My friend Andrea is a good mom and devoted wife. She told me recently that she has chosen to look at her young family as a “gift” and wants to spend more quality time with them. She has stocked up on resources to help her with this, including a list of blogs written to encourage moms to be the women God wants them to be.
Andrea said, “Yesterday we all went to lunch as a family, and after we got home, I didn’t do anything except stuff with the kids.” They jumped on the trampoline, played outside, and took a nap together. “It was very nice,” she said. “Today we were invited to the park by a neighbor. We all had a blast. And I’m going to truly strive to spend more time just reading and playing games with the kids. But with all the demands of being wife and mom, when is it OK to take time for ourselves??”
That is a great question. We absolutely need to take time for ourselves. Here’s an even more important question: “How should I use my time in a way that really rejuvenates me?” Each of us gets recharged in a different ways. We need to evaluate what we really need during that time in order to return to life refreshed.
It is easy to feel so ready for a break that when we finally get one, we just waste it on things that don’t revive our spirits. Oftentimes, our natural reaction is to disconnect when we really need to be rejuvenated. We might do this by watching TV or browsing the web. Disconnecting allows us to escape, but it does not rejuvenate us. When we re-engage with our families, we return just as tired and in need of a break as before we left.
Maybe you will only be refreshed by a nap today, because you were up all night with sick kids. It could be that you just need an adult conversation with a friend after three-word sentence exchanges with toddlers all day.
It is essential that we connect with our Lord so that we can be relating and working in His power and strength, rather than trying to keep our sanity and calm in our own strength. Maybe it’s a walk at the park so you can be alone to pray, or an escape to a coffee shop to read your Bible. What do you need?
Using your free time thoughtfully will positively affect so many areas of your life. I have found that when I choose to spend my precious time with Him, somehow I have clarity of mind, get more done and I’m more patient. He helps us discern priorities clearly and leads us to live in a place of peace that only He can provide amid our hectic lives.
As you take time for yourself today, stop for a moment and ask the Lord how He wants you to spend that time. He’ll let you know what will really rejuvenate you. Then watch what happens when you return to your family, how you respond to situations and how you feel. You will be pleasantly surprised!