rebelling against low expectations

How can we be productive during the summer?


AMANDA WRITES: School is winding down, and I’m getting bored. I feel like I should be doing something other than sitting around doing nothing!

I have a fairly busy summer planned, but I also have a lot of hours when I’m just home. Reading books and playing games with siblings isn’t enough to fill all that time.

Do you guys have any ideas on how to keep busy during the summer doing things that have eternal impact rather than just killing time?

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  • Well for me, I’m making a movie this summer! I’m super pumped about it, and it sort of does have an eternal impact like you asked for. It’s a comedy about a group of teenagers hosting a youth service, but in the end it’s a message that all people should be ready to spread the Gospel at all times. And hopefully, it will be an experience we will never forget.

    So my advice to you would be to try to do something meaningful with your friends! It’s much easier to stay committed to a project or goal when you have like-minded friends helping you, and in the long wrong, it’s a whole lot more fun. Find a cause that you are all passionate about, or find a job that needs to be done. And plus, it can kind of serve as bonding time for each other (you can learn a lot about a person by how they work). You’ll be way happier that you spent your summer doing that than sitting around for weeks.

    Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

      • It’s been really great! We had our first of four filming days last week, and it went exactly to schedule. Everyone’s having a great time and it’s really coming together. However, something that may slow it down a bit is that my dad broke his leg in a car accident. He’s alright, but still, he has a broken leg. If you could pray that his recovery would be smooth and quick, that would be awesome.

        But how have you been? It’s been a while since we last talked.

        • Great! Ouch, that sounds painful… I’ll be praying!
          Hmm… how am I doing? Good question. I’m good, bored, excited, anticipating, hoping school doesn’t start too soon, and… a whole lot of other things πŸ™‚ Overall? I’m good. I’m at my sister’s house about to head home after a month-long visit, and I’ve got stuff like work and other family visiting when I get back. (And I’m not all the way done with Geometry so I’ve got that to do when I’m back, too. btw, thank you so much for the radians explanation!) I’m relieved because I’ve finally made up my mind on a couple of decisions I knew I’d have to make, but have been putting off all summer, so that’s loverly. πŸ™‚ How about you?

          • That’s great! I’ve been doing pretty good too. I’ve had to make a few difficult decisions as well. And you know, that’s funny that you bring up Geometry, because I’m still finishing my math book too! And hey, no problem on the radians explanation. If you ever have another question, don’t hesitate to ask. πŸ™‚

            So yeah. I may be going to community college and getting a real job this fall, so that’s exciting. But, I had to quit my church’s music team for personal reasons. But that movie, I don’t know why but it is one of the most fun things I’ve ever been a part of. I really hope you’ll be able to see it when it’s finished. Were you the one who was thinking about going into martial arts? And if that was you, did you ever find a school?

  • Haha, I can’t say much about this because I’ve had school for last summer and this summer. But when I get bored I help my mom with things she has to do around the house, she’s always busy, and I help out with my church’s VBS and go canvassing around some neighborhoods near my church. Also like Sam already said a Bible study is great too, get a bunch of different commentaries out or a laptop, and spend a while figuring out what a chapter or two mean.

  • Study the Bible and pray, memorize some of the Bible, help out around the house,and help other people. There’s plenty you can do so there’s no need to kill time!!

  • Oh boy… πŸ™‚ I’m so busy in the summer, i don’t know if i can help πŸ˜‰ But spending time in God’s Word that you normally might not is a go to. Also, i’m a summer camp nut, and volunteering at Christian camps is the bomb! It’s fun, edifying, and carries lasting affects (or is it effects? Good gracious, i should know…) on you and the people you are helping. But for all i know, you already do stuff like that, so i digress πŸ™‚ Have a good summer, Amanda!!!

  • Learn a new language! Master an instrument! Write a book! Make a painting! There’s millions of things you could do. The hard part is starting them, and then sticking with it. πŸ˜› But new skills learned through a few months of free time will definitely benefit you later in life. Take every opportunity to learn something new!

  • Start a Bible study with some friends, get a summer job, volunteer at a summer camp or go to a summer camp, work on a project or something that you enjoy doing but don’t get much time to do during the school year, and do enjoy your time with your siblings, too. πŸ˜‰ Just a couple suggestions, but I am sure I could think of more. πŸ™‚

  • Babysit, start a book club, create a talent show, volunteer at a local Christian charity, join a swim team, get a head start on next year’s school (if you’re homeschooled), memorize a long Bible passage, learn a foreign language, write a novel, make a movie, do a week-long Backyard Bible Kids Club in your backyard (I’m helping some friends do one in a couple weeks!), start teaching music lessons, go to or volunteer at a camp, start a fundraiser for some worthy cause, go camping in your backyard, organize your bedroom, volunteer at a VBS, get a pen pal, sew a quilt, get a head start on making handmade Christmas presents, throw a birthday party for a family member, make a cookbook of your favorite family recipes, create an inspiration board of cool quotes and Bible verses to put in your room or school area, make handmade jewelry, design your own greeting cards, make homemade soap (it’s really easy if you buy glycerin soap base at a craft store and follow the directions on the package), learn to ride a unicycle, create a goal of how many miles you want to run/cycle before a set deadline and follow through with it, learn to sew, learn to knit, learn to crochet, learn to embroider, learn to quill, go rafting, go to a library and research a topic you’re interested in, have a water balloon fight, have a paint balloon fight, have a water gun war, just hang out with friends, volunteer at your church as an usher or nursery worker or something, help your youth group do something fun, mow lawns to earn money, hold a car wash, write and illustrate your own children’s book and give it to a younger sibling or cousin, create a parody song, create a massive ice cream sundae for your entire family to share, find a new TV show to watch with a sibling, plant a garden in your backyard…
    Ok, I’m out of ideas for now. Wow did that turn long!

