Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sabbath = Rest

Coming off of the busy holiday season, I've been challenging myself to try to find some time to have a true Sabbath, or rest time during my week. With young kids, it can be hard to truly get away from it all. Now, I'm not saying that I don't "zone out" by watching TV or reading a book or surfing on the Internet. I'm talking about true rest. Time to think deep thoughts, without interruption. Time to enjoy God's creation in solitude. Time to pray deeply and sing loudly and read thoroughly.

How do we create this Sabbath rest in the middle of our over-scheduled busy lives?

I have a few tips and ideas that you can try to see how they work.

  1. Wake up earlier. This would be a lot easier if I didn't end up with my two-year old in our bed almost every night. If I get up, he's sure to realize that his warm snugly (i.e. his mother) is no longer in bed and will follow shortly. However, it may work on some occasions or for other people.
  2. Go to bed later. Unfortunately, the same child that steals my bed also hates bedtime, and it's often 9:30-11:00 pm before everyone is in bed. Usually this is a "date night" type time for my husband and I. We like to watch "adult" shows or get some chores done before the kids are awake again.
  3. Trade off. Husbands don't babysit their own children, they parent them. If your husband doesn't do solo parenting time, creating a regular Sabbath day can be a great way to get this started. I found the best method to be saying something to the effect of, "I'll be back in 1 hour, love you guys!" then leaving immediately. If your child cries for an hour, they will live, and your husband will thank you for all you do.
  4. Find babysitters. We are so blessed to live close to my in-laws. I know that they love spending time with their only grandchildren, although we try not to take advantage of the free babysitting too much. It is nice, though, to be able to have a few hours here or there where you can really relax knowing a trusted friend or relative is caring for your children. I'm certainly one of those people who trusts very few people when it comes to babysitters, even grandparents aren't always trustworthy. 
  5. Set priorities. My kids know that I need at least a few minutes to drink my coffee and read my Bible before we do anything together in the morning. Although this isn't an in-depth time, it gives me at least a chance to try to get my priorities in the right order for the day.
It can definitely be hard to find time away from your kids without being even more sleep-deprived or feeling guilty for leaving your kids for a few minutes or hours. However. a time away from our kids is necessary to cement an even more relationship in our life - our relationship with ourselves.

So, while we don't take a whole day of rest in today's culture, be sure you're setting aside a few moments from your regularly scheduled programming to refresh. Make a Sabbath rest a priority in the busy years to come.
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