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It had been one of those fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of week. I had just launched my book during a full week of homeschooling, and by Friday my brain was toast.
So, I was surprised and very relieved when the hubsters called a family time-out. He had planned a clandestine family trip. Our departure time? The next morning! Our destination: Niagara Falls!
It didn’t matter that I only had a few hours to pack. Our family needed a break.
It didn’t matter that we did touristy things, like cram ourselves on a boat to view the falls along with 200 other raincoat-clad gawkers. Our family needed some quality time with each other.
Looking back, I realize that calling a family time-out is one of the most important ministries we have as parents. As a wife and mother, my first and foremost ministry is to the bodies that reside in my home. And even though it was just for one night, our trip to Niagara Falls got us out of the house, gave us a small break from our usual ministry responsibilities, and provided a fresh perspective on the weekly concerns weighing us down.
But a family time-out doesn’t have to be a trip to a five-star location. Here are some ideas for calling a family time -out:
- Take a picnic
- Plan a surprise afternoon activity
- Have a special family date in the park
- Invite another family over for pizza
- Go to a local school sporting event
- Go get hot chocolate
- Go to the farmers market and pick out ingredients for dinner
- Go hiking
- Organize a scavenger hunt around your neighboorhood
- Play your own backyard Olympics or field games
- Work on an outdoor art project
- Set up an outdoor movie using a white bed sheet and power point projector
- Go to the zoo, aquarium, or museum
- Make potted plants and deliver to new neighbors
- Make your own bows and arrows out of sticks and go hunting
- Go bird watching, and be sure to make your own bird journal to record what you see.
- Sleep in a tent in your backyard
- Tour your own city
- Go to a play
- Set up a build-your-own sundae bar
- Play a brand new board game
- Surprise another family member with a special dinner
The point is to do something out of your usual routine. The point is to call a family time-out when stress levels are at an all-time high or when fatigue threatens to steal your joy.
I’m so thankful my husband knows each of us so well, particularly when we are close to our breaking point and need a reprieve from everyday life. He works hard during the week, yet continues to serve our family by keeping a watchful eye on each of us. I am grateful for both his servant’s heart and the spiritual leadership he provides for us.
I love you, Jon. I’m so glad you are mine. Glad we’re in this ministry-stuff together!
Have you ever called a family time-out? What activities do you enjoy doing as a family?