    • Take a nap. Find the solution to pollution. Cure the common cold. Create world peace. Genetically engineer a plant to grow fully fried onion blossoms. Earn a Pulitzer Prize. Okay, never mind me, I’m just having fun over here!

      I like the massive ice cream sundae for your entire family, Ruthie. Good suggestion for my brother…

      • A plant that grows fully fried onions? My goodness. That could actually be kinda cool! Lol πŸ™‚

      • haha!
        now was that a good suggestion for your brother so that you could benefit from it…?

        • No, absolutely not! I’m not that selfish (well, I kinda am, but that’s beside the point). It would be for the whole family. But if they left the house, I’m not promising it would be there when they got back… Just sayin’…

          • Okay I see…. So maybe that whole thing about the family then leaving the house and coming back to find Taylor had eaten it all…was all part of the original plan…? πŸ˜‰

          • Hmm, I neither affirm nor deny such an accusation… but I’ll just say you may be beginning to understand the way my mind works!

          • ugh I totally hit the enter button before I was ready -_- *sigh*

            That *gasp* had to do with one person eating a giant sundae (forget about selfishness…)…all that at once would probably make me throw it up…. (where is the grinning face from Revive when you need it?)

            Then I was gonna say something about French toast for Trent…and ice cream sundaes for Taylor….

          • Ha, ha, true dat! I’ll take a sundae over french toast, I’m afraid. (Brace myself for all the stones that will start flying my direction!) But as I said below, a family sized sundae is just about a Taylor sized sundae…

          • I would honestly take the same (now we are both Rebelutionary rejects, jk). Oh so a size regular is a small and a small is really a microscopic?

          • Let’s see here. Here’s my Taylor categorization system:
            X small: normal person’s regular. 1 scoop of ice cream, chocolate sauce, cherry
            Small: 2 scoops, choco sauc, cherry
            Regular: Pint of ice cream, liberal dose of choco sauce, two cherries
            Large: Quart of ice cream, hand the choco sauce to a four year old and let him work his magic, four cherries
            X Large, real man’s sundae: gallon sized, with a hole cut in the middle filled with chocolate sauce, with a caramel drizzle, and half a bottle of cherries randomly scattered across the top. Add nuts if desired!

            Results: A new generation of real men and women, tougher and more resilient. Or a new generation of really obese people. Scientists are still trying to decide what the longer-lasting effects will be.

          • Somehow with your taekwondo stuff, I got the idea that you’re a health food person… I guess I was wrong. It all sounds good except the cherries… bleck.

          • I actually am. Fortunately, my mom is very into health food, so while my own tastes point toward junk, my mom keeps me eating very healthy. πŸ™‚

    • wow, Ruthie! Thanks for sharing! Those are all awesome ideas. πŸ™‚ *prints out list to work on for the rest of my summers* πŸ˜‰

  • I’m takeing the freetime I have this summer to work on a ministry idea I have and physically training for the NAVY through summer swim team and summer crew.

    Try finding a project, idea, or cause you’re passionate about and run with it! Get friends involved and have fun with it!

  • There are plenty of suggestions below for ideas, but I would say take the summer to either practice and perfect something you enjoy or to study and learn about something you’ve always wanted to, whether it be a particular topic, language, or philosophy. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had time.

    Practice something you love doing but normally don’t have time to do. Just don’t waste the time lying on the couch (unless the hobby you’re perfecting is napping :). Find something to do and practice, perfect, and learn it. Choose a deeper book that you normally wouldn’t have time to get into or a longer writing project than normal.

    And most of all, have fun! The summer is supposed to be enjoyable!

      • Agreed. I hate naps. But some people don’t… I personally have never recovered from my repugnance of nap taking as a child. I have been scarred for life!

        • Me too! I too had to take naps as a child, and I’m scarred for life. Forever and ever, I will hate naps. Except for if I’m on a long car trip. Then I’m happy to sleep all through the trip πŸ™‚

          • Well, I can’t sleep in the car or on a plane for that matter. The two international trips I’ve taken I have gone for about 48 hours with six hours of sleep just because I can’t sleep while traveling. It’s a bummer.

          • I used to be able to sleep in a car; until we had a wreck a long time ago. Now it’s harder for me to sleep in a moving vehicle.

          • @mimeforjesus:disqus, I think you’ll change your mind if you are ever a mom some day and your baby is waking up at every unearthly hour in the middle of the night. Then you will want to take a nap at every moment that your baby takes a nap during the day time. πŸ˜‰ (You are a female right? Lol)

  • I’m not sure how much it will help this summer but take a look at my pic and you will see (drum roll please)……………….. Join 4H! That seriously will take a lot of time.
    My 4H related schedule:
    June 8-12: camp at Fortson 4h center
    June 15: Perform with Clovers and Company at World of Coke in Atlanta, GA
    June 16: Perform in Athens, GA with same group
    June 19-21 State Council
    Not to mentions stuff I can’t remember the exact dates to such as: Perform the Star Spangled Banner at an Atlanta Braves game, Perform at Jekyll Island, and Perform at Florida State Congress.
    Not to mention it is all REALLY fun! Whatever you do you will love it if you are doing it with those you love (same reason I do 4h).

