Summer Survival

June 8, 2021

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Summer is coming! Let’s talk mindset and strategy! We’ll talk about noise, snacks, bugs, drowning, sunscreen, being judged, and judging others. 

Do you want to feel a sense of control this summer? We’ll teach you how to manage your mind around what’s surely going to pop up and even the unknown challenges too!

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Join Us in Masters

Coffee & Pearls Summer Series

You can also search for Coffee & Pearls on your podcast app and find these episodes published in May of 2019. 

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four


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Welcome to the made for greatness podcast. I’m Sterling Jay. And today on episode 32, we are talking about surviving the summer. So I know a lot of us are heading into summer and I’m going to talk about five major buckets of things that happen to us decisions that we need to make that affect most of us in the summertime. And some of these will apply to you. And some of them won’t because some of you will have little kids or teenagers or kids who are grown, but there’s something for everyone in this episode, as we head into the summer and I’m going to teach you how to feel empowered around the decisions that you make. Okay? So the five categories are time, kids, fear, pain, and pride. So we’re going to talk about each one of those, but before I get into it, remember this is a podcast about life coaching tools and the major tool that we want you to learn is the skill of managing your thoughts.

So you need to notice your thinking and then you need to believe that you can change your thinking. You need to know that your thoughts drive your feelings, which drive your actions, which give you your results. So you’ll often hear us say your thoughts, create your results. And I’ll give you lots of examples in this episode. And so as you’re listening and some of you will want to listen to this a few times with a piece of paper. So you can do your own thought, work around your personal list of stuff that you’re dealing with over the summer. But if you can slow down and notice your thoughts about all of these things that we’re going to talk about, then you can choose different thoughts that give you different results. It’s absolutely life changing to do this. Okay? So let’s start with time. When we head into the summer, there are two camps of people.

Generally speaking, one who feels very under scheduled, your friends are asking you, Hey, what are you doing for the summer? And you’re like, I don’t really have any plans. I did not sign my kids up for summer camp. I have not created a beautiful Montessori style, you know, playroom for the kids. I don’t have a book reading list for them, right? You just have your under scheduled, which is just an opinion by the way. But your brain is offering that to you. It’s like, Oh no, something’s wrong. You have not scheduled enough to do for the summer. Okay? One thought the other group tends to be the one that over schedules. And again, this is just an opinion that your brain is giving you, Oh, you scheduled too many summer camps, vacation, Bible school, going to the zoo, having a pass to the pool. We have lots of people visiting us in your brain. Won’t want to make you think that that is a problem. Both of these are related to time, but I want to share with you that there is no right or wrong way to do the summer. And you can change your mind. When you think about the summer,

I want you to feel peace or excitement or the good kind

Of pride where you’re like, ah, I really laid it out exactly the way that I want to. We’re not going to worry about what other people think.

We’re not going to worry about ruining the kids.

Kids are just fine, whether they have very little to do or a lot to do, and you are their mama. You will pay attention to how they’re doing. And if it’s too much or too little you’ll swoop in and be a problem solver

And change your mind. So when you think about time this summer, how do you want to feel? What would you need to be thinking in order to feel that way? I like to be very unrushed. I do not like the feeling of being rushed. And so I create summer for me and my family to make sure that I am not


So I tend to be on the under scheduled side. I tend to do spontaneous things with people. My kids don’t do any summer camps this year. They’ll do vacation Bible school. Cause that’s back on. So we’re excited about that. And I think we have two people who are coming to visit us. But other than that, I don’t have specific plans for the summer. My husband takes the older four kids camping, but even that tends to spontaneous. Now there’s no right or wrong way. But I feel at peace. When I think about that, when I think about my plans for the summer, it feels like, Oh, that’s nice. That’s going to be a nice summer. And if I start to feel tension, Oh no, maybe I should sign them up for tennis or something. I stopped myself and I say, there’s no right or wrong way to do this summer. Do we want to sign someone up for tennis? Because it sounds fun. And we want to, but that’s it. I’m not going to do it out of a place of scarcity or fear. So what do you want to think about or feel when it comes to how you’re spending your time during the summer? And some of you just need to make some decisions.

You actually spend a great deal of time worrying and in confusion and indecision and you just haven’t decided and not deciding is stealing your peace. So I would encourage you if this is you to just get a piece of paper out and say, what decisions do I need to make about the summer? For example, my husband and I just decided to shift the kids’ sleeping time an hour later and their wake-up time and hour later for the summer. And it was really causing me tension because I kept thinking about it and wondering about it. And then I thought, Oh, I just need to grab my husband and we just need to decide. And then we just did, and I feel great about it now, now I’m not spending any emotional or mental energy.

