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Encouragement Article

How Do You Restore?

Children are constant. 


The minuscule time void of active requests is spent following the trail of crumbs, clothes, sticky surfaces, and scattered toys. 


When those children are a speed walking one year old baby in diapers, an ever hungry but only eats two bites of anything you give him in-process potty-training two year old, and a six year old with the energy of a thousand monkeys, it's constant chaos. 


As a parent, it is all too easy to get lost in the head above water, day to day tasks, chores, needs of others, you name it.  


At the end of the day all you want to do is sink into the couch and scroll mindlessly only to wake from the senseless trance even more drained. 


After days, weeks, months of constant, it builds up. 

No matter how much patience you have you become quick to anger. 

No matter if you are sleeping through the night you feel sluggish. 

No matter the size of your servants heart, your selfishness breaks through. 

No matter if you desire to be present and intentional with your children, your actions prove otherwise. 


On your phone for 30 minutes while you sit on the toilet isn't doing any good. 

TikTok or Netflix before bed won't cut it either. 


What's needed is Intentional Restoration. 

Coffee by a campfire

Intentional restoration time is an absolute necessity for any parent. 


Time to reset, to escape, to reconnect with yourself, to find stillness amidst the constant. 

The methods vary but the underlying need remains the same. To shut out the world, if only for a moment, and experience a sense of peace. 


As a Father 

For many men, restoration occurs in the early morning hours or late at night. At both times all others are asleep, the house is dark and quiet.  


You are able to think without being interrupted. 

Breathe without having something asked of you. 

Indulge in personal pursuits unimpeded. 


These daily or weekly routines are critical to allow your mind to continually reset in order to be the present and intentional father you desire. 


So how do you restore? 


Some find solace in the pages of a book, closing out the world and losing their mind to their own imagination. 

Some choose this time to pray but also to listen. Diving into the Bible seeking wisdom and truth. 

Others workout. Nothing says restoration has to be still or quiet. The endorphins released during exercise provide excellent stress relief while also lifting your mood. 


For me, reading and writing articles like this are my respite. (Sidebar - My current read is by Ryan Holiday - Courage is Calling. I'm only about halfway through, but it is already worth the recommendation.) 


Reading or writing, silence, stillness, able to think and process while still learning or creating are joys I have been lucky to find. 


Outside of the time limited daily moments, every now and then it's important to completely step away and fully restore. Even more so than the daily moments, this can look drastically different for each of us. Perhaps it’s a single night, weekend, or week, get away from the schedule, responsibility, and constant. 


Before moving on, let's make one thing clear, the timeline will be what works for you and your family. This is not an excuse to tell your wife you are peacing out for a  week because you need to restore. Don't run from your responsibilities and over burden your family. You may not be able to get away as long as you would like, but it is up to you to start the conversation. 

No matter what you choose it comes down to this: What do you enjoy enough to fully engage it with your mind. What can you get into to the point where you lose track of time. You don't realize when you're hungry. When you're thirsty. When you're done you realize you really need to use the bathroom. What can so engross your attention? 


For me, it's the outdoors. 


Yes, that is a broad statement but I stand by it.  


Walking, fishing, hiking, kayaking, hammock laying, or simply sitting in a lawn chair along a river bank watching wood ferociously yet slowly turn to ash. 


Enjoying that which God has created in its purest form is my Intentional Restoration. 


What about you? 


As a Husband 

This will be the most challenging part of this article for most. 


It's easy to get behind the idea of personal restoration. Time away, time to think, time to be unscheduled. Release responsibility. 


But what about your wife? 


As men, it's easier for us to step away. 

Normally we can just go. 

No two thoughts about it. 


Not thinking of what school activities are happening this week. What meals are planned? Do I need to go to the store? Does laundry need to be done? Whose doctor appointment is coming up?  


This is where we step up in two ways. 


1. When you leave 

Prior to taking off on your day, weekend, or week restoration, get to work. Plan meals, go to the store, pre-make school lunches, pick-up the house, anything that can set your wife up for an easier time while you're away.  


You think parenting is hard with two adults in the house? Imagine it just being one for an extended period. (Praise to single mothers!) 

2. Encourage her to leave 

Here is where my challenge to you really comes in: Encourage your wife to get away. 


Perhaps it starts by planning a pedicure for her. For those few hours she can drive in a car by herself and sit without someone needing something from her. 

Encourage her to have dinner or lunch with a friend. 

Send her to Target, unfettered. 

Get her a Starbucks gift card and the time to enjoy an actual hot cup of coffee. 


Or, the ultimate, plan a night for her away. 


Find a local hotel or bed and breakfast. Book a room. Perhaps a spa package or some sort of treatment. If it's in the summer, ensure there's a pool. Winter a fireplace or coffee bar.  


No matter what you do, do it. 


Of course, in this time you take care of the kids, house, chores, all responsibility and constant to allow her mind to fully release. Carry the mental load as well as physical. 


Cherry on top? Let her come home to a clean (or at lease picked up) home. If she has to clean up your one night with the kids mess, you've missed the mark and her time away is so quickly forgotten. 


All that to say, today I encourage you to kick your wife out of the house...well, you know what I mean. 

For all parents, restoration should not be seen as a luxury but a necessity. 


Prioritize this time so it happens. Allow yourself the opportunity to restore. Continually refresh your mind in order to remain firm in the constant, actively being what your children need, while pro-actively pursuing them in your quest to be present and intentional daily. 


Keep at it men. 


Be Present. Be Intentional.

- Chad Vrla

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1 Comment

Well done sir! Excellent article.

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