      • My dad was in 4H as a kid…I think it’s somewhat like Scouts, just a lot different, or something like that. =P

      • I think its a homeschool thing. Lol But I don’t really know much about it, because my family didn’t participate in it much. πŸ˜‰

      • 4-H isn’t just homeschool. It’s really for anyone who lives in a rural area that wants to be involved with the community. The majority of 4-Her’s are in public schools (at least where I live) You can do a project either with animals (cows, chickens, pigs, dogs etc.) or still exhibits (clothing, scrapbooking, health, robots, interior design etc.) You get judged at the end of the year and you get prizes, you could be nominated to go to state fair (this all starts at county fair) and your stuff gets exhibited at the fair and you get a free fair pass.

        Its tons of fun and a lot of work. This is the first year i haven’t done it, I’m still recovering from last years fashion show (not my area of expertise) so I miss it but I don’t miss the stress πŸ˜€

      • Yes. And I was reading the below responses and was noticing that a lot of people were saying about it being for rural areas and for homeschoolers. Actually, it is for cities and rural areas and for more than homeschoolers. I am homeschooled and live in a rural area, but I know people who live in major cities such as Augusta, Ga, and Atlanta, Ga. Also, only a portion are homeschooled (at least in Georgia). And there is sooooo much more than just farming activities (again, at least in Georgia. Each state can be different). There is this thing called District Project Achievement (DPA), and that is where you give a speech and compete. If you win at district, you go to state, and if you win at state you come to nationals in Atlanta, Ga. (My neck of the woods) There are so many topics, from fruits, nuts and vegetables, to sports. You can even perform. You meet so many people who, after a little while, become like family. This is also an amazing way to reach to people, being they come from all walks of life. If you are still not sure what 4h is or have any questions, LET ME KNOW!! I will be glad to help.

          • Hey, Georgia is great! I mean, in what other state can it be sunny and raining AT THE SAME TIME?!?!?!?!?!? lol

          • yes. It does happen. Joys of living in tornado country!! πŸ˜€ It’s really cool to watch them come in though, you just have to dash when it gets too wild πŸ˜›

          • I haven’t seen any either, I get dragged down to the basement before anything “fun” happens. But las fall we did have a tiny twister set down and ruin a trampoline. Thankfully though, its rare that they ever touch down, but sometimes we can see the sky forming. Where do you live? We need a tornado country club. (yep, a private, country coup :P)

          • really? We might be moving to the michigan border area! And we might have some dear friends moving to toledo. My dad did get a job offer in that area, but it didn’t work out. I would love to go to the lake country though!

          • I was thinking northern Michigan. I’ve been to Michigan before, and i didn’t see any lakes πŸ˜€ but it was the southern part. I was thinking more towards the canadian side of things.

          • See what i mean? That’s why I don’t want to live in Georgia! Here we have coldest, colder, cold, warm, warmest, hot, and hotter! You need to live here!!! I seriously feel so bad for you πŸ™

          • I’ve only met a few people from Georgia in my life, so far I like them all. They’re all nice and none of them have an accent πŸ˜› But, I wouldn’t want to live there.

          • Haha, yeah Alabamians and Tennessee…Tennesseee…Tennesseeites???? lol…anyway they have stronger accents than most Georgians. =) Though there are exceptions…

          • I’ve always wondered if some states had stronger accents than others. Now I know. I think every state has their “trademark” like OH has some saying that you won’t hear anywhere else πŸ˜€ Though, the midwest is the only place in the world that doesn’t have an official accent!! πŸ˜›

          • What is your definition of “cold”? I saw a Duck Dynasty episode where they were all bundled up in coats and hats and, umm, people there are still green leaves on the trees! I know Louisiana is more extreme than Georgia, but just the same, when was the last time you had a good snowball fight?

          • It’s called COUNTRY LIFE!!!!! We should totally make a bumper sticker to replace “salt life”

          • Hah! Washington……. (Also, in what state can it be summer and simultaneously acting as though it is winter by drizzling sheets of slop from a murky, chilly sky? The ultimate philosophical paradox: how can something both be and not be at the same time and in the same relationship? How can it be both summer and winter at the same time? Pardon my Washingtonian weather-rant… ;P)

          • Okay…. I know I’m not the brightest kid around and I don’t try to be, but that is confusing me.

          • lol yeah…it confused me too…. Those days when you confuse yourself…. -_-

        • Trivia Time (Answers at bottom)
          Q1.What is the best ever state?
          Q2.What state is mentioned in country music (probably all music) more than any other?
          Q3.What state do I live in?
          A1. Georgia
          A2. Georgia
          A3. Georgia

          • seriously though, if any of my southern friends here come to visit some of our awesome places (football hall of fame, rock star hall of fame, cedar point, largest Amish community in the world, or the columbus zoo and more!!)

            I will personally escort and treat you to Handels Ice Cream, which is just the best home-made ice-cream in the states!

            And you have not experienced life until you have come during the holiday season. It always seems like we have a snowstorm during Thanksgiving (which also means no pool party for my birthday, since I’m a november baby) And its what we call warm (40’s) for Christmas πŸ˜›

          • Hannah, I’m sorry, but that’s not possible. “Fine” is never the correct adjective to use with Texas, whether it be the state, our food, or our attitude, find is rarely the right word to use. “Huge” is usually a better one!

          • But according to the dictionary “fine”, when used as an adjective, means “of high quality”. Isn’t that a complement to your state?