Okay. So take a look at your time. Anything about time, that’s stressing you out and we have an entire structure, an overwhelmed time management course in masters. That’s amazing and teaches you how to do that. But you can just begin by pulling out a piece of paper and making some decisions and asking yourself, how do I want to do you think or feel you could start with either one of those about what I’ve got going on for the summer. Okay. So next up is kits and the kids are kind of related to all of the categories, but I wanted a specific kid category.

When it comes to kids in the summer, we have a lot of stories that we tell ourselves

About the kids being bored. The kids having too much screen time. The kids asking for food all the time, having friends over not being invited by friends, so much noise, sibling fights, okay, there’s all these I’m going to call them triggers that we have around kids. And we have this thought that it’s so much worse in the summer. We have the salt. It’s so much worse in the summer food and the noise and the screen time and all of it. And then our brain goes and finds evidence that it’s so much worse in the summer. Now. Not all of you feel like this. Some of you love the summertime in school is done and things feel more relaxing and your kids are just as loud, but you’re looking at them and you’re like, yeah, it’s so nice that they’re all home though. We can have the exact same circumstance, but very different thoughts about it. One thought can lead us to feeling pleased or happy or at peace. And a different thought could make us feel stressed or overwhelmed. What I want for you going into the summer time is to feel empowered. Now we can’t control what shows up. We can’t control how many times, you know, the kids fight

Or how hot it is Or if the AC breaks any of that. But we can control how we show up how we choose to think about everything that’s going on. So again, pull out that piece of paper. This is really one of those episodes. You’re going to want to listen to twice and then just write sibling fights, snacks. I’m bored, screen time, friends or lack of friends. You already know the big buckets of things that are gonna come up in the summertime that might be annoying to you.

Brainstorm thoughts that you can have about those things. That would feel good. So let’s take sibling fights. For example, kids are home a lot thrown together, staring at each other for 20 hours a day, or however long they’re awake in the summertime. It feels like forever. And there are going to be sibling fights. How do you want to think about your kids fighting? Do you want to think it means they’re not going to be friends as an adult or that you’re a bad mom. They should know better? Or do you want to think? Yeah. Kids have sibling fights. Guess what? Married people have married fights when you’re stuck with someone all day, every day, it creates tension sometimes. And then we fight and it doesn’t have to mean anything big or dire. It’s pretty normal actually. So you could look at your kids and you could think, Oh, that’s totally normal siblings fight. Maybe I could create an opportunity for them to have some alone time, some distance. And that’s hard for some of us. I have six kids. I can’t do that for everyone, but I can usually tuck away the three oldest girls in some area of house so they can be by themselves. So they don’t have to be with their siblings all the time. Just like you have a longing for control. Children, have a longing for control.

And so when I see sibling fights, usually the kids just need something food rest, alone time, but I don’t make it mean anything has gone wrong. Now that’s a great example of one that you could manage your mind around, but we can also always have a practical side to it as well. Oh, if I hear you guys fighting, everyone’s going to be cleaning my car or doing burpees or whatever it is that you need the kids to do. So we can tackle this always from our mindset, but also usually a practical way as well. Let’s use snacks for example, okay. During the summertime the kids want to eat like 19 times a day. They eat buckets and buckets of food.

And it’s very easy for that to be overwhelming and annoying to us. But it’s only annoying because we have this thought. They shouldn’t be asking me for food all day, but of course they should. Their children, they’re bored. They’re home for the summer. Food sounds exciting. That’s totally normal, but you don’t have to just stop there and manage your mind around them. Asking you can also just create some rules. The kitchen is open from eight to 9:00 AM from noon to one. And from five to six, the kitchen is closed outside of those times came. One of the practical rules in my home is that the kids always have access to carrots and almonds. If you’re hungry, you can have a carrot or some almonds because only when you’re really hungry, do the kids tend to want that? Except my five-year-old. She just loves her some carrots.

So I call her my little bunny rabbit, but that’s a practical way that you can deal with the food thing. But notice how calming this feels when you’re like, yeah. Kids asking for snacks is totally normal. I also think about food a lot throughout the day. It’s kind of a human thing. Isn’t it? Nothing is wrong there, but then also I can create an action plan around it. You’re going to do the same thing with screen time. You’re going to do the same thing with noise. What are my thresholds for those? I’m going to communicate the rules and the consequences to the kids.

