Recap of Spring Break and Gospel-Centered Resources


Spring Break came and went, and boy did I get absolutely nothing done. That’s what happens when you become Cruise Director and Entertainment Manager, something I never knew was part of the mom job description if you had asked me 13 years ago.

And seriously, I’m going to have to come up with a better plan for summer–a schedule where I can carve out more than a few minutes alone. I honestly can’t imagine doing Spring Break for an entire summer!

All in all, it was really good. I enjoyed playing with my sweet children, who were actually very pleasant this week (hard not to be when everything is going your way), and I even got my tail on a roller skating rink and I played some pretty serious laser tag–who knew that being a Sniper comes really natural for me? I even came out first place in one of the games.

We also watched so many Full House episodes that I lost count. My children can’t believe I’ve kept such a treasure from them all these years, and it’s honestly been the weirdest feeling watching it again since I was a junkie as a child and pretty much grew up with Candace Cameron (at least that’s how I felt).

(And in case any of you are wondering, I watched Fuller House all on my own, having only showed my kids one episode and realizing it’s very distinctly not for kids. But I honestly loved it, as a child of the 80’s and 90’s)

I realized though, after a full week of entertainment and relaxation, and after not opening my Bible once, that I felt very lost this last week, like life felt strangely empty. I wasn’t sure if it was just being out of my normal routine, having not even a moment to myself, or what.

But I have a sneaking suspicion it had more to do with not having God at the forefront of my days, which is another way Summer has to be different.

So this morning I pulled down all the old, wise friends that I haven’t read in a long time, curled up in my bed and refreshed myself with the Word and with Christ-centered thoughts that are essential for a steady walk with Him.


In case you find yourself at the edge of a busy Spring Break and wondering how to refocus for this week, here are a few ideas:

Love God Greatly, Ecclesiastes study. It’s been a while since I’ve done a Love God Greatly study, but it couldn’t be a more perfect study for me right now. And bonus, they are selling their journal on Amazon and they have one for kids too, so I ordered one for each of the girls and they are going to do it with me, whether they like it or not.

Valley of Vision. A tried and true resource of prayers written by the Puritans. I turned to the Redemption section and am going to read one per day from now on. I need constant reminders of the Gospel.

The Gospel Primer, by Milton Vincent. I always think this was written by a Puritan as well, given that the author’s name sounds so old. But it was written by a current living man! Again, I’m reading one section per day to keep my heart and mind pointed back on Christ.

The Loveliness of Christ, by Samuel Rutherford. Are you sensing a trend? There’s something about the Puritan writings that help me quit focusing on my woes and start again focusing on the beauty of Christ. This one’s a teeny tiny book made up of quotes. One per day is extremely easy and totally worth it.

Learning to Be Happy, by Jeremiah Burroughs. This is a smaller version of the book The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, and seems more manageable. I think I’ve realized that discontentment has been slowly creeping into my soul, and the only way out is to seek things above and look to Jesus.

Beyond Amazing Grace. J. Todd Murray compiled writings and letters and hymns written by John Newton, the author of the well known hymn Amazing Grace. It is a jewel, and like the other books listed, can be read in small clips at a time.

I remembered a blog post I read a couple of weeks ago by Kitty Hurdle about discontentment, and she too quotes from a Puritan who gives 5 ways to fight discontentment. I’ve gone back to her post several times to review them.

And if you are attempting to sink your heart into the meaning of this week, the Passion Week, as we approach the deep thoughts of the crucifixion and then the resurrection, read Ruth Chou Simons  thoughts on our own personal suffering and that of Christ’s. And also check out her ideas of how to include your kiddos in celebrating this week, so so good.


Okay, I hope this jump starts your Spring like it has mine.

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  • Melina Asher

    What a great resource list – thanks! May I look at the Ecclesiastes journals – kids and yours – if you haven’t started writing in them? … the description of Cruise Director 😉

    • Gabrielle

      Sure thing! I decided not to use them for the kids until the summer, so they don’t feel like it’s homework.

    • You sure can, I’ll try to remember to bring it to church one of these sundays. I’m going to save it for the summer for them because I think it overwhelmed them thinking of having one more thing to do.

  • Monica Haley

    This is great and so wonderful to share, all of this <3
    I also have been looking for a study to do with my older kids, going to have to check this out. And some of these others for myself.
    So thankful to see.your blog today!!!!
    By the way, you're an amazing writer! You sharing is so encouraging and inspiring!

    • Gabrielle

      Thanks Monica! So I got the journals for the kids and they look great, but I sensed that the thought of having one more thing to do for at least one of my kids was very overwhelming for her, so I decided to put it on hold until the summertime (cause then she will have no excuse!)

    • Thanks Monica! I got the study and it looks great, but I think I’ll save it for the summer time so it won’t feel so much like homework for the kids. I think they are a little overwhelmed right now.