationships among moms to blossom. Invite women to simply hang out at the lake or by the pool. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy—just an opportunity to rest and enjoy friendship with other moms.
- Get ready for school. Turn back-to-school shopping into a mission project. Ask moms and children to shop for school supplies to fill backpacks for children without the resources to buy all they need for school. Make it a treasure hunt! Give each mom/children team a list, send them out to shop, and then have a party at the end to gather all the backpacks.
- Think shoeboxes! When shopping the school supply sales, encourage moms to purchase items for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes by having a Christmas in July party! Wrap and pack shoeboxes, make Christmas cookies, and play Christmas music as the air conditioning cools things down.
Summers of lemonade, porch swings, and relaxing together make memories that will last a lifetime. As leaders, we can be intentional about helping moms make these memories and prepare for a great school year!
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier, launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts of Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline and Lincoln.