Summer is in full swing and for some families that means planning vacations near or far, cookouts, swimming, and more time together simply enjoying the extra hours of daylight. However, for many women, the summer is a complicated or difficult season.
Whether single, divorced or widowed, women viewing Instagram photos of family travels and togetherness often feel a heightened awareness of their relationship status. For working moms, the summer months bring added stress as their work hours remain the same, but their childcare needs change. Women who have experienced a recent life change—the loss of a loved one or other life circumstance—have a painful reminder that although months are flying off of their calendars and friends are carrying on with their lives, their pain remains constant.
In light of these truths, how can we be women who enjoy summer to the fullest, with sensitivity for those around us?
Here are some ideas to get your creativity flowing:
Loving widows in your community.
Many people offer help or pay visits around the holidays, but don’t forget those living alone this summer. Pay a visit and spend time talking, working a puzzle or playing a board game. Offer an invitation to your family cookout, gathering, or child’s ballgame. Bake a treat together.
Loving single moms.
Offer to keep their children one day each week. Include their children when you take yours to the pool or water park. Help sponsor a child for a week at camp or take them to VBS. Bless them with restaurant gift cards or pre-made meals to make their evenings easier. Offer to babysit in the evening.
Loving working moms.
Help with childcare needs over the summer. Offer to help with carpool for older children who need rides to practice. Brainstorm ways to make mealtime easier, giving them more time with their children in the evenings.
Loving your single friends.
If you have young children, consider inviting your single friend on your family vacation for a fun getaway and extra set of arms to hold kids. Invite them to holiday cookouts, weeknight dinners, or pool days. Include them at lunch after church.
None of us have the time or resources to do all of these things, but all of us can do something. As older women are included in the life of young families, they feel wanted and our children get an “extra grandma.” As single friends are invited into family life, they become part of a family unit. As single moms (and their children) recieve our love and support, they know they are not alone. In these remaining summer days, ask the Lord who you can love with practical action.
What about you? How have you seen or experienced love from others in your season of life?
Meet the Author!
Heather McAnear is a wife, mom, author and speaker with a passion for sharing God's truth to help women understand their uniquely beautiful design and how to use it for God's glory! She loves teaching young married couples with her husband, homeschooling their three children, traveling the world, enjoying good chocolate and long conversations in coffee shops. CRBC has been her church home for two decades and she is thrilled to be part of the Women's Ministry team, helping women connect with each other and grow in their walk with Jesus!