A few weeks ago, I was able to connect with an old friend who is a fellow homeschool mom as well as a pastor’s wife. She was telling me how she has a parlor room in her home that she keeps free from toys and clutter that allows her a place to sit with a cup of tea and relax.
The concept of having a place you can go to relax may sound like a luxury you cannot afford. Perhaps you feel your home is too small or your time too limited to allow for space to relax. But, please, lend me your ear for just a moment…
In other cultures and in days gone by in our own, people took time throughout their day to breathe. Some countries take long lunches. Some countries take tea. Some countries even take naps! However, in America, busyness seems to be a badge of honor. Now, don’t get me wrong…we are to be busy at home (Titus 2:5), but taking a moment to drink a little tea or coffee, read a chapter in a book, sit and hold a small child, open a window and breathe fresh air are not marks of laziness. They are marks of thankfulness.
The Bible tells us to be still. When we are still, we are able to know God more because we take the time to see His handiwork in the trees and clouds, the shadows and light, fresh air, and our children’s faces. We are more in tune with the blessings we have been given, and therefore, live a life of thankfulness.
But, what if you can’t dedicate an entire room to relaxing? No problem! You can find this kind of space other ways.
The chair above is a hideous orange chair my mother-in-law picked up at a thrift store for me years ago. It is the THE MOST COMFORTABLE CHAIR IN THE WORLD! But, it’s orange! So orange I don’t allow it out in public! It sits in my bedroom with an end table beside it. It is a place I can go to nurse when baby needs quiet (or mama needs quiet). It is a place I can sit while I talk to my husband as he gets ready for work. It is a place I can go to have a heart-to-heart discussion with one of the children. It is my relaxing room.
I have a set of red-cushioned patio furniture I purchased a few years ago. Sometimes my relaxing room is there. I can sit in the sunlight and watch the children play. I can read a book or work on my computer in the fresh air. Sometimes I just go there and sit and do nothing but breathe.
Sometimes my relaxing room is a 15 passenger van with the windows rolled down and music on the radio. It is the place I find margin in my day. It is the place I praise the Lord for giving me all the little people in my rear view mirror.
Your relaxing room might be a tiny corner of the living room where you keep a rocking chair and your Bible. It might be a garden with stepping stones made by your children or a front porch full of plants and flowers. Wherever it is, it is a place you can go to be thankful. It is a place you can go to find just a tiny moment of retreat…enough to renew and refocus.
Not sure how to find a relaxing room of your own? Here are some ideas to get you started…
1. Choose a place you can keep fairly clear of clutter. I know in a busy household this can be next to impossible, but if you purpose to have one little space that doesn’t get overrun throughout the day, it really isn’t that hard to keep it clear. Yes, you will have to be diligent about removing items from the area that don’t belong, but trust me, it’s doable.
2. Put something there that makes you smile – your favorite quilt, a plaque with a Bible verse, a pretty notepad and pen, even just a nice coaster to set your coffee on! It doesn’t have to be elaborate.
3. Teach your children to respect the space. They should know they are welcome there, but they should also respect the fact that the space is for relaxing and not for horsing around or cluttering up. Granted, children are children and a stray army man or doll isn’t the end of the world. I’d also encourage you to allow the children to use the relaxing room for their own breathers if need be…or even help them set up a space of their own!
4. Find a few moments every day to go there and just breathe. Even if your relaxing room is just a couple of steps outside your back door on a rectangle of concrete, go there every so often and breathe deep. Thank the Lord for this day. Thank the Lord for this moment. Take a sip of tea and head back to your regularly scheduled life a little more relaxed!