TAKING TIME TO SLOW DOWN AND REST—YOU WON’T REGRET IT!
It is early morning as I write, and I feel the cool breeze—a welcome reprieve from the heat of the day that is surely coming. I see the green leaves on the trees and grass, full of moisture, a lush sight that will be gone in a few months when winter arrives. I hear the birds singing, and know they too will leave for the south sooner than I like. I am grateful for this moment marked by pleasant sensory input, peace, and rest; and I am reminded of how important these moments are for all of us.
Summer is a slower time for some, and for others it is a season marked with trips, camps, fighting kids, and more. Summer seems to winding down already, and our minds are moving forward to the commitments and activities of autumn. For those of you who have not gotten time, or taken time, to slow down yet, I encourage you to build some time into your schedule to do just that. I can almost guarantee it will be good for your soul, and very good for your children.
Taking time to slow down and rest opens our hearts and minds up to really “hearing” what is going on around us: hearing our children better by giving them plenty of time to say what is on their hearts and mind; hearing our own thoughts and dreams and fears, with time to make sense of them; and most importantly, hearing God singing over us and speaking truth to us. Also, since we never know when a figurative “winter” will come into our lives, resting gives us strength, personally and relationally, to cope with challenges that may lie ahead.
Resting is important for adoptive parents to do alone and personally, with each other in the marriage, and with their children. I know that it can be hard to work it all in, and I am preaching to myself here as well. But, I would like to close this post with some practical tips to get in some quality “rest” time in each of these situations.
- Alone time: set aside 15 minutes each day for personal quiet time—put away the phone, the to-do lists, and other distractions and just sit -- focus on your breathing, focus on the sights, smells, sounds around you, and the feelings in your body, as a part of, or in addition to, prayer, Bible study, and meditation.
- Marriage time: set aside 15 minutes each day with your spouse, free from distractions and free from schedule-planning – focus on each other, vulnerably sharing and fully listening to each other’s more personal thoughts and feelings, and studying each other’s body language
- Child time: find time to just be with each of your kids, alone at least some of the time or in groups as needed, and find something quiet to do together that creates “space” for deeper conversations, like lay on the ground and watch the clouds, or sit in the sand box together with a few toys, or take a walk at a park. One of my favorite memories as a child is when my mom would break out the Hershey bars—a rare treat—and we would lie on a quilt in the back yard late a night to watch the stars and each chocolate. I know it can be hard to do some of these things with some of your kids, and it may take time to teach them how to “rest” but the benefits for all of you, and the life-long memories and benefits for your children will be invaluable.
We encourage you to find ways to rest. If you need help in this area, or want more information, or are struggling with anything related to your adoption, feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help you. Happy Resting!
This article was writtend by Amber Lewis, a Licensed Professional Counselor with a master's degree in counseling psychology. Amber is also a trained as a TBRI© practitioner. She currently serves as a Clinical Supervisor with America World Adoption and has over 12 years of experience in international adoption, including being an adoptive mother herself. She is especially interested in helping families and their children work through grief and identity issues as well as teaching parents skills in connecting with, correcting, and empowering their children.
ACT (Adoption Coaching and Training) is a ministry of America World Adoption designed to support families through training, support groups, and individualized coaching. Explore ACT services on our website here, and reach out to us today for a free consultation to make a plan to meet your needs.