A Summer of Joy! {Free Printable}

The last few months have been rough.

Just as spring break started (which normally kicks off of the easier half of Spring semester), we unfortunately experienced the loss of one of our students at the university where I work. It feels impossible to put into words how that situation and many other challenges one after another in March and April have impacted me and my team.

It’s time for rest.
It’s time for healing.
It’s time for sunshine and slower rhythms.
It’s time for summer.
It’s time for joy.

It’s time for FUN!

With May beginning tomorrow and our school year officially wrapping up next weekend, I spent some time yesterday brainstorming what fun could look like for me this summer. Just last weekend I had a chance to share with a group of middle schoolers about how much we hear Jesus talk about joy. Sometimes I need to remember it for myself.

I fully believe that God delights when we delight.
Fun reminds us of Eden.
Fun reminds us of eternity.
Joy matters to Jesus.
And this summer, part of healing from the pain and trauma of a really hard year means chasing fun and joy.

I already had a few bigger fun things on the calendar or in progress to look forward to in the months ahead, but yesterday I decided that I didn’t want a single summer day to pass without some intentional fun.

I’m determined every day from May 1 through the end of July (and hopefully even beyond) to do at least one thing just for the sake of fun. Some might be bigger things to plan ahead for (like a pottery class I signed up for today.) But I imagine many days it will look a walk around the neighborhood with a friend or eating a bowl of ice cream on the back deck. Big or little doesn’t matter, we’re just on the hunt for the joy of Jesus.

I made myself a (fun) calendar to help plan out ideas or to document the joy being found. I figured I might as well share it with you as well.

Summer of Joy Calendar 11×17 [May-July Version]
Summer of Joy Calendar 11×17 [June-August Version]

One of my favorite authors, Annie F. Downs has a children’s book titled, “What sounds fun to you?” and that is my question to all of you today.

Obviously what sounds fun to one person may not to another but below are some of my ideas that might get you started to brainstorm your own list. And if you’re local, let me know if one of these things sounds fun to you too and we can do it together. (For real, I’d love to hang out… fun in community multiples joy!)

  • Kayaking/paddleboarding (already have my Lincoln Paddle Company Punch Pass!)
  • Eat ice cream (at least once a week)
  • Take a pottery or photography class
  • Game night with friends
  • Get a pedicure
  • Go to a Smash Room
  • Go on walks with friends
  • Plant flowers
  • Visit my family in Wichita
  • Hiking and picnics at 2 new state parks
  • Maybe meet up with KC fam in Omaha or Nebraska City
  • Summer Vacation
  • Hike Niagara Gorge
  • Hopefully continue the hunt for the best wings in Buffalo with my ‘daughter’ Elisa if we both can make it there at the same time
  • Hike at Fontenelle Forest
  • TreeRush Adventures
  • Spend at least 250 hours outside
  • Women’s Retreat at Platte River State Park
  • Thrifting
  • Stay a night at Two Rivers in a Caboose (maybe with my nieces?)
  • Swing on a swing
  • Invite myself along on adventures with friends’ families
  • Saltdogs Baseball Game
  • Enjoy my fire table out back at least once a week
  • Wednesdays in the Park with Church Fam
  • Wander around Target, Hobby Lobby, or other favorite stores
  • Spend time laughing and playing with my nieces, godkids, or friends’ kids
  • Find a new coffee shop in a little town on a rainy (or really hot) day
  • Read on the back deck
  • “Aunt Bekah Camp”
  • Shoot off confetti poppers
  • Explore a couple new restaurants
  • UPick flowers or fruit
  • Go to all different Farmers Markets
  • Take a walk downtown
  • And the list continues

I’m ready to have some fun.
Whose ready to join me!