Okay. That’s the kid category. Next up. Let’s talk about fear. There are a lot of things that happen during the summertime. At least in my opinion, that trigger my fearfulness. That don’t seem to happen the rest of the year. Okay. so one of them is that if the kids are outside a lot more, so all of a sudden I’m like, don’t get hit by a car. Don’t drown. Don’t get bitten by ticks. Don’t find snakes. Don’t get into the garage. I have a lot more fear that comes up around the summer. And it’s important that we just address these things head on, okay, what’s the game plan about ticks this year? We don’t really have a ton of control over that. We can minimize our exposure. We can check them, but even the best of us, the kids get ticked. Sometimes, especially if you don’t live in one of those areas where it’s just there all the time, we have a pool up for the summer. We have one of those Costco pools and I’m very fearful of just one of the kids drowning. The oldest four. I’m not worried about, they know the rules. They listen, they have life jackets. That’s great. But the almost three-year-old is like big enough that I think if the bigger kids left the ladder in, he could get in and drown and he doesn’t have enough awareness not to do that. And so I just have to make some decisions about what my protocols are for that.

When is he allowed outside? What is the consequence of the bigger kids for leaving the ladder in? It’s gotta be pretty stinking big for them to understand this. Never, never, never gets left in and you know what? They left it in three times last year, but also a little bit. I have to give it to Jesus, right? Because the most dangerous thing we do is put kids in a car and we don’t have panic attacks about that. So I’m gonna have a pool up for the summer. I’m going to train the big kids to take the ladder out. And the almost three-year-old is not allowed to play outside without an assigned buddy or me being out.

That’s what the plan is. And I get to change the plan to if it ends up being too harder or not effective. Okay. So make a list of things that you’re scared of for the summer and just make a plan around them and write down some thoughts that you want to have about the fact that you don’t actually have control over anything. I know that sounds negative when I said it right then, but really we don’t really have control over any of our circumstances. God has control over that. And if it doesn’t bother you to put your kids in the car, right, then you can also train your brain to not be paranoid about ticks. You can do the safety things, preventative and restorative, but we don’t need to walk around with tension in our chests all the time. And that shortness of breath, feeling that we get when we are so worried about the kids’ safety.

So make a list of the things that are causing fear and make a plan around them and ask yourself, how do you want to think about this? Because your brain is still going to offer it to you all summer long. Oh no. Someone might drown and you can tell your brain, Oh, thank you for watching out for me. I love you. But you know what? We made a plan and we’re giving the rest to God. We’re going to choose to live without fear this summer, because that’s what God asks us to do. He says, be not afraid over and over and over again.

Okay. Next up pain, actual physical pain.

During the summer, especially if you are pregnant or have some health concerns, or if you live in a really hot place without air conditioning,

Or you’re going through a big life transition, like moving, changing jobs, there will be actual pain in your life. Over the summertime. It might be physical or might just be that discomfort that comes with transitions. Like moving is a great example because moving has some physical pain, but it also just has some mental and emotional discomfort around your stuff being in boxes and not knowing where things are and getting it all done. Okay. But pain just like fear is something that we just want to address head on. We want to just say, what are the ways that I’m going to experience discomfort this summer? And then we want to decide what we want to think about that discomfort.

For example, if you’re pregnant, you could think, I

Love that I’m pregnant in the summer. I’m so excited for when my baby comes, right. How can you love being pregnant in the summer? Instead of just focusing on your physical symptoms of discomfort, you can focus on the gift of that baby being really excited for the month that she’s going to be born.

There’s lots of ways that we can manage our mind around something uncomfortable. And I use this example a lot, but it’s such a good one. When you sign up to train for a marathon or learn a language or an instrument, it is so uncomfortable,

But you chose to do that and so we don’t gripe about it or maybe we do, but we don’t usually quit. We’re like, yeah, I wanted this. So you can choose to frame your mind and your thinking

Around discomfort during the summer we can always do that by leaning into gratitude, right? It’s really warm. We don’t have air conditioning, but instead of feeling really yucky and upset about that, look for the things that you can be grateful for. For example, if you live in Arizona and it gets up to 115 degrees, you can look around and be like, but Arizona is beautiful. I love living here.

