Lighten Up Your Load
Do you remember the glow-in-the-dark stars from childhood? The opaque, plastic shapes that we stuck to the ceilings of our closets and bedrooms? Do you remember how they magically charged from the lightbulb so that when it was turned off and the darkness fell, they began to glow? In this season, I want to be a star that charges in the light and space of summer.
The world can be a dark place some days, mothering can be heavy, and the school year is a grind. But this summer, what if we just lighten up? What if our big plan was simply to look for the light? What if we pressed right up to the easy delights so that when the hard or boring or dark comes, we glow? Will you lighten up with me?
Today we come with some fun, simple suggestions to give your soul a little space to laugh, play, smile, and lighten up this summer.
- The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. In this inspiring book, Clarkson gives us a beautiful framework for training our children in everyday opportunities.
- Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. In this essay-driven book, Niequist urges us to rethink the pace of life and perfectionism through her own story.
- Breathe by Keri Wyatt Kent. This book is a breath of fresh air for busy moms, inviting readers to “create space for God in a hectic life” and just breathe.
- At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider. This beautiful memoir takes readers on the Oxenreider family’s year-long adventure around the world, with sweet lessons about home.
- Mom’s Night Out (movie) This faith-based comedy is sure to make you laugh out loud and feel a little better about your life.
- Sweet Home Alabama (movie) This tried and true feel-good flick never fails to lighten our hearts and make us fall in love.
- The Durrells in Corfu (tv show) This beautiful British comedy, based on the book My Family and Other Animals, follows the Durrell family from stuffy England to the gorgeous Greek Island of Corfu. Full of heart and breath-taking scenery, this series is a gem.
- Gilmore Girls (tv show) Admittedly, I was late to the Gilmore gang, but returning to old friends in Stars Hollow always does the soul good.
- Ride A Bike. Seriously, have you been on a bike ride lately just for fun? Maybe even by yourself? I love to get on my mango-cruiser and ride up and down my street pretending I am in Tuscany. I have even taken flowers and treats down to my friend’s house for an impromptu sunset get-together. Remember the freedom of childhood on a bike!
- Grow Something. Plant a pot full of wildflower seeds and watch how much you anticipate those sprouts. Baby a tomato plant and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Dedicate a corner of a flowerbed to an herb garden and get all your senses involved. Sometimes we find the greatest joy in the dirt.
- Create a Sanctuary. Whether it’s your own corner of the back yard, a rocker on the front porch, or a prayer closet, carve out a space of peace and beauty for yourself. Light a candle, pot your favorite flower, have a basket of beloved books and journals nearby and make yourself spend at least 10 minutes there every day.
- Host a Corfu Night. After you watch the Durrells in Corfu, I bet you’ll be inspired by the beautiful food and casual hospitality of the Greek culture. Invite a few friends over, grab a pizza for the kids, ask everyone to bring an appetizer and their favorite drink to share for the grown-ups and sit under the stars enjoying life-giving company and conversation.
I bet the life you seek you already have. You may just be waiting for permission and space to enjoy it. Let this be your permission. Let this list create the space and invite you in. I hope you glow this summer.
I bet the life you seek you already have. You may just be waiting for permission and space to enjoy it.
What can you do to lighten up this summer?