Friday, September 22, 2006

A typical day off

Yesterday, I gave you a glimpse into a typical week in my ministry schedule. In it I noted that I take Friday as my day off. Why Friday? Don’t most pastors take Monday as their day off? Probably, but I have found that I get hit with so much stuff on Sunday morning that I need to deal with, that if I tried to take Monday off I would spend all day thinking about these issues and never really relax and enjoy my day off. My philosophy is that if I can be mostly ready for Sunday morning by the time Friday rolls around, I can set my mind at ease and think less about church on my day off. It seems to work for me.

So what do I do on my day off? Well, it depends. However, the day usually begins the same way. My wife usually takes the kids to school on Friday so that I can catch an extra hour of sleep. Typically, I take the kids to school since they attend Lititz Christian and I have to come to work anyway. But Friday is typically my day to sleep in just a tad bit longer. Once I am up and showered, Laura and I head out to breakfast and then we go do our grocery shopping. That’s right! I go grocery shopping with my wife each and every week on my day off. Frankly, I enjoy it. Now before you ladies use my example to throw a guilt trip on your hubbies, please realize that though I go grocery shopping, I don’t dust, iron or vacuum. After all, why did we have kids?

We then come home and unload. We have a ritual and routine with this that involves our dog, Sandi, which is a Jack Russell. We always buy her a special treat at the grocery store and hide it in one of the bags. She knows when we come home and have grocery bags that there is something in one of them for her. She goes wild. As we bring each bag in she rummages through each of them until she finds her treat. It’s a hoot to watch!

After that, it kind of depends. Sometimes the late afternoon is spent mowing the lawn. Sometimes it’s spent napping. Sometimes it’s spent watching the television. Recently, it has usually been spent going to watch our kids play in their sports programs at school.

There are times that Laura will go do the grocery shopping earlier in the week so that we can have the full day to go do something else. But the idea of the day is simple. This is a day for the two of us. We do our best to protect that time. We need it. Friday is our day to spend together. It is our day to focus on each other.

Actually, along with my full day off, which I take on Fridays, I am also allotted two half days off. I always take Saturday afternoon for one of them. I spend Saturday morning in the office from 8-12. These are the most productive 4 hours of my week and they are used almost exclusively for final sermon preparation. The afternoon, though, is my time to watch college football, unless of course, there is something else on the event calendar. As far as my other half day, well to be honest, I don’t really use it often. Every once in a while I might. But what I do is to make my kid’s sporting events a priority. If Jonathan or Joy has a game, whether it is home or away, I will go watch the game. After grocery shopping with my wife, watching my kids play sports is my idea of rest and recreation.

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