For the moms and dads…

The Apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” 
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.

Mark 6:30-34

I don’t think there is a conscientious parent who reads this passage and doesn’t commiserate with the Apostles. For the parents of little ones, there seems to be no end to the demands made of us. When I had four kids below the age of five, I used to regularly hide in the bathroom for a moment alone. 15 years later, I only have one younger than 5, but I still frequent my old haunt. When her siblings are at school, my little shadow, who pursues me everywhere, perches herself outside and talks to me through the door.

This gospel is a good reminder that Jesus wants us to “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” It is absolutely essential to the healthy and holy living of our vocation that we find times and places for rest. And though the bathroom maybe good for a quick fix, it is not going to the get the job done long term.

We must take time for prayer, leisure, and creativity out of the house, away from the children. I advocate a weekly holy hour in Adoration – rest with the Lord and giver of all good and all rest. I also believe in a weekly date night. If the spouses regularly reconnect and rekindle their affection, the home will be stable, the kids will thrive.

Do not be afraid. Do not feel guilty. Walk out the door and don’t look back. Even if the babysitter is peeling the little ones’ hands from your legs and shirttails!

Reflection

What is keeping me from setting aside times for rest? Am I being just to myself, my husband, my God if I do not take times for rest?

Activity

This week, spend time alone with Jesus. Go into a quiet church and sit with the Lord. If you have never made a holy hour, start with 15 minutes. Spend at least 5 of those minutes silencing yourself and focusing on what God might be saying to you. If you don’t hear anything it’s okay. Keep up the practice and you ‘ll learn to hear Him.

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