I'm still struggling defining what exactly does "a day off" look like to a pastor. It certainly is not Sunday, for that is the most intense work day. It's also not Saturday, for many ministry activities and appointments occur of that day because it is a day off for so many others in the church. Typically I have heard of pastors taking Mondays off. This has not been so for me yet because I taught at Dallas Theological Seminary's Center for Biblical Studies on Monday nights. The resulting effect has been that I feel as though I've not taken a day off in two months. Oh yes, the canoe trip last weekend was relaxing, but it was still something of a pastoral function. In the coming weeks and months, I intended to sort out this problem.
With regards to leisure time, not only has my own time off fallen by the wayside, but also my time away with Naomi as well. This is most certainly not a acceptable practice. This is all the more made evident by how much I enjoyed this morning.
Naomi and I decided last night to designate weekly times that are spent alone with one another. We allowed for some flexibility for now whether they would be mornings or evenings (since she works until 6:30pm most nights and my meetings occur mostly in the evenings as well), but we did indeed follow up on the the decision by going out to Starbucks this morning. Over our chosen drinks, and the comfortable atmosphere we talked about all the significant happenings in our life right now. It was nice just to take the time to connect meaningfully about the issues that move us in this season of life. After that we went over to the new Dick's Sporting Goods store in Rockwall to imagine new recreation activities for our family. It was a great time.
All in all, it helped me remember that the schedule simply must not become too full to squeeze in time alone with my wife. Leaving time to date is essential to our relationship, and also serves as a time of refreshing relaxation for me too.