The beach, family reunions, barbeques, reconnecting with friends, side hustles, traveling, binging on Netflix: ah summer! What should be a time to decompress and slow down can quickly become a time of frenzy and disconnect—disconnection from routines, community, friends, and most importantly, Jesus.
So, how can we stay connected with God when we don’t have weekly Bible studies or rhythms that keep us on track? Here are my three most used tools during the summer to stay connected to the Word when life seems chaotic.
1. Centering Prayer Mobile App
This app helps me to continually practice daily prayer. Beautiful, elegant, and peaceful, the app includes an adjustable timer, as well as opening and closing prayer options that may be read before and after Centering Prayer. An assortment of sounds and backgrounds allow you to choose the type of environment for the prayer time.
2. InterVarsity’s “The Worship Playlist” on Spotify
I love listening to worship music when I feel disconnected and overwhelmed with life.This playlist is my go-towhen I need connection but don’t have a lot of mental bandwidth. One of my favorite things about this playlist is the variety of songs—there are over 200. These include songs in English, Spanish, and even Zulu, plus many more languages and many styles of worship.
3. She/He Reads Truth App
I've had the She Reads Truth app on my phone for years. This is a Bible-reading tool created to help women from around the world connect with God’s Word and each other, anytime and anywhere. The website says, “Whether your Truth time comes in the early morning before the world wakes, during a lunch break at your desk, or in the middle of the night with a baby in your arms—the She Reads Truth app brings your quiet (or not so quiet) time to you, right where you are.” I couldn’t agree more. The readings are short in length but deep in theology. And I love the fact that I can take notes on the app and reflect on past studies. The tangible study guides can be delivered to you, if you prefer, and are rich in beauty. They also offer He Reads Truth and Kids Read Truth studies to connect your entire family.
Whether you try out one of these resources or not, in the midst of chaos and being out of our normal routinge, one of the best and most simple ways to connect is to just take a deep breath and thank God for his presence and partnership in your life. Gratitude and reflection can sometimes be the most relaxing techniques that draw us closer to God as we remember who is and all he's done for us.
With the pace of summer, we need to be even more intentional with having our quiet times with God. Maybe the best time for you is early in the morning before you head to work or class. Perhaps it's on your drive to work or late at night. There is not a perfect time, just a perfect God who doesn’t care when or where you meet with him. We can show up when we're overwhelmed, out of rhythm in life, or unprepared.
As the summer ends, I challenge you to spend at least 30 minutes a day in prayer or silence. Use that time to reflect, listen to God, give thanks, and prepare for the next season. It will be the most life-giving experience of your summer.
Stephanie serves as Communications and Operations Manager of InterVarsity’s Learning and Talent department. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four young children. To make a donation to Stephanie’s ministry, use this link: donate.intervarsity.org/donate#21400.
Whether you’re new to discovering this sacred space, or you have grown up being taught that a good Christian should have a “daily quiet time,” it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do...How do you find time that’s free of distraction? How do you connect to someone who feels invisible and not always easy to hear?
"I humbly believe that the songs we sing in worship have deep impacts on our understanding...the gems of these three songs give us language around Jesus’ great commandment, posturing us to better love God with our mind, heart, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves."