First Day of Summer | JOY for Today

Summer is the season of JOY! Warm temperatures, smiling faces, longer days, and fewer obligations invite adventure and rest. Embrace each moment. Cherish the memories.

The sun shines over a field of grain.
First Day of Summer | When the Sun is at its Northernmost Point

JOY for Today Offerings:


Did You Know:

  1. The dog days of summer reference an annual pattern of summer misery? The ancient Greeks and Romans noticed increased temperatures, drought, misery, and illness in the days ranging from July 3 to August 11. Because Sirius, a star in the Canis Major (the "Greater Dog") constellation, rises along with the sun at this time of year, the increased temperatures were blamed on the combined heat of both stars. As Sirius is commonly called the Dog Star, this time period came to be known as the dog days of summer. (Fact Retriever & Almanac)
  2. Movie theater attendance skyrockets in summer? Hollywood counts on summer movie ticket sales to bolster their profits throughout the rest of the year. Summer ticket sales account for 40% of their total annual revenue. Memorial Day weekend typically sets the tone for the summer. 2024 saw the lowest ticket sales in nearly three decades. The top 3 summer box office hits since 1975 are: 1) Star Wars, 2) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and 3) Jaws. (Fact Retriever, Digital Trends, & CNN)
  3. The Eiffel Tower grows 6 inches in the summer? Heat is the culprit for the iron tower's annual height gain due to a physical phenomenon termed thermal expansion. Thermal expansion also tips the top of the tower slightly away from the sun. Over the course of a clear day, the tower top traces a circular path that measures about 15 centimeters in diameter as it reacts to the sun's movement in the sky. When winter comes, the iron contracts and returns the tower to, more or less, its original height. (Fact Retriever & Tour Eiffel)
  4. Summer vacations from school didn't start until the 20th century? Before then, rural districts took breaks for spring planting and fall harvest while urban districts attended school all year. Standardizing the school schedule reached popularity in the late 1800's. Urban areas pushed for a summer break to avoid discomfort in crowded and non-airconditioned classrooms. The rural areas accepted the new schedule, even though it was not ideal for their agrarian lifestyles.(Fact Retriever & History.Net)
  5. Popsicles were an accidental creation? Eleven-year-old Frank Epperson, resident of Oakland, California, left a glass of soda (made by stirring powdered mix with water) with a wooden stirring stick in it out overnight in 1905. In the morning, he ran the glass under hot water, removed the frozen mass, and enjoyed his soda in solid form - using the stir stick as the handle. He started making the ice pops for his friends and family, then later on, for his own children. He named them Eppsicles, but his children called them "Pop's 'sicles". Popsicles originally sold for 5 cents each and cherry was, and still is, the most popular flavor.  (Fact Retriever &

We'd Love to Know:   

Which summer fact will you be first to share?

Wolfe Stew Connects

As a kid, summer was my favorite season. It's probably true for most of us. No school meant later bedtimes and ample opportunity to participate in activities of our own choosing: camping, barbecues, road trips, sleeping outdoors, bicycling, reading, slip and slides, swimming, water fights, and going to the pool or the movies. Yes, summer was the season of fun.

Now, summer looks different. Highly structured days shift into pandemonium. I feel busy every moment, yet still seem to accomplish less at the day's end. And, if I'm not careful, the summer ends before I've prepared all the provisions I hoped to harvest from it.

I'm referencing the story of the ant in Proverbs. A tale useful for cautioning against laziness offers another lesson for me. In Proverbs 6:8, we see the ant preparing her provisions in the summer so she can gather her food at the harvest. And Proverbs 30:25 reminds us that even though ants are not strong, they are still able to do this work. If she spends her days in a lazy haze, trouble befalls her at summer's end. But, if she moves purposefully, when summer ends, she's ready.

The question is: what provisions are you preparing this summer to harvest at a time of lack?

This summer, I intend to stockpile memories. My main obstacle is that I self-impose strict guidelines to achieve my personal goals and get frustrated by the people and moments that truly matter. I want to learn to see "interruptions" as opportunities for blessing. To combat this, I plan to take a picture of each "interruption" and journal to explain how it really was a blessing. By moving purposefully to store my provisions, I hope that at summer's end my storehouse is full of fulfilling memories instead of empty with hollow regrets. 

In response:

  1. Decide what provision you're preparing this summer. Devise a plan to fill your storehouse. Identify your main obstacle and how you'll overcome it. What evidence will you stockpile to remind you of the fullness of summer when winter's scarcity settles in?
  2. Join us as we study Isaiah. Think of it is a way to stockpile provisions from God. Last week, we found ourselves rejoicing that Our Maker knows us, sees us, understands us, and loves us. That promise warms me like the hot summer sun. I wonder what memories fill His storehouses. One thing is for certain: memories of you are in it!

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses 

  • [An ant] prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest. Ants are not a strong people, yet they store up their food in the summer. Proverbs 6:8; 30:25 CSB 
  • He lets me rest in fields of green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. Psalm 23:2 NLT
  • For this is what the Lord has said to me, "I will be quiet and look on from my dwelling place, Like shimmering heat above the sunshine, Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. Isaiah 18:4-5 AMP
  • In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. Matthew 5:45 TLB 
  • Be still before Adonai and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret over one prospering in his way, over one carrying out wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7 TLV 


  • "Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June." - Al Bernstein
  • "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means a waste of time." - John Lubbock
  • "Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows." - Helen Keller
  • "When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble is too difficult to overcome." - Wilma Rudolph

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote correlates best with your favorite summer scene?

Activity Suggestions

Don't let this summer pass you by.

Just One Thing

Each morning (or midday if you live with a teenager) share one thing you hope to accomplish that day. Check back in at the next shared meal to share progress and accomplishments.

Throw a First Day of Summer Party

  • Invite friends. Make invitations that cover all the details: who, what, when, where, and why. (Tip Junkie)
  • Make Treats. Have a make-your-own soda float or sundae bar. (Tip Junkie)
  • Eat Healthy Snacks. Arrange food in shades of orange, red, and yellow into the shape of the sun. (Green Child Magazine)
  • Build sandcastles with chalk on the sidewalk! Have guests take pictures lying next to it in their beachwear. (Tip Junkie)
  • Transform your backyard into a waterpark. (

Discuss "Would You Rather..." Questions

  • Play in sprinklers or have a water balloon fight?
  • Go on a picnic or have a barbecue?
  • Cool down with ice cream or a slushie?
If you would like three "Would You Rather...?" questions for every June day, download this Wolfe Stew PowerPoint or get it (for free!) at our TPT store.

Take on the Family Challenge

Print a June, July, and August calendar. Label the first day of school, then make a countdown to the end of summer break. Each night, celebrate the day. Have each family member share one thing from the day they want to remember. Record it in a journal. Cross off the day on the calendar and note how many days of summer break remain.

We'd Love to Know:

What's your favorite summertime activity?

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. 

Your Partners in JOY Finding,
Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

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