Escape v. Rest

If you are a medical wife, or the wife of anyone with a crazy schedule, then you know how precious “down time” can be. This month is especially busy for my husband, and this past weekend was the first days off he had since the month started. Not to mention that he has been getting home no earlier than 6 (and often around 10) each night of the week. And did I mention the 5am wake-up time? Suffice it to say, it was really precious to have time together.

One thing I have noticed, however, is that whenever my husband and I have down time, we can often find ways to escape the busyness of life. For us, escape is usually found in the form of mindless entertaiment. TV shows or movies. We sit side by side and engage in another plot that is not our own. And while it does give our brains a few hours of relief, we have both found that our hearts are not refreshed afterwards. Because here is the truth – escape does not equal rest.

This past weekend we sat down and made a list of all the things we needed and wanted to do with our weekend. He had charts to catch up on. I needed to kick some laundry in the booty. I wanted some alone time. He wanted to catch up on sleep. We both wanted to initiate our outdoor fire pit. We also wanted to catch up on our current TV show, but as we put together our wants and needs, we saw that the TV show would definintly need to be the last thing on our list if we were to try and have a truly restful weekend. So he worked on charts during our girls naps, and I folded clothes while he distracted our toddler. And then, instead of zoning out to the television, we wrapped ourselves up in blankets and lit a fire. We talked about our future – about our hearts post-residency and the dreams that brought us together. And when our heads hit the pillows, we felt rested and connected.

So what am I saying? I am saying that you need to watch out for the things in your life that are escape but not rest. And it doesn’t mean you can’t do them (we actually did squeeze in a movie one night), but it means that when you do them you recognize that at it will not put your heart at rest – that it won’t connect you to your spouse. You recognize that at the end of whatever it is you will have disconnected from stress, but not necessarily connected to life.

Your marriage isn’t mine. So movies & TV might truly be restful for you. But it might be helpful to ask yourself, how do I try to escape stress? What are ways I can rest with & connect to my spouse rather than just retreat into escape mechanisms? Perhaps it might behove you to turn off the TV and light a fire. You don’t even have to have a deep conversation. Just get some tea and think of fun memories. Laugh. Stay silent. Hold hands. Connect.

Find joy in the journey,
~ Melissa

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lendie on November 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I agree so much Melissa. Jason and I usually find ourselves in that place, totally exhausted and simply just wanting to snuggle on the couch and rest our minds and thoughts from even thinking. lol. But at the same time we both agree that turning off the tv, and just laughing our reminising and dreaming together would be much more filling and even fun. Jason is a full time nursing student. His ultimate goal is to be a nurse anethesist or nurse practicioner. He commutes every day 1 hr. and 45 min to school in New Orleans, and then manages to work at Womans Hospital, study, clinicals and every now in the soak up his time with the kids and I. Its busy, but interested none the less at how God helps it all work out. Thanks for your post, I get super excited every time I see one.. 🙂


    • Lendie,

      Thanks for the encouragement! Praying for you guys as you are on this medical journey. It can be so taxing but there is grace! Sounds like your husband is doing all he can to balance his crazy life. Pray that you guys fight for rest 🙂


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