As a mom, I always feel behind. Just sitting here writing this, I can think of five things I should have finished by now that are haunting me. Nothing earth-shattering, of course, but still…

In general, most moms have to stay about a season ahead of the date on today’s calendar. Want your daughter in a Fall soccer league? You’ll have to get her signed up by June. Do your kids need their biannual trip to the dentist in April? Better get that scheduled in February.

When it comes to schools and education, it’s often even worse. Years ago, we decided to send our first child to church preschool a few days a week, and I got up early and stood in a cold line in January to enroll her for the coming Fall.

But here’s the truth – it is OK if you’re not constantly living in the future. Sometimes, I have to move my calendar and to-do list and unanswered emails to the side and just BE with my kids, in the moment. My two girls are thrilled when I do this, and I love those times with them reading together, playing Uno, or lately, just chatting (listening to them chatter!).

The challenge for me is to turn off the perpetual to-do list in my head. It can be downright crippling, and rob me of the joy of spending unhurried time with my children.

As we enter into summer, I’d love to encourage you to join me in living in the present. To help me with this, every year we as a family make a Summer List. It’s a list of all of the things we want to enjoy or learn together over the summer. We list movies we want to watch on our family movie nights, things we want to learn together, places we want to go (I always have to reel these ideas into some kind of reality!), and people we want to make sure we see.

A few times during the summer, I take the list down from our bulletin board and make sure we’ve crossed off anything we’ve completed. We have never completed everything on the list; however, we’ve had a lot of fun trying, and it helps us to be more intentional in how we spend our time together.

I challenge you to make your own family Summer List. You might be surprised by what a fun summer you’ll have!