Clear View Retreat brings you this ‘Five Minute Family’ radio devotion to help in both the norms and storms of life. A Five Minute Family is one who is trying to choose God and His relationship principles, no matter what chaos is raging around them.
We consider all family compositions when we write our devotions because we know that families come in all shapes and sizes – kids in the home, no kids, single parent families, blended families, and more. This particular ‘Five Minute Family’ is primarily for families with kids still in the home, although God’s relating principles are true for all of us and can be applied in many ways.
With kids in the home, life has its own unique level of stress. Is the baby needing constant holding making you wish you hadn’t become a mom? Is the toddler damaging something else making you wish you could spend more time at the office – AWAY from home? How about that teenager whose hormones are making the teenager in you come out?
Parents, we all need a timeout sometimes. Don’t feel guilty if you need to evaluate how you are handling family life and take a step back briefly.
As a young mom, I loved spending time with my son. I had friends who within weeks of their kiddos’ births wanted a weekend away or a night to themselves. But, I truly did not understand their feelings. I enjoyed waking up with him in the night, playing games throughout the day, tending to all his needs, holding him all day long if needed. I didn’t doubt my love for him, and I didn’t doubt my willingness to do anything and everything he needed. Until… our second baby came along. Napping while the baby napped was no longer an option. Being pulled in two different directions for two different sets of needs developmentally became a challenge for me. I kept feeling that I needed desperately to get away. As an exclusively nursing mom, getting away for long was not an option. Once I was going to go to a movie so I could have some “not mommy” time, but Jim was concerned that our younger son (and possibly the older one, too) would cry for the hours I would be away. I had always responded to every cry, to every call, and that was taking me away.
I could see that Kim needed a break, but as young parents living away from family without any help on a daily basis, I wasn’t sure what to do. So, after realizing that Kim was running on empty and giving less and less of herself without being refueled, one day, I took our sons into a separate area of the house. I got her her favorite snacks, set her up with a movie and a book, and finally realized that I needed to give her the space to refuel.
After that afternoon, Jim and I both learned a lot. We learned that he could take care of the boys without my hovering over everything, and I learned that I could not continue to give 100% of myself 100% of the time. By truly entering a state of rest and relaxation, I was able to begin the parenting process again – and in a much healthier way.
Here are five suggestions for DAILY refreshment in the world of childhood chaos, so that you can continue to give of yourself WHILE ALSO TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF.
- Five minutes of Bible reading… google for verses for the topic that is most pressing in on you or just search for verses of encouragement. God has a message for you; you just have to be reading it to hear it.
- Five minutes of Christian music… Research shows that music is an amazing stress reliever. We personally love the MercyMe Lifer album, but any music style that you like that will bring your focus onto God and His purpose for you is what matters.
- Five minutes of extra shower time… now, environmentalists please don’t complain… we all need therapy at times, and if you can’t get into talk with a counselor or mentor, then taking a few minutes in a steamy bath or shower allowing your muscles to relax can bring you refreshment.
- A five-minute walk… walking outside for five minutes can help clear your mind and put to use some of that pent up frustration.
- Five minutes of solitude… Solitude does not just help with empathy and productivity, it also allows you to become more creative, and, parents, we know creativity is important with the sweet, crazy, beautiful creatures we are raising.
Thank you for joining us this morning. Please check out clearviewretreat.org for more information about our ministry to families. We pray that God will fill you with hope as you see the riches of His greatness and glory. God bless!