          • But “Huge” is a good adjective to describe it as well. πŸ˜‰ And I must admit, for several years now I have wanted to live in Texas, but am still kind of loyal to my home state. πŸ˜‰

          • Okay, I’ll give up on trying to figure out your reason, but I hope you get to move here sometime then! Maybe Houston area… πŸ™‚

          • Haha! Well, maybe I will some day. Although it could be awhile from now because I have to finish up college up north and then I want to go over seas for a year or so and I also wanted to move out west. So we’ll see what actually happens. Lol

          • And don’t ask me my reasons for wanting to live in Texas either, because you would probably laugh and tease me like everyone else does when they find out. πŸ˜‰

          • Well… Here is the list. 1. The weather is inconsistent and you never can trust 2. Um… I’m thinking.(LOL) actually I just really don’t like the weather

          • Oh that can be Texas too! Just yesterday was taking my nephew out kayaking and a storm blew in within five minutes. It went from 90 degrees and sunny to pouring rain and 75 degrees in just minutes.

          • Are you an adult, or do you have older siblings? I do know someone who got his first niece when he was 10!

          • No, I’m a teen. Well, I’m 17. So I’m a teen adult, in my opinion! πŸ™‚ But my sis is 18 years older, so I had my first nephew when I was three. Fun times…

  • Use this free time from school to do more Bible reading, pray, and work on areas of your life that need attention. Maybe get involved in some ministries, or work on encouragement (a biggie for me).

  • I like to read books in the summer that I normally wouldn’t have time to read…
    ones that have an eternal impact that have been sitting on the shelf, waiting until I have the time. *winks* Has anyone ever heard of Lamplighter books?? My favorite is called “Ishmael” by E.D.E.N. Southworth.

  • Is there anything you’ve wanted to do/learn that you could pick up? You can learn anything if you set your mind to it. There’s books and online tutorials for practically everything now. Or do you have a skill/talent you want to improve? Or a language you could learn (perhaps even with a sibling)? Or just use the time to focus on your relationship with God.
    Remember, being busy and being productive aren’t always the same thing πŸ˜‰
    *edit** PS. Remember to rest. It is allowed and it is important πŸ™‚

  • Hey Amanda!
    I’ve struggled with this myself!
    My biggest suggestion is this: community service.
    No matter where you live, there is ALWAYS something that you can do for your community. There are a few different ways that you could go about community service, depending on how much time you have, etc.
    1. You could volunteer at a community organization like the library, the museum, the nursing home, etc.
    2. You could become a counselor at summer camps for the local Boys and Girls club or similar organizations, or even church camps of friends’ that may need help.
    3. You could plan some sort of community project: a block party, a fundraiser, or a service effort with your friends like offering your time, for free, to clean houses or do yard work.
    There a lot of ways to be creative with time in summer. There’s just so much of it, and so often it’s wasted on Netflix (guilty!) or even reading.
    A note on reading- in Do Hard Things, Alex and Brett talked about how this movement kind of all began with a reading list their dad gave them one summer. Well, last summer, after I read Do Hard Things, I was inspired to create a list of my own. Reading tons of good, heavy (sometimes), thoughtful, non-fiction was a refreshment from the young adult novels I had been stuck in for months (not that there’s anything wrong with YA, but sometimes you need a cleanse to grow your mind). You can gain so many big ideas and become so motivated and inspired by grappling with the ideas’ of others and studying biographies of great people.
    Hope this helps! πŸ™‚

  • Just one idea out of many…ask different ministries in your church what work they need done. It could be something like mowing lawns, cleaning bathrooms, serving in the nursery on Sundays and during midweek events, or teaching Sunday school. Or if your church is doing a VBS or other children’s program, ask if you can come regularly and help set up by painting sets or any other thing they need done. I’ve been able to do that for the last couple of years and it has been a blast and really a blessing to everyone involved!

  • Memorize as much Scripture as you can. Memorize like crazy. You won’t regret it. I promise.

    • Yes yes yes!!!!!! You have no idea when a memorized passage if scripture can help you! From helping you share your faith to passing time during endless laps in swim team practice. πŸ™‚

  • I don’t think I can offer you much advice, Amanda, I am struggling with the exact same issue. I spend hours of my day trying to decide what to do, and end up wasting my time. A quote that I like, which is hanging up on my room is,”All we have to decide is what we do with the time that is given us.”

    • Love that quote, @disqus_pDKExTt6f6:disqus! Now, I might be totally off…but isn’t that a Gandalf quote??

        • Yay I remembered correctly! πŸ˜‰ Gandalf is the best. Most of my favorite LotR moments are when Gandalf is sharing some of his simple wisdom. Like the one scene in Moria, talking with Frodo about Gollum. Or speaking with Pippin about dying…. Now I want to go watch that all again! (A year and a half is too long…)

  • During the summer I usually spend a lot of my time outdoors enjoying God’s Creation and marvelling at His works. I find that during the summer it is a time to witness to others and maybe invite some of your secular neighbours over and tell them about Jesus. πŸ˜‰

    • Volunteering at a vbs, especially for kids 5-6 years younger than you can be really impactful to them, but I have also found that if you take some of the lessons that they learn deeper on your own time, you can get a lot out of it.

  • I don’t know if this has been said yet, but you could look at a part time job. I’m graduating tomorrow, and I’ll be transitioning from school to full time work. πŸ˜› I’m starting to think I might miss school. Lol

  • I love writing and reading, and I also love movies so, I’ve been working on creating a movie script. It’s really fun has has enabled me to use the skills that I’ve been given!

