Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Slow Summer

It's June and that means it's time to make our summer bucket list!

Nope...not gonna happen here. I'm much more likely to make a list of things we're not going to do than make a list of things we need to do.

Don't misunderstand me....there are plenty of things I'd like to do with my kids this summer. Things like swimming at the local beach, eating s'mores around the camp fire, playing with friends, eat popsicles and more. But when I create lists of things I'd like to do, it ends up becoming a "to-do" list, and I look at it something I must complete and cross off the list. Instead, I'd much prefer that we have very little on our calendar so we have the time and space for things to happen organically and spontaneously.

So instead of creating a summer bucket list, I have one goal - to slow down and savor each day.

I'd love to wake up each day and be able to ask..."What should we do today?"

In order to make this happen, I need to guard our calendar like a hawk. We already have some big things on the calendar and it's enough. One big thing each month is enough.

We need to leave room for the little things. 

I'm writing this post mostly for myself - to remind myself to be intentional about slowing down - but also for you. I see summer bucket-lists swirling around blogs and pinterest, and it's easy to get sucked into the trend.

There is nothing wrong with bucket lists. But it's not something you need to do to have a happy, fun-filled summer. It's ok to say no to making lists and to say yes to slowing down.

This is what minimalism or living simply is to me - removing things from your life that are actually distractions. To me, a summer bucket list is a distraction.

Maybe I view summer a bit differently than most people. You see, my family doesn't live for the summer and try to cram everything in to 2-3 months. We try to embrace each season, month and week for what it is. (This is one of the HUGE benefits of homeschooling!)

This past week we had family here and took a 2 day trip to central Oregon (one of our favorite places). As I was out walking I realized how blessed I am to be in this place in life. We've intentionally created a life that allows us to go on many little (and some big) adventures throughout the year. We're not enduring this time that our kids are in school and waiting for our later years....we are making it happen now so we can enjoy our time as a family.

It means saying no to all the things our culture tells us we should do. But it means saying yes to a beautiful, adventurous life. And this, my friends, is why I am passionate about simplifying.


  1. THANK YOU for this post! I made a summer "bucket-list" and all it has done for me is cause stress. Just as you said, it has become a to do list instead of a source of direction or inspiration. I'm going to throw it away and look forward to letting life happen organically (as you so aptly put it) as we look to God each day.

    1. I'm so glad you found this encouraging. I know that bucket-lists energize and excite some people, but I have found them to weigh me down and I suspect that others do too! I had to do the same thing with my list of books I wanted to read and I found so much freedom in letting it go.

  2. I hear what you are saying! But for me, homeschooling a teenage daughter, we had a lot of fun putting together our bucket list for the summer, knowing there are things we can do this summer that we can't necessarily do during the 'school year'. I know some of the things won't be crossed off, and we are completely fine with that. Maybe one of your 'what should we do today?'s should be, drive to CA and go to Yosemite ;)