I'm so out of my blogging habit, but honestly - it's been a nice break. Not having my computer prompted it, and in 2017, I've been trying to push myself a little less. I can not do all of the things, all of the time, and that is for the best. No one needs me to, especially me.
Which leads me to our big new family commitment this year - we are committing to taking a true sabbath every week this year. We rounded out 2016 feeling fairly exhausted. Our pace of life is pretty intense, and we have four young children, so time around our home is usually less than relaxing. But still, we have usually looked for ways to maximize all of the moments and squeeze more things in. There are ALWAYS more things that we can do or want to do. ALWAYS.
John's job is demanding, and though the children are now all in school, I've found that still my time fills to overflowing quite quickly. We both serve on boards, we serve at church, we work hard, and we come home and continue to work hard. Almost all the time. We've very much gotten out of the practice of resting, to the point where we have become disobedient to what God has asked of us.
The first week of 2017, John and I had a pow wow to reassess life and plan for the new year. As we prayed and talked, it became clear what needed to be the biggest change for us. We need to schedule and plan for and practice resting. It has to be non-negotiable. We have to make some boundaries for ourselves that are consistent with what God asks of us.
We are still fleshing this out a bit, but our loose structure is to make sure that we do not "work" from dinner to dinner one day a week - usually from Saturday night to Sunday night. We will have to change this around some weeks to accommodate work/scheduling issues, but, that is what the norm will look like. I'm also stepping away from social media during these times, and we are doing our best to not engage with email. We need less input and stimulus overall, and we do get a say in it.
Having already done this twice at the time of writing this blog post, I can report that we have had mixed results. We are so out of practice that our resting skills are rusty, bordering on non-existent. We are so used to filling our time with things we need to get done that it is truly a shift to come at a day from a totally different angle. It also means planning ahead so that we can take that time off. It means adjusting our expectations, because we still have four children with us, so it doesn't exactly feel as "relaxing" as one might hope.
We've already had discussions about needing a better game plan of how to "restfully" fill time with the kids in ways that re-fuel our family and provide sweet time together. We'll be instituting naps for everyone most Sundays, but we are also going to really try our hand at playing some games together and/or having a movie night. I'm sure I sound whiny, but having three year old twins can sometimes make these things challenging which is just the reality of where we are at. It likely will not always be this hard, but right now, a lot of things still are a challenge.
Ultimately, we want to repent of trying to control our lives and fill all of our time. We want to be obedient to the Lord, and we want to teach our children healthy patterns that don't focus on achievement all of the time. We are asking the Lord for guidance, and we are hoping for the best with this change. We are looking forward to more rest, while still not knowing exactly what that will look like. Here's to 2017 and making changes that have been a long time coming. 👊🏻