Andrew and I got some time away last week (thanks, Gran and Pops!) and had a chance to evaluate our days away from the blur and the noise. One thing we noticed: our pace is non-stop. Even on Sundays. We do church, we do small group, and then we have to prep for the week ahead and somehow our Sabbath is spent.
So this past Sunday, we tried an experiment: PJ Morning.
It took a bit of prep work. I hit the library and filled a bag full of books that would tempt our kids to sit still for a long time. (And I won’t go into the tears and drama involved when I realized I spent an hour picking books and then had no library card and no way to prove our new address. Fortunately, my nervous breakdown was convincing enough that the librarian fudged the rules a little.)
We talked to the kids on Saturday night and told them we wanted all of us to rest. Not just them. US. We wanted to spend some quality quiet time on the day that God named “Sabbath” or “Rest.”
The next morning, we got up with
our alarm clock Finn and did the usual bottle routine.
Then I fixed a family breakfast. I tried to keep it simple but special. So I made oatmeal, but I made a browned butter banana sauce with brown sugar and cinnamon to put on top. The kids could also add peanut butter if they got the urge.
We sat down to breakfast together, giggled over Finn’s antics with oatmeal, and then did our clean-up chores so the kitchen was tidy again.
We divided up the books (a pile for each boy and a large stack for the girls to share) and sent the kids to their rooms. Finn went down for a nap. And then Andrew and I crawled back under the covers and slept for another hour. Well, he slept. I listened to podcasts. But I was in my bed, totally still, not being productive at all.
It was heavenly.
Then we got up, released the kids from their rooms, showered, and went to small group. We came home in time to throw together dinner and then made it to the evening service at church. (That’s a handy option to have, peeps.)
It wasn’t a perfect day. Finn’s nap in the morning didn’t last as long as it should have, he missed his afternoon nap, and I had to apologize profusely to the nursery workers at church for even daring to foist His Bitterness upon them. The girls came down a few times while we were resting to get disputes over books settled.
But it was a restful day.
We may not be able to replicate it, but I think we’d like to try. We scooped up those library books and put them away for next Sunday. I’ve heard a lot about that from my eager readers. They didn’t appreciate it. But they’re counting the days til Sunday. And there are breakfast requests to meet…
So here’s a question. What are some other ideas for encouraging a bit of quiet rest time with the kids? One that doesn’t involve screen time. (I’m not saying we WON’T use TV, but we like alternatives.) Anybody got any thoughts or suggestions????