Peppermint Hot Chocolate

December 30, 2009

Part of the rhythm of my day is getting two hours of work time every afternoon when the kids nap at 1pm-3pm.  These two hours are sacred for me.  I become a “task-master” during these two kid-free hours, where I diligently work through my Franklin Covey prioritized task list (I know my family is laughing at me already)!  My list for these two hours includes work projects, writing, emails, ministry at our church, and any other project that requires kid-free think time.   These two hours are sacred time for me (basically…don’t think of messing with my time!).
 Today, Chris and I both sat down to begin working during nap-time.  Both of us have been feeling quite frazzled and overwhelmed the last few days with all that needs to be done in the next week and a half before Chris’ semester starts again. Neither of us have been able to be very productive working.  While we both had task lists staring us in our face, we decided that instead of making an attempt at working this afternoon, we were going to bundle up and sit outside in 38 degree weather and drink a Peppermint Hot Chocolate together.
(1 cup skim milk, 2 Tbsp Hershey’s Syrup, 2 soft peppermint sticks- 1 broken to mix in and 1 to stir)
While we did not get anything marked off our task list this afternoon, we spent good quality time together in conversation about why we were feeling so frazzled, how we want to re-prioritize, and how we want to spend the last week and half.  Taking this time this afternoon left us both energized and focused.  We realized that there were some things that needed to be removed from our task lists in order to accomplish what is most important to us- spending time as a family, resting and re-energizing, accomplishing a few key work projects, and writing.  When nap-time ended, Chris and I were in a much better place.  We were calmer, focused, and energized.  We now know what is most important to us, and we are ready to get to work! 
Needing to stop to rejuvenate and refocus is nothing new.  It is something Jesus even did.  He withdrew to pray, to refocus, re-energize, and recenter on God.  We need to do the same. When we come out of a moment like Chris and I did today, we are refreshed, renewed, and ready to work. 
Do you need to stop and refocus and recenter?
How and who can you do this with? 
Go make it happen! 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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