Recently Sasha and I learned of a missionary couple that, once a week, takes their kids and goes out for coffee or breakfast or something similar. While the kids play they discuss their plans for the week. Upon hearing this Sasha recommended that we try doing something similar, so three weeks ago we had our first ever planning breakfast.
I must admit, I had my doubts as to whether or not this would be a good use of our time. After all, we see each other every day, why would we need this time together to plan out the week. We have had nearly 10 successful years of marriage and ministry without any planning meetings, but being the good husband I am and recognizing that most of Sasha's ideas are good ones, I gave it a try.
I have to say, taking the time like this to sit down and discuss what we want to accomplish during the week has been very helpful. For starters, it serves as a time to get all our expectations for the week on the table. This minimizes surprises. Previously I might have had plans to meet with so and so on Thursday afternoon, but forgotten to tell Sasha. Meanwhile, she planed to take the kids to their friend's house for a play date at the same time. Having only one car available, such a conflict could be a cause for much tension, or at the least require us to cancel on someone. By laying out our plans, we have a chance to juggle the schedule before conflicts arise.
These meetings also provide a time for us to reflect on what we have accomplished in the previous weeks and seek the other's advice on how to move forward in the future. We decide together what are the most pressing issues, and what tasks should be postponed for later in the week. This all may seem simple, but taking an hour out of our schedule once a week has thus far proven to ultimately save time.
It also helps to realign ourselves emotionally and spiritually. A one-on-one breakfast with my wife is always a pleasure, and something that has become increasingly rare as our family has grown.
I am now at the point where I would highly recommend such a practice for other couples, especially couples who are in ministry together. A little realignment can keep us in tune with each other and with our Lord.