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There's no place like home

I hated naps as a child.  Now I'm crazy about them.

The more my responsibilities have increased  the more I enjoy being home.   (By the way, all of these photos are taken at our home.)   The happiest days of my life are spent at home. 
 For the majority of our ministry, I accepted every  invitation I was given.  If there was a party I was there.  If someone said, "come on over" or "let's go for coffee" I pretty much went without exception.   
As time has gone on and my responsibilities have increased:  wife, mom, domestic engineer of our home, working at the church full time, working at NextJob part time, writing, traveling and speaking...when I have time off I just want to be home.  A perfect day off  for me looks like this: 

Sleep in.
Wake up to house that I already cleaned in days preceding.  

Brush teeth.

Teeb makes something for breakfast.  (Remember, I said this is the PERFECT day off.  LOL)

Go back to bed and watch a movie and snuggle with the man. 

Get up and take a bubble bath with Moonlight Path.   Have my cup of hot tea on the side of the tub while I'm there.

Get out of bathtub, let my hair dry natural and put it up in a clip.  Put some moisturizer on my face but leave it at that.  Spritz on some Moonlight Path  and put on a pair of clean pink flannel PJ's.

Read my Bible, listen to some preaching podcasts, spend some time in prayer.


Piddle around the house - play the piano, get on my computer and write for fun.
Talk to the kids when they come in from work/school.  Lay around for a while and talk.  

Get up and start dinner.  Cook something yummy that we all really like - a favorite like chicken casserole or tacos.
Eat together.

Everybody helps clean up. 

Go read a book, or ride my bike, or watch a favorite show with my family.  If it's wintertime, sit in the jacuzzi for a while, light a fire on the patio in the fireplace, maybe even roast some marshmallows.  Fun!  Usually Dec-March we'll make smores on the patio at night on our day off.

Fall asleep whenever I want to, having had a wonderful day.

It's my priority to be at all of our services and all of our offical church events and that won't ever change.  What has become rarer is for me to accept  personal invites to other things.  Most of the time when I go, I'm giving up what precious little time I have to re-energize.    For many years, although I was craving time to myself I  said yes to everything just to please people and avoid confrontation.   
Sunday it was our anniversary.  We had church things most of the day.  That night we went to Cinebistro  for dinner and a movie and it was WONDERFUL.  But we were craving some more time together and we took yesterday off.  We spent it much like I just described above.  It was perfect. 

I understand that many pastors are bi-vocational and they NEVER get a day off.  We have lived through that before.   I have learned if I don't protect some days off I end up not only getting exhausted but I become resentful.   That is why unless there is an absolute emergency (a death in the church, etc.) I don't answer the phone or return emails or messages on a Friday.  I have to have a day to unplug and be with my family.   These days more than ever, I know myself and what I need to function at maximum potential.  The older I get the kinder I am to myself and to others. So many times people -- especially women, leave themselves off of their to do  list, burn out and then lash out.  I've been there so many times and in growing older have grown wiser.  Jesus said we should love our neighbor as ourself.  If we don't love ourself, how can we love our neighbor?  

The kindest thing I do for myself sometimes is just stay home.

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