“Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest."
Psalm 55:6

Good Day all.  Welcome to another edition of Coffee Chat.   After a rather hectic weekend, I have been longing for some time to myself.   With Left Brain working nights and sleeping days, and myself and 2 kids sick, actually leaving the house seemed highly unlikely.    So I thought a great chat would be to share how I survive such days.

When you are a busy mom, rest - whether it be physical, mental or spiritual, can be pretty hard to come by.   We know our bodies need physical rest, but what about the other two?   Certainly, a nice hot tub, a good book and a glass of wine can ease the stress of the day from weary shoulders.   And I do highly recommend a good frivolous soak.   But what about the next day? (or at 2 am with sick kids?).    Will that lovely, but brief interlude be enough to sustain you?

As you can see from the above scripture verse, truly appropriate for this moms' poetic heart, I ditch the whole "supermom" myth right out of the starting gate.   God is very wise, and surely on the side of tired moms, by commanding us to rest one day a week.   I doubt this simply a test of obedience, but also, a way to save our helter-skelter, stressed out, java-fueled selves - well, from ourselves.   Moms!  God, in His own words, has legitimized the concept of rest.  Surely we'd be crazy to disobey!

All well in good, right?  But.....how?  It serves us no good to get stressed out over the how's and when's.  Kind of defeats the purpose, no?

So this is my genius solution.  Enter:  The Mini-Break Basket

Your favourite chair, your bedside, that comfy recliner on your deck overlooking your lovely gardens.... I am willing to bet there is one place in your home that is your *sigh* place.   Beside this spot have a basket, a box, a bag, whatever suits your fancy, filled with your favourite "me time" items.    Thus, when the baby is (finally) napping, or you can convince your spouse to get all the kids outside, you will not waste precious energy searching the house for your book, your glasses, your knitting needles, your ipod, whatever.   It will be there waiting for you.  (Important Note:  What will NOT be waiting there for you? toys, clutter, goldfish cracker crumbs....make it a rule and insist on it!) All you have to do is grab a beverage and a snack if you choose, and then -- Sit Yourself Down Girl!

What to put in your basket?  I follow this strategy:    K.I.S.S
Keep it Short and Simple

You see, I actually divide "me" time into 2 other categories:   there is the general me time:  perhaps a walk or the gym, personal shopping, meeting or talking to a friend, um....a little blogging on the side, etc.    I am not often alone when doing these things -- which appeals to the isolating aspect of SAHM.

Then there is what I call "private" time.   This time is truly Do Not Disturb time.  A very strictly enforced rule punishable with one days' loss of DS time, or I hid Barbie and Ken someplace really hard to find.   This is when I might do a bible study, pray, or perhaps call a friend because I am in need of some good fellowship and advice beyond the normal day to day.

The Mini Break Basket is designed to enhance this quiet, private time with myself.  Obviously it will be tailored to whatever suits your personal interests.   Mine can vary depending on the day, but here is what you are most likely to find:
  • Bible and a current study 
  • iPod
  • a book....okay, several
  • manicure set, polish
  • tea, coffee, vitamin water
  • chocolate (was there any doubt?)
  • writing journal
  • postcards or fancy writing paper, good pen
The point is to fill your basket with whatever leads you towards renewal.  Maybe you only have 15 minutes one day.  Do not underestimate how good it feels to trim your nails, and apply some soothing lotion to those dishpan, diaper changing, toilet-scrubbing hands!    A half hour spent lost in a good book with some Truffle companions - not too shabby.   If you're lucky, you might even get an hour one day and do your nails, then read or listen to music while they dry.  Imagine.

I mightily encourage you moms to slap that mommy guilt demon off your shoulders and get to work right away on your Mini Break kit.   It is probably the biggest reason we all need this quiet, private mental rest each day.   Banish him to the time out spot, while you relax in your comfy one, and take some time for you!    You will benefit, and most important, your children reap the rewards too.

"Be shepherds of God’s flock 
that is under your care, 
watching over them—not because you must, 
but because you are willing, as God wants you to be;"
I Peter 5:2 (a)

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