Time is precious, and it’s important to make the most of it while you have it.

"Don't put off tomorrow what you can do today." I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said this. I agree with him completely, which is why I've started making a list of things I would like to accomplish this summer. It’s not a lengthy list, but it contains things that challenge me to go outside of my comfort zone.

Number 1:

Enjoying quiet time

In Psalm 46:10, it says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the Earth.” If you have successfully mastered the art of quieting your mind, please let me know. I'm still trying to figure it out myself. My hope this summer is to really take some time to slow down and enjoy quiet time with God. In the morning, I read out of my "Jesus Calling" book and reflect on the verses. However, I find my mind wandering, anxiously anticipating the day ahead. God wants us to enjoy time in his presence and get to know him better. This is something I struggle with and really want to improve in my own life.

Number 2: Traveling

Whether that means seeing family or taking a trip to visit friends, I’m hoping to get a change of scenery this summer. It doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy or out of state, just something different.

Number 3: Summer cleaning

This doesn’t sound like fun, but structure is important, especially at home. If I can reorganize in my room and clean up the books piled up there, then I think that’s a good start. Speaking of books …

Number 4: Tackling my summer reading list

Barnes and Noble will send me information on its latest summer reads. As a writer, I want to improve my reading skills, and what better way to do so then with a good book?

Number 5: Writing

I recently joined a writers group in Springfield. I wasn’t sure about it at first, knowing I would be working with other writers (some of them published authors), but I remember seeing a Bible verse that my mom posted up on Facebook. It was from the book of Exodus and talked about how God gave the Israelites strength to march out of Egypt with boldness. If God was able to give the Israelites courage to go out of their captivity with boldness, I realized he was going to be there with me, too. It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to learn from other writers.

Number 6: Cooking new recipes (at least one)

I don't do much cooking. I know a few recipes, but I would like to add more to my special recipe box. An article from BuzzFeed listed 31 recipes you should cook in July. Some of them include s’more bars, avocado egg salad, grilled honey garlic shrimp bowls, mini mason jar fruit crisps, vegan mint chocolate dip popsicles and so on. While all these sound appetizing, I think I should probably start small and work my way up.

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