Prior to his death, our dog used to need walking around two in the morning. Thankfully, that is about the time that I usually got sleepy; so we would take a short trip around the yard, and then go to bed.
I was blessed with the opportunity to sleep until ten; therefore, I received my required amount of sleep. Yet, I know friends who do not have this luxury.
Their sleep is interrupted by the dog needing to go outside, and when they finally fall back to sleep, the alarm blares in their ear to remind them to start their new day.
Making breakfast for their family, packing lunches and shuffling children off to the school bus precedes their quick shower and dressing time before they follow their children out the door on their way to work.
Then, a whole new set of stresses meet them as they walk through the door at their vocation. Deadlines, appointments, balancing budgets, repairing consumer goods, building, brick laying, serving tables, childcare, patient care, etc. consume the next eight or more hours.
Afternoons are taken up by a rush out the door to pick up their children from after school programs, and a quick trip to the grocery store for needed items, before heading home to tackle supper, homework, laundry, and other chores.
Exhausted, they fall into bed to repeat the performance from the night before. This only worsens as their children age, and their schedule fills with sports, scouting, swimming, art and music events, and other extra-curricular events squeezed into their afternoon routine.
Structured activities may teach children teamwork and enhance their God-given talents, but it prevents them from having the opportunity to find other self-motivated activities that promote leadership, decision-making, and problem-solving skills, as well as creativity and relaxed interaction with friends and neighbors.
They are so busy with schoolwork and afterschool events that they cannot relax and enjoy time interacting with their family, as well as God’s beautiful creation.
Parents often exacerbate these issues by adding their personal gym time, their own social life and volunteering opportunities to their schedule. Tired and drained, they have little mental, emotional, or physical energy left over to feel fulfilled in their private time or couple time.
Anxiety-related illnesses and depression accompany a life too filled with stress. Frustration, grouchiness, irritation, depression, touchiness, etc. seep into their life, and they wonder why they fight so many illnesses.
Father God, we know without a doubt that You care about every aspect of our life. We come to You for wisdom and guidance in prioritizing our activities and including time to pray about every activity we schedule (Proverbs 3:5-6). We want to walk in the center of Your will for our life.
Help us to avoid stress and to enter Your rest, so that we can deal with unexpected issues that may demand more of us than we are humanly capable of giving. As parents, we often deprive our self of Your peace and rest, and we end up teaching our children to follow suit. Remind us not to rob them of the joy of free playtime with neighborhood friends.
Thought for the Day:
The only solution for this sad tale is to prioritize our time, follow the leading of God’s Spirit for each moment of our day, respectfully decline invitations or demands that do not fit into God’s desire for our life, teach our children to accomplish chores at home by helping with the housework, schedule play time each day for self and family, make services with our church family a priority, stop multi-tasking and focus on each moment, eliminate distractions, stop being a slave to the phone and social media; and most importantly, make time to wind down each evening as a prelude to getting quality and an adequate quantity of sleep.