Or this is the place that God has planted me right now for the work that he has me to do. Okay. So just like fear, write down the things that might cause you physical pain or emotional or mental discomfort, and then make a plan around how you want to talk to yourself about it. Yes. Moving is difficult, but I’m willing to do this. I’m excited about moving to the new home for me. I experienced a lot of physical pain because my skin is so fair that being in the sun is very uncomfortable for me. So I manage my mind by thinking it’s not that many days that it’s actually so warm that it hurts my skin. I wear long sleeve shirts. So I might practically come up with a plan to say, you know what? I think I need one or two more white linen shirts to wear for the summer and a hat. I have a big Flopsy hat that covers, you know, my head in my neck because I really, really need to. And I celebrate that. God made me this way. I love my red hair, my blue eyes and my fair skin. God chose that for me. But then also being in the sun is uncomfortable and that’s okay. Instead of fighting it or wishing that it was different or thinking that something is wrong, I can embrace it, have gratitude and be a problem solver.

Okay. Next category pride. A lot of our discomfort in the summertime comes

Because of what people think about us. It’s like when you’re in a circle

At the park or the pool, and you pull out your like random sunscreen, that isn’t one of the hippie sunscreens and you realize, Oh, all of your friends have whatever sunscreen is like better. And doesn’t cause cancer. And you just grabbed yield. I don’t even know the brands of sunscreen, but you guys know what I’m talking about. There’s like the regular ones you’re just grabbing from the store. And then there’s like the expensive ones that don’t have as many chemicals. And you’re sitting there thinking, Oh, I maybe I’m a bad mom for not getting the other sunscreen. And now maybe the other moms are gonna think that I’m a bad mom and judge me. And we live in a world where it’s not just sunscreen. Now. It’s like what? We’re feeding the kids. Whether we allow them to look at a tablet or not, well, we allow them to watch period or listen to how modest their bathing suits are.

There’s just this huge spectrum now of how we can raise children. And we are highly aware that people have many, many opinions about them. And so I find for myself that this pride fullness of wanting to fit in and look good, comes up a lot more in the summertime.

And so I want to invite you to just make a list of some of those things and just

Decide before the summer even begins, what kind of snacks am I going to feed my kid? I’m going to do about screen time? What kind of sunscreen am I going to put on them? How modest are their bathing suits going to be? All of those things, whatever the thing is that you are worried about or that, you know, might come up and then I want you to make a decision and be a peace with your decision. Okay. My husband came home the other day with, I don’t know, some sunscreen from Costco, wasn’t the schmancy sunscreen. And I was like, you know what, I’m fine with that. I’m going to be okay with that. And he also got the swimsuits from Costco, which are pretty modest. Actually the tops are really lovely. And the shorts on Rose are a little bit short. And I was like, you know what? I’m going okay with that. And when we go to the park, eat Pirate’s booty, which is like kind of a fun snack for them. But then I also bring carrots and cucumber. There’s an apples and some other things

That are healthier, but I like the kids having a fun snack when they get to go to the park and it kind of adds to the experience.

I’m fine with it. Just decide ahead of time, what you want to do for your family and be at peace.

No one that all of us are trying to figure it out. And your friends are thinking far less about you than you. For example, what kind of snacks do your friends bring to

The park? And even if you notice, do you judge them about

That? Do you spend lots of time thinking about it or do you just notice? And you’re like, Ugh. And then you move on. I think that’s, most of us, most of us have brains that offer even judgmental thoughts, but then we just move on. It doesn’t actually affect our friendship. We don’t actually think that mom is a terrible mom. We just notice when people make different choices than we do. Another way that this comes up for me is when people try to throw shade at me for not camping, my husband loves camping. We have a lot of friends who love camping. And sometimes my friends will be like, well, you should come. Why don’t you go? Oh, and for a split second. Yeah. I might feel bad. Like, Oh, maybe I should go. Maybe I’m missing out. Maybe I should be there with the kids and together as a family. And then I go, wait a minute. I hate camping with kids under three, camping with kids under three is not pleasant for me. I don’t like it when they’re not potty trained. They don’t sleep well through the night.

They fall a lot. You got to keep them out of the fire. If there’s water

Nearby, you’re always paying attention to them. I do not enjoy camping with kids under three. And when I remember that I had made that decision. I feel

Totally at peace with that. That’s my choice. And it’s

Okay if people don’t like that choice or have thoughts about it, but I’ve just cited. This is what’s right for me and my family. And I just stand tall sometimes. Yeah. I go to events that are not my favorite events, but I love my reasons.

