Parents in Pain Need Times of Refreshment

by | Aug 22, 2023 | what you can do

When you are the mom or dad (or grandparent) of a child who causes you a lot of heartache for any reason, all kinds of destructive choices and behaviors, including issues outside of their control like depression, you are probably not doing very well emotionally, physically or spiritually. Your journey has drained you dry. You’ve got nothing left. Every area of your life has been affected.

Are you weary? Depleted? Frazzled? Stressed to the max? Is there an elephant sitting on your chest? Is he taking a toll on you? Are you beginning to wonder if you will survive to the end  … wherever that is …  if you will be able to persevere in one piece?

Friends, it’s time 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, renews, restores or revives you? Can you remember? Take some time to think and then make a list.

Here are a few ideas if you need some help:

Listen to relaxing music. Play a musical instrument. Sing. Spend time outside in nature (in your backyard, at a local park, in the mountains, on the beach). You might like to work in a garden or with flowers. Read a good book. Take a nap. Participate in a sport. Paint, sew or create with your hands. Go to a museum. What’s on your wish list that you always wanted to do or learn how to do? Maybe you need to make a refreshment activity list? Whatever revives you when you’re down, find a way to incorporate that into your week. Make a plan. Find the time and put it in your schedule. Make up your mind and determine to make it happen. Then notice how you feel afterward. Hopefully, the natural endorphins your brain releases will motivate you to repeat the activity and more often.

Dear fellow struggling parent, you need the diversion. Your overall wellness depends on the redirection of your mental, emotional and physical energy. You need to think about something else besides your troubled child. You need to take back your life and live the abundant life Christ wants you to have. You may have only been half-functioning for way too long.

This is a picture of a place I like for refreshment. I sit still and relax. I might read or listen to the sounds of nature around me. Today I am going to go sit outside, close my eyes, and enjoy God’s presence for fifteen 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.