5 things a Toronto Catholic Mom can do for Summer Fun
When you hear the word summer what’s the first thought that comes to mind?
Do you enthusiastically respond, “bring it!” and start researching where to buy sunscreen by the van load?
Or does the very word summer call to mind the hours you’ve already spent meditating on all the ways this coming summer insights unholy PANIC in your heart and mind!!!
Whatever your feelings towards the summer ahead, slip on your coolest shades and pour yourself a glass of iced tea. It’s summer planning time. Let’s dive in.
Have you ever noticed the first rays of sun streaming through your window after a long, dark winter. The sun brings its warmth, its light, and our spirits lift. The sun also brings light to things we haven’t noticed in a while. Has there always been this much dust floating through the house? How long have those grimy fingerprints been on the wall? We don’t always like what we see when we let the light in.
When you ask God to shine light on your summer plans, what do you see?
What are you looking forward to? Will you go on vacation? Spend more time with your family? Read a great book? Tackle a renovation project? Welcome a new baby? Savour moments of family time with your babies who’ve grown up too fast?
Where do you see joy in your life?
What causes you angst? Do you have childcare organized? Do you wonder how you’ll afford a summer’s worth of camps or activities? Have you registered yet? Do you wish you had more time with your family? Are you overwhelmed at the prospect of being home all day with a house full of children? Are your weekends more full than a slurpee poured by an overzealous five-year-old?
What stressors are keeping you from the freedom and joy God offers? Can you see that joy is what he’s offering?
Let’s take off the sunglasses.
God has great plans for your summer. Are you open to his plans? Did you ask for his guidance, his help, and his blessing? It’s ok to admit if you didn’t (for the record, he’ll still love you if you don’t ask). He’ll still be there while you run around checking off your summer bucket list. But if you want him to transform you this summer, teach you something new, or help you see the world in a different light, now is the time to ask.
Maybe it is possible to have more time with your family. Maybe it is possible to enjoy even more of that time or experience it in a completely new way. Let him shine a light on those areas and show you his plans.
For some of us, this summer will be a tough one. Maybe for you there are difficult choices ahead and boundless opportunity for plans to go horribly awry. God will be present in those times too, working his great plans through difficulty, bringing you closer to him.
The goal of summer, as in every season, is to grow closer to God.
When we get to planning, it helps to prioritize. Here’s the mom hierarchy of priorities for all seasons:
- God first. It’s a Commandment afterall!
As moms, time with God and time with our families fill us up. Everything else, and yes, there can be plenty of everything else, pours out of an excess of love and grace from these primary relationships.
Summer is a wonderful time to revisit the mom priority hierarchy. Check in with God and see where you’re at. Try something new or return to the basics. See where he takes you this summer!
Looking for ideas to get started?
5 things a Toronto Catholic Mom can do for summer fun:
Start the day off with morning Mass at St. Michaels Cathedral – head on over to Centre Island for a day of adventure
Did you know that you can go to the Mass at Toronto Pearson International airport? Watch airplanes and pray. Tell your children about St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers.
Pack a lunch and take in the sights, sounds, and aromas of the bustling St. Lawrence Market and picturesque Allen Gardens. While you’re in the area, spend some time with Mother Mary at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
Host a Summer Bible Camp at Your parish. Are you too busy to volunteer year round? Instead of signing up your kids at a protestant Bible Camp, why not build up your parish and build up some Catholic Moms friends by lighting a match. Volunteer for ONE week. Totus Tuus is a popular program if you’re looking for a place to start. Don’t miss the Mass!
While you’re out and about, duck into a church for some time in Eucharistic Adoration. There’s nothing like diving into an ocean of mercy on a hot and sticky day with little ones– or big ones for that matter! Not sure what to do with children (or yourself) at Adoration? Check out this free printable booklet for children of all ages. https://www.looktohimandberadiant.com/2015/06/adoration-with-kids-printables.html It’s a great primer for moms too!
Wherever you go this season, let Christ be the ray of sunlight in your summer.
- St. Michael’s Cathedral.
- St. Lawrence Market
- Toronto Pearson International Mass
- Allen Gardens
- Totus Tuus
- Centre Island
- Eucharistic Adoration
- Our Lady of Lourdes
Karen Keays returned to the Church in early adulthood after more than a decade of wrestling with God. She is a stay-at-home mother of three.
Dorothy Pilarski is the founder of Dynamic Women of Faith, author, motivational speaker, blogger , guest columnist with the Catholic Register and a facilitator on Salt + Light TV.