Like I really love the hostess.

I really want to support the person that we’re celebrating. I want to try something new or it may not be my favorite event, but I really enjoy the people I’m doing it with. That tends to be why I go hiking. I have pretty, almost no interest naturally in hiking. But if a couple of my friends went, I’d be like, yeah,

Let’s go.

So I’m not saying that never do things that we don’t enjoy or feel like doing, but decide why. And then love your reasons. I don’t go camping with kids under three for the things I mentioned. And I’m totally fine with that. I love my reasons. And I do silly fun things with the little kids when I’m home with them and everybody else is out camping. Okay. So right now I want you to think about the top thing that you’re worried about for the summer. Is it managing your little kids, your teenagers, being an empty nester and having tons of time and not knowing what to do. Are you worried that you’re over-scheduled or under scheduled? Are there things that you were fearful of drowning ticks, general safety? Is there some pain, either physical or emotional that you know, you’re probably going to experience over the summer

Or you just chewing on that before it even happens?

Are there some pride fullness, traps waiting for you or you’re worried about what people are going to think, keeping up with the Joneses, making sure you look like a good mom. What’s the number one thing that you’re worried about for the summer. I want you to ask yourself, how do you want to feel about that? Probably feel scared. Yucky, upset, something anxious. How do you want to feel? Instead, peace, excitement, hope, willingness, and then ask yourself, what do I need to think in order to feel that way? One thought to one feeling everything’s going to be fine. I’m prepared. I’m going to have exactly the summer that God wants me to have. It always works out. I know what’s best for my children. I’m a good problem solver. These are all wonderful thoughts that lead to feelings of peace or empowerment because mama, you cannot control. What’s going to show up for you this summer. The only thing that you can control is how you think about it. But when you really grabbed that control,

It feels wonderful.

Feels like you’re wearing that superhero Cape and you are an empowered mom. That’s it? The kind of summer that you could have one where you just feel completely at peace. And that doesn’t mean that there won’t be annoying things that happen, but it means one, the annoying things happen. You can just, Oh yeah, it’s loud during the summertime. Cause all the kids are home. Yeah. The kids ate the goldfish in one afternoon. I can’t believe they did, but it’s okay. It’s summertime. That’s what kids do. We’re all figuring it out. We’re all on this journey of life together. Figuring it out. And just like your children are figuring out how to be whatever age they are in the summer of 2021, where we’re

Still like in this COVID transition state, you are figuring out how to be a parent at the age that you are right now to let us have compassion for them. And for ourselves that this entire journey of life is just about problem solving all of the obstacles that God puts in our path on the race to sainthood. The obstacles are not problems. The obstacles are the purpose of our lives. So I want you to get out a piece of paper, listen to this episode again and make a plan for the summer. You can’t plan for everything, but you can plan for the top 10 things you already know are going to happen. And when you have a plan, not only practical things, but also thoughts that you can practice, you’re going to head into the summer feeling so much

Peace, so much more calm. And that is our desire for you. That is why we created this podcast so that we could help Catholic moms have more peace. Now, a couple of years ago, I did a four-part podcast series similar to this, but before I was a life coach and it has a lot more actual practical tips and this was in my coffee and pearls podcast. So I will put links to those four episodes. So I think it’s a full two hours worth of stuff, but it was so great. Everyone loved that series.

I will put the links of those on our website. So you can go to www.madeforgreatness.co/32 because this is episode 32. So you can do that for any episode. You just have to know the number and you can find links to those coffee and pearls episodes about it was I think called the summer survival series came. I wasn’t a mindset coach then. So it’s mostly practical, which is fun. But again, now I would take any mom and I would just say, how do you want to feel? What do you need to be thinking in order to feel that I’m praying for you? I’m praying for peace in your family this summer. My mom, I just want you to know you can handle it. You were the perfect mom for these kids. You’re going to have exactly the summer that God wants you to have. And you were made for greatness.



Lorissa Horn & Sterling Jaquith

Sterling and Lorissa are very different moms. Lorissa lives in town, her family loves playing baseball, and she’s proud to send them to Catholic school. Sterling lives in the country, her family loves camping, and she unschools the kids.

The thing these women have in common, an unyielding devotion to Christ. Seriously, if you hang out with either of them, they’re gonna talk about Jesus, a lot. He’s the center of their life.


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