Two Ideas for Summer

Today is the summer solstice! Longest day of the year means 2018 is half over!

Soon Christmas decor will start arriving in stores though most retailers won’t put it on shelves until after school starts, thankfully. We are rushed enough as it is. So let’s focus on exhaling today and finding ways to be refreshed for the rest of this summer. Here are two ideas.

1. I love escaping this world occasionally into other imaginary places. Disappearing into world unlike ours makes me see this one differently, makes my troubles seem less challenging and gives my mind a rest from its constant problem solving. This year I read a series of four books I borrowed from my 12-year-old grandson Andrew titled The Inheritance Cycle, authored by Christopher Paolini. He began writing the first book when he graduated from high school as a homeschooler at age 15. When he finished the first book, Eragon, it was 500 pages long and Christopher was 18! I highly recommend them for adults and children as young as ten who are avid readers and enjoy fantasy novels similar to The Hobbit, the Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings.

2. We tend to think of goal setting in January at the start of the new year, but why not at the halfway mark? Start thinking ahead to the new school year. What do you want to learn, try that is new, explore, or teach to your kids?

One goal we have is to start taking questions from you our readers that you’d like to have answered, if I can that is! So what questions do you have aboutmarriage, parenting, the Christian life, being a woman, or even ask about my greatest failures?! Email them to us: [email protected] or simply comment below. We can’t promise we will answer them all but we will try. Here is a list of some of our most read “Dear Barbara” questions, but you can find the full list here

We wanted to celebrate our seventh birthday with you this month, but unfortunately the transfer of all our products and content is taking longer than expected so it will likely be in July sometime. But celebrating late is better than nothing, right? Thanks for hanging with us through all of this. We promise to celebrate BIG in July!

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease.” What an amazing promise despite all the end of the world movies and proclamations. God is in control and it is very good! Happy summer solstice! 

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9 thoughts on “Two Ideas for Summer”

  1. We recently had to change Catholic schools due to adult politics. My kids are florishing but I am floundering. I have lost my safety net of a parish and am trying to embrace the new parish but living in fear of getting hurt again.

  2. I would like to hear about being on mission as a family. One thing I am particularly struggling with is my husband and I having a vision for ministry in our home. We are both gifted in hospitality and enjoy using it. But what do you do when your kids want to run the other way at the mention of having guests over? Or in other ways don’t share in the vision.

    1. Barbara Rainey

      Thanks for your question/comment, Rebecca! We love this topic and will be adding it to our list for possible upcoming posts!

    1. Barbara Rainey

      Dear Courtney,
      I cannot imagine beginning life alone again after losing your husband. Gratefully I have not yet had to walk that road, but I know many who have. I can say from what I’ve heard from these friends that God is with you, always near, and will guide you even when you don’t feel His presence. And I would suggest when you are ready the best book on loss and grief is ‘A Grace Disguised’ by Jerry Sittser who tells the story of the death of his wife, daughter and mother in a car accident in which he was driving, then writes of his journey through grief.
      May you know His goodness and grace as never before.

      1. Courntey;
        My dad is gone 10 years now and along with helping my mother walk the “new normal” of the loss I too had to process it. May I suggest finding a grief share group in your area. They are a wonderful organization to process with because everyone there is on the journey of grief and discovering their own “new normal”. I personally found them very supportive to me and my mother. Their information can be found at

  3. I will order ‘ the inheritance cycle’. I love your book recommendations & reading your blog. This summer I am celebrating a lot & now greatly looking forward to homeschooling (1st time) my oldest in the Fall. Just Love your book recommendations. Stay tuned…I will ask Andy to tag y’all for our upcoming VBS skits. Andy & I lead the church skits & this year I am incorporating the ETH shield into my costume. God bless!!

  4. Phyllis Tormey

    Thank you Barbara, for your thoughtful words. Just the encouragement we…I need to be still and know that He is God.

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