Parents in Pain Need Times of Refreshment

When you are the mom or dad (or grandparent) of a child who is causing you a lot of heartache and pain (you name it — all kinds of destructive choices and behaviors, including things outside of their control like depression, etc.) you are probably not doing very well emotionally, physically or spiritually.  It is incredibly draining in every way.  Every area of your life is affected.  Are you weary?  Drained?  Depleted?  Frazzled?  Stressed to the max?  Is there an elephant sitting on your chest?  Is it all taking a toll?  Are you beginning to wonder if you will make it to the end . . . wherever that is . . . if you will be able to persevere in one piece?

We desperately need to pull back from the chaos and take care of ourselves.  We need to be refreshed.  The dictionary defines “refreshed” as:

1. To revive with or as if with rest, food, or drink; give new vigor or spirit to.
2. To give new freshness or brightness to; restore.
3. To make cool, clean, or moist; freshen up.
4. To renew by stimulation: refresh one’s memory.
5. To fill up again; replenish: refresh a drink.

What refreshes you?  What replenishes you, renews you, restores you, revives you?  Can you remember?  Take some time to think about it and then make a list.  Listening to relaxing music?  Playing a musical instrument?  Singing?  Being out in nature (in your backyard, at a local park, in the mountains, on the beach)?  You might planting a garden or flowers (spring is coming!)?  Reading?  Taking a nap?  Participating in a sport?  Painting, sewing or doing something artsy?  Going to a museum?  What’s on your bucket list?  Maybe you need to make one or add something to it?  Whatever it is, find a way to do it.  Make a plan and make time for it.  Put it in your schedule.

We need the diversion.  We need the redirection of our mental, emotional and physical energy. We need to think about something else!  Oh my, how much we need it!!!!!  We need to live our lives and try to live them more fully.  Most of us have been only half functioning, maybe for a long time now.  It might be something very simple.

This picture of a place I like to go to be refreshed.  I just sit there and relax.  I might read or just listen to the sounds of nature around me. Today I am going to go sit outside (sorry, but it’s a gorgeous day today here in Orlando), close my eyes and just relax for 15 minutes.  I will have to work very hard to make it happen.   To just lean back in a comfy lawn chair and relax.  I will bring myself into God’s presence and let him love on me.  I will be still.  I will rest.  I will try very hard not to think about what’s next.  I will make it a “no prodigal zone” in my mind!  It will take all the mental energy I can muster up!

Hmmmm . . . then what will I do another day this week?  Maybe I will read something just for fun.  Maybe I will watch a funny movie (the old Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies really make me laugh).  On Saturday I am going on a retreat and I will have the whole afternoon all to myself to just relax and do whatever I want.  Can’t wait.  I think it will be refreshing!

What will you do?  I hope you will do something this week!  Maybe tomorrow!   Trust me, it will help.  It really will.

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