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Why Does Time For Ourselves Evoke Guilty Feelings?

Saturday Morning. What do these 2 words evoke in you?

An extra hour of sleep?

Leisurely breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon (or fava beans and falafel if it is a fasting period)?

A break from the weekly hustle and bustle? Maybe to some, but Saturday morning for most parents means something else. It means a head start to get all the errands and chores and shopping done so that we can prepare for another week of hustle and bustle. And if said parents even flirt with the idea of resting for a little, then the guilty feelings quickly set in! Why is that? Why does taking time for ourselves make us feel guilty?



Blackberries, Breakfast, Caffeine



Because we think of Saturday as another day where we must tend to our list of responsibilities. Such as driving one child to soccer practice, another to a birthday party, dropping off the dry clean, picking up the first child from soccer and the second one from swimming, or was the second one at a birthday party? This means that the closest you ever get to a leisurely breakfast is watching other families enjoying theirs as you wait for your latte in the drive-through lane.





By 10:00 am, Saturday morning is looking at you in the rearview mirror and laughing hysterically at your delusional dreams of rest and restoration. 

What is a parent to do? 


You might be an organizational wizard, an efficiency expert, and have the patience of monks, but come Saturday noon, you are exhausted and have not had a moment to yourself.

So why do this to ourselves every single weekend? Why do we not allow ourselves a moment’s respite?



Cleaning, Housewife, Mop, Kitchen, House


Why Does Time For Ourselves Evoke Guilty Feelings?


Maybe we feel guilty claiming a few moments of solitude because we know the errands will not run themselves, the chores won’t accomplish themselves, and that the children will not drive themselves to soccer practice.

But guilt is making us forget our Lord planned for us to have some rest (or else night would not exist and the day would be 24 hours long). Guilt makes us ignore the warning signs we are running on very little fuel: snapping at the door that says “Push” that you just pulled 3 times? Join the club!





More importantly, how many of us take time on Saturday to sit down and read our Bibles or have a quiet moment with our Lord?

In our zeal to complete our never-ending “To-Do List, “, when do we allow ourselves the chance to seek rejuvenation by communicating with the Source of all Comfort?

Let us look at what the Bible says about resting

“I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me.” Psalm 3:5

“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:2-3

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.Mark 6:31


Have I provided enough proof that even the Bible says that we NEED and SHOULD allow ourselves a few minutes of rest?



Onto the next part of the exercise: How do we go about accomplishing that?


Here is your rest and rejuvenation “To-Do List. “


  1. Write it down on your To-Do List: 30 minutes of “quiet time”.
  2. Provide advance notice to your family and spouse that on Saturday from 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm (or whatever time suits your schedule) you will be otherwise occupied and not be disturbed unless it is an absolute emergency.
  3. Make yourself a beverage and find a quiet place in your home.
  4. Grab your Bible, a prayer book, or your iPod with your favourite hymns.
  5. Enjoy this peace and serenity and repeat it on a weekly basis.

This article first appeared on Faith Filled Family Magazine


In Christ,



Other articles you might enjoy: Helpful ideas to maintain our prayer schedule during vacations

Additional Coptic resources on this topic: The Sabbath

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