  • I think that summer is a good time to develop new skills (like someone else mentioned). For instance, I am looking into being a bible translator, so this summer I am getting started on learning to read Hebrew. However, summer is also a great time to get better at skills that you already have. I am a young worship leader in my youth group, so I will also be working on guitar, singing, piano, and practice being in God’s presence, all things that will make me a better worship leader. I also love the scripture memorization idea!

    • Bible translation? That is awesome!! Don’t give up that dream–what a great gift to people who don’t have access to the Word of God!

  • I’ll share what I am doing in general this summer.
    First, I have two jobs, so that takes up lots of my time, but there is still free time (not filled with studying!).
    I am attending Creation Festival for the first time and Fish Fest (where I’ll finally hear my favorite band, for King and Country!). The part I really look forward to is volunteering for Compassion International (that’s the main ministry God has lead me into at this point in my life) at Creation. Christian concerts are great opportunities. You could take a road trip to one with friends/family, even volunteer at a concert.
    I am also attending Worldview Academy (also the first time). Such a great opportunity to strengthen my faith and shape my worldview. Look into it!
    This summer, my church is starting an “outreach”. We’ll have BBQ’s every month and invite those in the neighborhood right across the street to come and friends to develop reationships where we can eventually present the gospel. I signed up to help with passing out flyers door-to-door, set up/clean up, make food, etc. I’m super pumped! A year ago I would have considered that whole idea too awkward and scary, but by the grace of God (and thanks to “Do Hard Things”), I am pushing those feelings aside and going for it.
    I’m also working much more on piano for church (I’m the only “present year-round” pianist! Yikes!).
    I would say take this time to use your talents. Think about what you’re good at. Designing poster/flyers, computers, leading a group, good with kids, musical, good at making people feel welcome and loved, etc. Let an elder at your church know you’re interested in ministry and want to fill and need and tell them what you’re good at. Maybe suggest an outreach. Or do your own – have a BBQ/volleyball, etc. night for other teens at your house or a friends. The sky’s the limit!
    There’s my two cents πŸ˜‰

  • I think what the other people are saying here are some really good options. A reading list is a great idea, especially if you throw some subjects in there that you’re not really that interested in or you don’t know much about. Maybe it’ll grow on you and you’ll find a new interest. Also, the things you’re already interested in: if you want to expand your knowledge on something, dedicate half an hour of each day to it, and you really progress a lot faster than you think. (I have always been interested in martial arts, and I took some kenpo classes, but when I left I never really managed to keep learning about it. Now I’ve determined to run through my techniques every day, and I learn two new ones each week! And the great part is, it doesn’t cost a thing because they’re all on YouTube!) Community service is definitely a great way to expand your horizons, keep busy, and help other people all at the same time, plus volunteering looks great on resumes. If you want to make some money but no one will hire you, you could plant a vegetable garden and sell them. Though it’s usually fairly easy to get a job as a blueberry or strawberry picker around this time of year, no matter how old you are. (And it’s great because you get to listen to your own music while you’re doing it!) It also gives you an opportunity to witness to fellow berry pickers.

    Which reminds me of something I learned at my Winter Advance in January. It supposedly only takes three months to bring six strangers to Christ and send them out to witness to others. The first month, you find six people (whether you have to do this all together or one-on-one with each person was not specified and I don’t think it really matters either way) and you just hang out with them for an hour or so every day you can. Make friends with them, and most importantly, make memories with them. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but your best friends are the people you’ve gone through things with and done things with. Well, this first month is purely doing fun stuff with these six new people and building up a bond. You don’t have to do anything super intense. You could just do things like go bowling, prank someone by lifting their car into a peculiar place (by the way, that takes ten), or going to a concert. Pretty simple, right? Typical friend stuff.

    The second month you start really digging deep into your six people’s lives, asking for their stories and getting to know them REALLY well. And it’s also the month in which you share your own story: namely, your testimony of how you came to be a follower of Jesus Christ. This is where you start asking them questions about when God last spoke to them and what they believe about Him. Get them to come with you to church and youth group once in awhile to hear about God. Call it an introduction to Jesus. And still the bond ever deepens.

    The third month is where things really get serious. You should be pretty close to, if not already, successful at leading your six new pals to Jesus. You’re gonna start a small group, bringing your six together and telling them about Christ. Start up a Bible study and mentor them and teach them how they can reach others for God.

    And then, at the end of the month, send them out to find six more, and BAM! the chain has begun. Your six will get six each, each of those six will get six more, and so on and so forth until approximately nineteen years from now we’re standing on a Jesus-following Bible-reading people-loving Planet Earth. And all it’s gonna cost you is one summer, a bit of boldness, and maybe a little froyo. πŸ˜‰

  • My family is travelling, so we have more time than usual, in some ways. On long drives in the car we’ve been listening to sermons on topics we’ve had questions about (and we drive several times a week). ( any topic or Bible passage!)
    And of course like others have said, there’s always something to raise money or awareness for or a skill to develop.

  • Oh yay! THIS question!
    So here’s what I’m doing this summer to keep myself busy (I’m still adding to the list!):
    Reading a ton of books (I do this anyways but whatever)
    Volunteering at my local pregnancy crisis center
    Learning the craft of motherhood ( )
    Going to summer camp
    Studying 1 and 2 Corinthians
    Finishing a typing course
    Hanging out with my family
    Hosting events for my youth group
    Volunteering myself to do work around the house (This is AMAZING to do if you get bored and have nothing to do. Grab the mower, put on some headphones rocking your favorite music, and mow the yard for no charge! πŸ˜‰ )
    Writing research papers, blog posts, ect.
    Taking a CPR/First Aid course
    Researching curriculum for my next school year

    So yeah.

