By Linnette Bachman
What do you need this summer in order to enter fall launch refreshed and ready to engage? Have you ever entered fall launch eager and “full” as a mom?
Last summer Dave and I tried something new, and it was a game changer.
Dave led a team to Southeast Asia at the end of May and first three weeks of June. He got a team of students established for the summer, and then he headed home. I was a bit nervous about it—how would I fare single-momming it with five kids? I’d never been apart from my husband for 3+ weeks before. Would I be lonely? Could I do it?
The Lord was so gracious to abundantly provide for me. A small group from my church brought us meals. We did back-to-back vacation Bible schools. I joined our local YMCA with 9 hours of free babysitting a week. (It also has a chapel and smoothie shop!) I was so thankful for technology that allowed me to talk often with Dave (much more frequently than I expected and more than a typical retreat or spring break trip would allow.) There were long days for sure, but there were also “cereal for dinner and slumber party with Mom” nights which I wouldn’t normally do. We made it.
Then we had all of July open on our schedule!
So, we booked it.
We blocked off three weeks—no overnight guests, no trips, no meetings. Dave and I unplugged from technology and TV and guarded our days. In the morning he went out for extended time alone with God (XTAWG) from 8-12 while I stayed home and taught a summer session of our homeschooling, parented, did laundry, and all the typical mom things. He’d come home for lunch, and I would head out from 1-5 for my own XTAWG. Then we spent the evenings connecting as a family, going on walks, playing board games, and reading aloud. We did this every weekday for three weeks!
In my time with the Lord, I reflected and processed, I studied and prayed, I went on walks and read books—4 books cover to cover! I felt like the Lord was speaking to me and filling me up in a way that I hadn’t had space for in years. I truly entered into fall launch full of Jesus and ready to overflow into the lives of our staff team and students. It was amazing! I said to Dave, “If this is what an overseas assignment summer is like, sign us up every year!” In some ways, I feel like I’ve been living off all that I took in during those sweet weeks for this whole year.
Obviously this isn’t sustainable long-term or even something I can expect year-to-year, but I have coordinated with Dave to keep an XTAWG on the calendar for me every month this year. I have worked hard to let the refill moments that the Lord gives really count—meaning I try to express out loud “I’m so grateful for this moment–it is refreshing me!” And as we consider our calendar this summer, instead of thinking “can we cram in ____ before August?”, we have a category now for “what do we need this summer in order to enter fall launch refreshed and ready to engage?”
Whether you are laboring at home, overseas, or at an STP, I encourage you to try to schedule a few back-to-back XTAWG days before freshmen move-in!
Linnette and her husband Dave began their marriage and Nav staff career in 2005 (EDGE and SIT at Colorado State) and currently lead the NavCity and collegiate work in Nashville. They have 5 children: Kate (10), Kylie (9), McKenzie (7), Daniel (6), and Andrew (2). Linnette and Dave are passionate about the shared mission of raising up disciple-makers and raising up their kids.