My daughter plays high school volleyball and the season is now over. She also plays high school basketball. Between the last volleyball game and first basketball practice there was only a couple of days break. But it just so happened that those exact days of break was our kid's crusade at church, that my husband and I ran. So no break for us. I cannot tell you how thrilled my husband and I were to learn that there are no practices on Mondays. Thrilled. Ecstatic really. Now don't misunderstand. We LOVE to watch our children play sports. I love being a baseball/volleyball/basketball/drum/piano mom. It brings us so much joy to watch them and see the excitement they have playing their sport and instrument. But being human and needing rest, we also love quiet nights at home once in a while.
In this crazy busy season of life, we are learning to find bits of rest and refreshment. We need it. I believe God rested on the seventh day to give us an example to live by. We need rest.
Here are a few things we do to catch a little rest and refreshment:
- It's Monday! Can you hear my shouts of joy!? No matter what sports season it is for us, we are always sure to have at least one night a week home with nothing to do. Sometimes this means saying no to something, an extra church activity, an outing the kids want with a friend, dinner with someone, etc. On this night at home, everything stops when my husband gets home from work. We turn off computers and cell phones. We have dinner together at the table. Do a puzzle, play a game, or watch a fun tv show together. We laugh and enjoy one another. Then we go to bed on time.
- Put the kids to bed a bit early. My kids have a set bedtime. However, when our week has been busy and my husband and I need to have time to ourselves, we put the kids to bed a half hour or so early. They don't necessarily like it, but that's okay. They benefit from a few extra minutes of sleep and hubby and I can snuggle on the couch together or talk before bed.
- Unplug. I love my technology and most nights at home, even if it's a short time after coming home from a game, can be found sitting next to my husband with my laptop. But I also have found that when I turn off the computer that I sleep better, feel more refreshed, and connect better with my family. These days I am striving to get my computer 'work' done before my husband gets home so that I can completely unplug for the night.
- Acts of Kindness. I am very busy. But my husband's full time job away from home and the family is more physical than anything I could ever do. I may not sit down all day other than to sit at the dining table and work through a homeschool lesson, but my husband is doing back-breaking labor. So I try to do little acts of kindness for him. About thirty minutes before he is due home I take clean clothes into the bathroom for his shower, I get a glass of tea or soda ready and, if it is a night at home, I put his favorite blanket on the couch. These seem like small things to me. It only takes a few minutes of my time, but it is a huge help to him and lets him find some refreshment.
- One small thing. Each day, no matter how busy the day is, I read. Reading to me is the most relaxing thing there is. I may literally only get in three minutes of reading, but I do it. It refreshes me. It calms me. My husband, on the other hand, watches tv. He loves real life crime tv and documentaries. He may only get to watch a few minutes of his recorded show, but it relaxes him. Each day we need to do this one small thing for ourselves. Thankfully our 'one small thing' can be done snuggled up to each other.
- Always communicate. With my daughter's basketball practice schedule and my husband's work and men's group, Tuesdays have us going in opposite directions. But we are always careful to communicate with each other. He calls me before he leaves for men's group and we chat as I sit waiting at practice. And when we come back home together late at night, we are sure to talk to each other. And to be perfectly honest here, the most glorious and uninterrupted time we have to communicate each day is when he is in the shower. I sit in the bathroom while he showers and we talk about anything and everything. I love it!
- Take a walk. Every once in a while my husband and I try to sneak in a walk. It may be a short walk to the end of the street and back, but it gets us a quiet time together to connect.
What do you and your husband do to find a little rest in your busy life?