    • What do you do at Crisis Pregnancy? My friend and I sew breast feeding covers for pregnancy centers. πŸ™‚

      • That’s awesome! Sometimes people give us burp cloths or breast feeding covers that they’ve made, and they’re always the first things to go. πŸ™‚
        I work in their boutique, where people can exchange points that they’ve earned in classes for items they need for their baby. I organize and manage all of the stuff that goes in and out.

    • Great list!! I love “Learning the craft of motherhood!!” That’s awesome!! I’m looking forward to being a mother!!

  • I live in Arizona where it is unbearable hot during June, July, August, and even September, so outdoor activities (besides swimming, and I don’t swim very much) are completely out. I do school through the whole summer, so I can take time off around Easter and Christmas when the weather is lovely down here. I am also attempting to learn mime using a teaching tape, and I’m taking time to work out at home more. I’m also hoping to read through the New Testament during the summer. Thankfully I still have a lot of church stuff going on through out the summer, so their is plenty to do between church and home!

  • If your church is hosting a VBS for elementary/ kindergarten, I would suggest volunteering for that. I have found that you can influence many children’s lives because they look up to you and will listen to you more than they will adults.

      • Which one? I have taken many, and would be happy to help with informative questions you might have…

        • I’m taking Western Civ I using InstantCert to study. I was going to do College Algebra but it was way too hard and I heard you need at least geometry and possibly pre-calc before doing that one. :/

        • I may do dual enrollment with Liberty University. Still praying. What grade are you in? I’m in 11th grade.

          • I’m 16 (17 in Sep.) I graduated High School last year (at 15) and am currently a Junior in college, trying to finish my remaining coursework by December. πŸ™‚

          • Oh, so I’m older then you by one month. I’ll be 17 Aug. 3rd.

            AWESOME!! THAT’S SO AMAZING!! I want my kids to be like you and do college courses by 15, 17ish. Traditional school is SO over-rated!! No need to be in school longer than you really have to. There’s certainly no reason to stay in high school if you’re ready for college work!! You know? I’m glad you were able to graduate high school at 15. Kudos to you!!! I’m a little behind in certain subjects, so my graduation will be in 2017. Science and math are NOT my strong strengths at all!!

            How’s your summer coming?

          • Science and math ARE my strong points… especially chemistry and geometry.
            My summer is coming ok… it’s hot here (like it hit 100 yesterday) and I have quite a bit of outdoor work to do. :p
            As I said, I’m trying to finish college the end of this year, so that doesn’t leave much time for just kicking around (actually this is my version of free time… fyi). πŸ˜€

          • Good for you!! I admire people who are good at those subjects!! More power to you!! πŸ˜‰

            Here it’s been doing A LOT of raining, but today it was in the 90’s. My summer’s ok. Right now I’m busy helping out with a summer enrichment program at my church. Along with that, I’m doing some school. Just a couple of things, like math! I’m hoping to have a temporary job just during July and August. I doubt it but we’ll see.

            I understand that!!! I tend to make time when I really don’t have time, if that makes any sense!! This is one of my versions of free time too. Between reading blogs, reading books, talking to friends on the phone, dreaming about things I want to do, the future in general, pinning on pinterst at times ( but not too much), and watching movies here and there. And sometimes I just read my bible and pray. I need to do that more often though, I must say. Also, I listen to Adventures in Odyssey or Johnathan Park.

            What was your first reaction to reading Do Hard Things? Do you remember?

        • Hello there Jonah! Welcome to the Reb family!! How are you enjoying it?

          CollegePlus is a customized college online program that helps you choose a degree, create a college plan, and earn college credit. After you finish certain things in high school you can start collegeplus during your high school years and earn college credits. Plus since it’s not like the traditional way you’ll graduate college earlier.

  • If you are an artsy peson check this site out, . Salty sidewalk is a ministry of making your own gospel tracts . I did this actually last week and spread them out for people to find at a park.

  • Hey there! This is a really good question, thanks for posting πŸ™‚ I had the same one earlier this year, and here’s how it was answered…maybe it will be helpful. I am having to do math through the summer (being a bit behind :P), but I’m also had a desire to really focus on personal evangelism, and deep community with other believers this summer. Actually, as the change of seasons approached this year, I felt like the Lord wanted me to leave an open schedule…so He could be the one filling it in. As I continued in prayer for what he wanted me to do, I decided to do part time work instead of a full time job so that I could be more free. It has been amazing to see the opportunities He is opening up- a trip to Arizona to minister to the Navajo, working with a Christian camp in my home state (NC), interning with an EAA Chapter, and helping with VBS are just a few of the things that I’ll be doing this summer! Other than that, I plan on spending more time one-on-one with my siblings and developing deeper relationships with them. And, like several others have said, spending down time in scripture and other good books never hurt anyone πŸ™‚ One passage of scripture that helps me in this area is Philippians 3, where Paul encourages us to “Live up to whatever truth we have attained”. As we obey what we know for sure to the best of our ability, God brings us a clearer understanding of the exact things he wants us to do!
    Hope this helps, God bless.

