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Monday, March 22, 2010


I looked up the definition of "retreat" online. One of Webster's definitions says: "A period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director."

That's just what it was. I withdrew from my life for a few days. It was peaceful, relaxing, and more than a little refreshing.

I always underestimate the power of a break from the norm. I do look forward to respite when it approaches, but I seem to always forget just how much I need those pauses in my bustling life.

I laid on a wooden dock in the warm sun over a lake. No children came to ask me questions, or tattle, or request food from my 24-hour restaurant. I didn't have to worry about breakfast, lunch or dinner (or snacks). Someone else worried about it for me.

I ate ice cream mixed with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. And it was divine.

I sat outside during a mandatory time of silence throughout the camp and wrote a letter to the Lord. Not one of the 300 women present spoke. Each person was nestled in her own little spot of tranquility while she paused to just sit. How often do we do that? I don't think I can remember the last time I sat. Quietly.

I admired God's beauty, and marveled at the quaint little place I was in.

I enjoyed all my meals with grown ups (and a sister-in-law I have never before had the privilege of spending an extended period of time with), without having to continually get up to serve other people.

And, most importantly, I learned a few things:

1. I want to learn a new skill each year.
2. I am going to attempt to find gratitude in even the most unappealing circumstances.
3. I'm not invincible. I need breaks!

The speaker was incredible. Real, vulnerable, insightful and funny. My cheeks hurt from laughing at the end of each session.

Ah, retreat.

It's back to real life today, but that's ok. I love my job. I'm thankful for the 24-hour restaurant I operate and for my roles as a mediator, dental hygienist, teacher and maid. It's where I'm at right now, and I'm going to enjoy it.


Lisa said...

We all need to make time for these retreats. They are as important as air. It makes us better mothers. I am counting the days until mine in April.

GB's Mom said...

It sounds yummy!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

You LOOK so relaxed!!! I always thought it was weird to sit and just... sit.... and the quiet... UNTIL I HAD KIDS. Now I get it. Totally.

Sally- That Girl! said...

Yes, retreats are good no matter how they start!!! Can't wait till next years!!

J. said...

great to hear, all those things are so important.

Robin said...

Great pics, it looks beautiful, glad you had a good time and gained some valuable insight!

Britts said...

SOOO glad you had that time. It is SOOOO important! :o)

AmberLee said...

I love that Webster's has a such a great handle on what a retreat should be. The weekend sounds amazing. Quiet time, what's that? And it's so funny about the 24-hour restaurant. I never put it together, but that is EXACTLY how I feel!

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