“Wow, she’s beautiful. Why can’t I be like her? She has it all together. And her kids look amazing too. How does she do it?” Have you ever looked at someone and thought that? Are you like me? Because I have. Don’t judge me.
Well, there she was approaching the children’s area with three perfect little kids in tow. I kinda wanted to trip her to see if she always landed on her feet!
Instead I greeted her with, “Welcome! How are you?”
Those of you calling a fowl on me shouting LIAR! what was I supposed to say, “Hello, let me smudge your makeup!” ?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
But…what she said shocked my socks off, “These kids are driving me crazy! I’m dreading summer!”
Do you ever feel like this? On the outside you’ve got it all together, but on the inside life is painful and overwhelming? I have played this game far more times than I’d like to admit. You feel like you’re lying to the world but you feel trapped to do anything about it.
If you’re feeling like this I’d like to throw you a lifeline. It has always worked for me and I’m trusting it will work for you too.
One thing I did while my kids were growing-up was to take a TIMEOUT and get away all by myself—long enough to miss my family and long enough that they missed me. I’d travel to visit a friend or relative, scheduling something once a year. If you’re going to keep refreshed for the marathon of being a parent I believe this is critical.
Whether you’re a parent or single and need a rest, a TIMEOUT will refresh and recharge you.
The key to this lifeline is to spend time alone reflecting and listening to God.
You may not be able to take days to get away (although I highly recommend you figure it out for your survival) but at least give yourself an offsite alone for one day.
Offsite days are a regular thing for me. I’ll drive to the beach all by myself to reflect, pray, plan, and hear from God. Sometimes it looks more like tears, shedding anger, letting go of bitterness, and a spiritual clobber over the head.
On a recent beach day alone, I brought a book to read. Looking out at the breathtaking ocean view and reading it relaxed me beyond words. Things were jumping out at me from off the pages of my uninterrupted reading. After scrambling through my tote bag for a pen I discovered a pen was the one thing I forgot to bring. After a brief panic, I grabbed my lipstick and used that instead, marking up my book with hot pink smudges. Offsite days turn me into MacGyver! Hey, a girl can’t go anywhere without lipstick!
I have never had a time alone where I haven’t had significant revelation about my life and areas I need to prune and polish. You may be thinking, “Yeah, sounds great, but you don’t know my life. I can’t do this, not even for a day!” If you feel stuck all the more reason to do it. For the sake of your family and for your spiritual, emotional, and physical health you can’t afford not to.
You’ll be surprised what you can do if you think out of the box and go for it. Swap kids with a friend—take theirs for a day or week and then switch. Promise hubby a “new model” in exchange for a needed reprieve. Beg. Cheat. Steal. (Sarcasm.) Whatever you need to do.
Everyone benefits when you are happy, healthy, and not wanting to strangle everyone.
As you continually care for your family you need to pamper you! Give yourself a TIMEOUT mixed with a lot of grace and then extend grace to your family.
Forge on fellow Gracian! Play. Laugh. Love. Love all out! Starting with you.
Do you need a break? Summer is coming, are you ready?