  • you could always join me in training for a 5k. I always appreciate a running partner! πŸ˜› Another thing you could do is work ahead on school. I’m trying to do that since we’ll be moving and I want to get a part-time job next year. Just thoughts.

  • Spend lots of time with the Lord, read some good books, work on any school subjects that you struggle with, and become more equipped to share Jesus with others. Oh, and maybe get a job!! πŸ˜‰ lol!!

  • Hey @disqus_rxHwcqpiM4:disqus if you are looking for a really good book ” Be intolerant” by Ryan Dobson is really Great. It is about standing up for principles and not just letting wrong parade by without a fight!

  • What i do when i don’t know what to do is read your bible and pray for ways to reach those you go to school with next year.

  • I am home schooled which means that I don’t have summer vacation, but there are still slow afternoons, and we all know ” idle hands do the devils work” how can i keep my hands from being idle?

    • What I would do is find A good book(or books) and read them. This summer I am reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, Do hard things by The HArris brothers, and The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. When my book list runs out I will probably go to the library and find more.

      • that’s a pretty good idea
        but i have read all of my books, any suggestions on where to get new ones?

      • Dude we could be best friends!! Your list matches mine almost exactly! I have Unbroken and Do Hard Things, but I got Mere Christianity first! πŸ˜€ Then the Screwtape Letters!

        • Both Unbroken and Do Hard Things were good reads. I am right now working on Screwtape Letters, and that book is a very hard read.

          • I am really excited to read it! I started it once but it became due at my library and I had to return it. But it is on my to do list! I LOVED the movie Unbroken so of course I HAD to get the book! πŸ™‚ And I did read Do Hard Things, but my family just bought me my own copy so I want to re-read it!

          • Have you heard of the Door Within Trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson? (read the whole trilogy then had my grandma buy me the first one for Christmas!) Or Wonder by RJ Palacio, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick (I LOVED this book! Checked it out so much that I had to buy it!), Unleashed! by Perry Noble (my family has two copies but that is a long story!), Love Does by Bob Goff (another one I need to buy!), The Inheritance Cycle by Christoper Paloini (he started the first one when he was 16-17 and is SO good! I have only read three of the 4 books but I love them. And just a heads up this is not by a Christian author, so in case you want to check it out first! I personally like it though! But if you do read it DON’T watch the movie! They did a HORRIBLE job!), The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer Nielsen (also not a Christian series, but one I really like as well), then I haven’t read this one but CS Lewis has a science fiction trilogy and the first one is called Out of the Silent Planet (I have only heard good things and do like science fiction). Ummm… I could keep going, I read a lot! I really didn’t mean to make such a long list… What other books would you recommend? I would love them!

          • I’ve read The Inheritance Cycle, You really need to finish it. I haven’t haven’t read Out of the Silent Planet trilogy, either. But I need to. I have read a biography about Corrie Ten Boom, And She has a really good story. Some other books you need to read are: The Power of Five by Anthony Horowitz, The Alex Rider series also by Anthony Horowitz, Divergent series by Veronica Roth, The Secret life of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (quite a mouth full) by Michael Scott, Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol all by Dan Brown. I would say that all of those authors are not christian except for Veronica Roth. All of the books above are fiction. I haven’t really read lots of non_fiction. What is your favorite genre?

          • Yes I know I need to finish the Inheritance Cycle!! I REALLY want to but of course have to re-read the other 3 first…. Which will take some time! And yes I love Corrie Ten Booms story! I started the Out of the Silent Planet trilogy, and enjoyed it but had to return it and just haven’t gotten back around to it! I have SO been meaning to read the Alex Rider series I think I would SO get into that! I haven’t heard of the Power of Five, but my sister keeps telling me to read The Secret Life of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (which caught my eye due to Harry Potter) What is the Da Vinci Code about? I have heard of it…. And Veronica Roth is a Christian author? I didn’t know that. I actually read the first two books of Divergent and skimmed half of the third (I already know how it ends) and I couldn’t stand it! And I normally always push through books! But I think I am going to give it another chance because overall I liked the first book. And I was definitely going to read Four just because his character, characters story and development is so interesting! And I read TONS of fiction! My favorite genre I would have to say is fiction, although I do enjoy non-fiction, and biographies and such! What about you? (I am assuming fiction, but in case I am wrong! :D)

          • Fiction is my favorite type of books, but this summer I am mainly focusing on non-fiction. My favorite Type of fiction is sci-fi and fantasy. The Da Vinci Code is such an amazing book! It’s a must read. The first book in that series is Angels and Demons.

          • Sweet! I love focusing on non-fiction because it is “real world”! Although I a lot of times draw meaning from fictional books! I will have to check that out! Yeah new reading buddy!

    • You don’t have summer vacation? I get summer vacation when my books are done.
      One suggestion — find something to learn. Something you can get better at, something to read up on… for me, that meant diving back into crocheting and writing. And lots of reading! πŸ™‚

        • Well, I’m not one to say what is and isn’t okay, but imo yeah… I mean, if it’s getting in the way of doing real things then no, but if it’s a way to relax sometimes, sure why not? I mean, if it’s getting to be the only thing you do, then you need to cut back, but it’s fine normally.
          So yeah, it’s fine…. the question really is, is it a good use of your time? And really you’re the only one who knows the answer to that question.
          Although I’ve never seen Rhett or Link, so if you’re asking about those specifically, I got nothing.

