Friday, May 9, 2014

Summer Break is Here!

Happy Friday!!!

Today is the second full day of summer break, and I am loving it!! I've been having Olaf the Snowman jumping around my head a lot, and it's making me happy :)

I know for lots of students, who work so hard during the school year, summertime=laziness. And while relaxation is a good, beautiful activity, laziness isn't really healthy. Flopping around the house for weeks on end, saying "I'm so bored" is not my idea of a mentally, spiritually, or physically healthy summer break. Nor does it sound fun!

So, several years ago, in the hopes of not falling into the "summer lazy slump," I decided to make a big "To Do" list at the beginning of each summer. I'm guessing that lots of you, like myself, did "Summer Reading Programs" in the past, which are AWESOME. In many of those programs, you begin by setting a goal of how many books you will read. So, I decided to make my own goals. They would range from "Run a lap around the neighborhood lake," to "Read 'A Midsummer Night's Dream." And I have to say, my "Summer To Do List" worked well and was super fun, especially before I started working part-time in the summers.

The other day, while thinking about summer break, I had a mini freak-out. For the past few years, I've either been working or traveling or wedding planning like crazy during the summer, so there's always been a "big thing" to work on for those months. But this summer? Not so much. So I decided to resurrect my "Summer To Do List" plan. Yeah, it may seem weird to "prepare for summer," but in reality, it'll work pretty well. After all, we don't know yet what's happening after graduation next May (God knows, and He'll eventually tell us), so this summer break may be the last non-crazy, huge block of time that I have. It's a giant present, gift wrapped and sparkling, from God!

(Dr. Hahn mentioned something along these lines at a talk a few weeks ago, too. Since he's been on sabbatical all year, he said he had to do something since he's not in the classroom. So, Dr. Hahn told us he's been having a "Radical Sabbatical," making a bajillion pilgrimages abroad and whatnot. While I can't go to Europe right now, I can be crazy and radical...)

We kicked off summer break with homemade maple bars and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," since we hadn't seen it yet. Adding chess club at the library and talking with a couple friends who are graduating, it's been awesome! And now I'm ready to begin more epic crazy adventures! I read Jason Evert's "John Paul the Great" book,  I'm a couple pages into "Evangelium Gaudium," Pope Francis' first encyclical, and have started re-reading "The Screwtape Letters." Next on my list are "Confessions" by St. Augustine (after translating him during Latin class, and hearing Dr. Smith go on and on...I decided to take the Augustine plunge), and "A Severe Mercy," which I've been told is a "biography of love."

Whew! In the midst of it all, trying to keep up with my blog, hoping to write some freelance stuff to mail out, and occasionally contributing to The Chastity Project. Plus, keeping up on housework, narrowing down my thesis topic for next semester, spending more time in daily prayer, walking/jogging, and having adventures with Jacob when he's not working. Praise the Lord for His epicness!!!!! I am so excited for all of these projects that I have started, and for all the other stuff that God will throw in during the next several weeks!
Just some light summer reading : ) 

This summer is a beautifully huge chunk of time. Even if you have a job, it is so important to take care of your mind, body, and soul continually.  How will you work to grow spiritually? Intellectually? Physically? I encourage all of you to set some sort of solid goal, small or large, to achieve this summer. Have a blast!!