I’ve never shared this publicly, but I have a super power.

I can enter any museum, zoo or aquarium in the world with my family and go through it in 30 minutes.

The trick is to tell my family, “Stay here. I’ll be right back.”

Isn’t that the truth, though?

As awkward as it is to admit, we all struggle every now and then (if not constantly) with how much we want to get done for our families but can’t because we’re usually with our families.

Wouldn’t family be so much easier… if it wasn’t for the people?

Obviously, that’s meant to be ironic. We all love our families, but at times can struggle with the logistics of doing life with them.

We may just need a little “time” to confess that.

That’s something my wife and I have tried to offer each other in recent years – time alone for each other without the rest of the family around so that we can each recharge to then better appreciate our family.

It’s part of what the Bible calls “Sabbath.” Did you know that out of all the Ten Commandments that God had more to say about the Sabbath than any of the others? It’s as if he’s telling us that weekly restoration is that important.

The idea of that actually playing out in our homes can feel laughable though, right?

We really don’t get time off from being a dad or mom. What we can do is carve out time from the duties of being a dad or mom.

This will obviously play out differently for all of us based on if you’re a single mom or dad, have a busy spouse or are a stay-at-home parent. My wife is the latter category, and we realized that between home schooling and taking care of the kids that she’s rarely in our house alone. I’ve started looking for opportunities to help her have some uninterrupted time by herself while I take the kids out away from the house. Sometimes she uses that time to crank up some worship music and relax, while other times she watches one of her favorite shows. Every once in a while she’ll end up cleaning things that she can never get to cleaning with kids running around.

A few tips I’d offer on this:

  • Put it on the calendar: While it’s fun to unplug spontaneously, there’s something about knowing that you have a block of time coming up that’s set aside just for you. I sense it’s part of God’s wisdom on Sabbath, for knowing that you’re taking a day off every seven days helps you to get through the chaos of the other six with perspective.
  • Pick a reasonable indulgence: When the recession hit years ago, USA Today ran a front-page story about how people use different indulgences to feel more in control of their lives. For some individuals, it meant getting a weekly ice cream cone or upgrading their value meal at McDonald’s. For others, it meant going to a fancier restaurant and ordering something expensive. The catch was that some people chose indulgences in their budget while others didn’t and only worsened their financial situation. Similarly, don’t let having some alone time push you over the edge. If you’re grabbing a gallon of ice cream and a spoon or maxing out your credit card on a shopping spree, you may have to work that much harder afterward because of the consequences.
  • Be a wise adult: We’ve all seen people who use their time off from their kids to become “like a kid.” Whatever you choose to do to have fun, may it not be something that makes you forget who you really are or the responsible parent you’ve worked hard to become. There’s some real wisdom in not letting your time off become “diva time” but keeping it restoration time.
  • Invest into your spiritual journey: You’re reading this, which means you have the instincts to seek out wisdom beyond your own. If something like this (only more intentionally with God) is of interest, perhaps start out with our free 21-Day devotional series. God would love to meet with you, so have some divine anticipation about how this time could help you seek him.
  • Create some time to confess: Some people love to journal out their lives, while others simply sit on a couch and sigh out their burdens.  Whatever your preference is, confess where you’re at to yourself (and ideally, to God). There is real strength in emptying yourself out, for in doing so you make space for new perspective.

Obviously, this is an ideal we may have to each work at growing into. Even if you trade off with your spouse or another parent every other week, that’s better than neither of you having this. I’ve even found that claiming ten minutes a day can be a good running start into realizing what else you need to claim weekly.

What have been your hurdles or victories in claiming restoration?

What’s something you need “time” to confess?

Source: My Life Tree