  • As Brett and Alex say, Do Hard Things. If you can’t find an opportunity to do mission work, make an opportunity. You could have a yard sale with all the benefits going to a charity of your choice. You could put flyers in the mailboxes of your neighborhood advertising and asking for donations. And get some friends in on it. That way, you have accountability. Advertise in the newspaper if you can. You can also witness through it. Give out tracts with each purchase.

  • Me and my friend are going to do a lemonade stand at one of the ladies in our churches yard sale. Maybe you could get a friend and sell lemonade. Just a thought.

  • Try learning a new skill!
    Learn coding, get better at building things, take a martial arts class!
    Try to do something to add to your set of skills that will help in the future to raise a family, and ultimately, honor God.

  • Hi Amanda πŸ™‚

    Great question! There are many, many things you can do during the summer, when more free time is available. There are many teen missions trips you can go on (most of them start around $3,000 to $4,000. You can find trips with no fee to join, but you will almost undoubtedly have to pay for your travel fairs, hence the bill.)

    If you want something a little closer to home, check out volunteer work in your neighborhood. And if there is none, what not start one?

    One of my projects is a novel (I’ve been writing it for the last couple years now, actually). It is a Christian medieval fantasy novel–I’m writing it because there seems to be a lack of good, wholesome Christian novels in the fantasy genre. (My book does include magic, but unlike most novels, it shows it as bad. Though the main character struggles with this as first, knowing it is wrong but not wanting to avoid it.) It is my goal to bring honor and glory to God through this novel πŸ™‚ If you enjoy writing, I suggest you start a novel of your own! It is a great way to spend your time, and allows for a LOT of creative room.

    Do school. Just hear me out on this one, okay? πŸ˜‰ I’m homeschooled (Heritage Christian Online School, or HCOS for short) and I’m taking some summer classes online this summer. Planning 10 and Pre-calc 10 (I’m fourteen and just finished grade nine this June.) I hope to do grade 11 in those two courses this winter, then do more summer classes next summer, and ultimately graduate a year early. I’ve always been fascinated with science (I’m that kid who watches physics lectures for fun on youtube, hehe) and I hope to teach it one day πŸ™‚ There is a whole generation of science students that need to know more about God, not evolution! Regardless of what topic in school you like, there will be opportunities to let your Light shine through. By taking the time to study in the summer, you will be giving yourself a jump in life, and also teaching yourself dedication. Or perhaps if you didn’t do too well in a grade last year, redo it and improve! There is nothing like dedication for impressing future employers, improving yourself, and honoring God through hard work.

    Be a friend. I’m sure you’ve heard of kids who’ve “fallen in with the wrong crowd”. Parents worry about the “bad kids” who will be a bad influence on their own children. But you know what? It works both ways! Be a good influence on everyone around you; start asserting some positive peer pressure by living for God as best and as much as you can. When you try being the best friend you can, it’s amazing how many people (some who you don’t even know very well) that will come to you and ask you advice about stuff, or just want to talk about something in their life. It is an amazing experience, and a great faith booster! πŸ™‚

    I found this picture on Google+ a while ago, which I uploaded to this comment. What if we actually did treat our Bibles like our cells phones? This is a great goal for any season, and one that I wish to work on.

    The final, and most important, thing I can tell you to do is pray. Ask God what He wants you to be doing. The answer might surprise you πŸ™‚

    • Well, considering that college can eat that up in one year…. keep saving? Life gets really expensive… :/

  • I LOVE reading? Any Christian book recommendations?

    Some of my favs:
    Left Behind (it’s an obsession) by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye

    The 9/11 Series by Karen Kingsbury

    The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers (this an EXCELLENT, LIFE CHANGING, 3 BOOK SERIES, ESPECIALLY FOR FEMALE TEENS)

  • i have one! it is called the young samurai.

    it is about a young boy who is a christian at the time but goes with his father to japan, but he gets separated from his dad and is adopted by one of the local samurai leaders,
    he learns his way with the martial arts. but his religion is challenged by other samurai.
    Christianity was highly looked down upon by Buddhist samurai, he becomes a christian samurai. I love this book i have most of the series.

  • Four years ago, my private Christian school started The Micah Conference. It is a conference in mid June where high school students get together and hear about what they can do to change the world for the better and have conversations with other students about this. This conference is four consecutive days long and at cairn university in Langhorne, Pennsylvania and we bring in speakers from all around the country. This year we had 78 students attend and we got to hear from Andy Crouch, the editor of Christianity Today magazine, about what our true purpose as youth is. A cool thing about us is that we are totally student organized and we really understand how to make it a fun time. Please contact us if you want to know more!

    [email protected]

    Or visit our website:

    • If I don’t reply to your reply it means I haven’t looked, so just send an email if you have something important!

  • To be productive During the summer you could get a job. Most places wont hire kids 15 and under but there are other things you can do besides an actual job. Is what i did was i went around in my neighborhood and asked if people wanted me to wash their cars and asked $10 per car(inside and out). As long as you have a shop-vac, a bucket, soap, paper towels, cleaner, a sponge for the outside of the car you should be fine. I started when i was 13 and i am 15 now. people thought it was great that i was so young and was looking to work to provide for car/college. Thats just a thought. Good Luck!

  • This summer my plans are going on a mission trip, teaching VBS, playing softball, and working as a nanny. I’m looking forward to sharing Jesus through all of those outlets!

  • This summer I will be reading Mere Christianity, This Changes Everything, Lies Young Women Believe, and Girl Defined. I also need christian fiction recommendations, if anybody has any.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsβ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More β†’