Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Retreating

One day last week I had a particularly low patience level with my son. Thankfully, my husband came home for lunch and was able to give me a little break. But as I thought further about my quick fuse, I realized I needed a longer break to re-charge spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

I tearfully told my husband that I needed a few hours by myself for quiet time and reflection, so we arranged for me to be gone Saturday afternoon. I felt guilty saying I needed this, as it seemed so selfish--and I felt incompetent, like why couldn't I make this work at home while my son is napping? But as much as I love to be at home, sometimes it can be the least relaxing place for me, as I am distracted by the phone or by tasks I should be doing.

My afternoon "retreat" was exactly what I needed. I grabbed a journal, my Bible and a couple books and headed to the farmhouse of some dear friends. Perched in a quiet corner of the house, I began journaling some of the many thoughts that have been swirling around in my head. Writing things down has always given me a sense of clarity and release, and I could feel weight lifted from my shoulders just from being in a calm, peaceful place.

I came home feeling refreshed, and I told my husband that I'd like to commit to taking a retreat once a month. Though I was only gone for a few hours, it was the content of the time, not the quantity that was so important.

I tend to find "fulfillment" in getting things done, in crossing an item off of one of my many lists. But too often I get caught up in achieving and accomplishing, and I have to remind myself to take time to pause and to reflect.

Words from "In the Secret" by A. Park

In the secret, in the quiet place
In the stillness You are there.
In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait
Only for You, 'cause I want to know You more.
I want to know You, I want to hear Your voice.
I want to know You more.
I want to touch You, I want to see Your face.
I want to know You more.

9 comments:

A, B & C said...

I actually feel that way this week and called my husband a little while ago so upset. I need a break and I think I'm gonna try to do my own retreat for a few hours this weekend. I don't know what I'll do yet, but your day gave me some inspiration so I can figure out what I want to do.
Oh and BTW, I love that I'm one of your links, I feel so honored. Maybe I'll update my page and add some of my favorite blogs.
Abbey :-)

Anonymous said...

You are wise to make these retreats happen, and good for Eric for helping make it happen by "babysitting." I should have done this more when you were growing up -- in fact, I should do it more now!

Love you, Mom

Tracy said...

Oh, Carrie! I just talked to my husband about this on Monday- Thursday night is my retreat. Even knowing that a break is coming is changing my attitude. I read an article the other day about a mom who took her family on a bike ride and it was exhausting for her. When they got home she realized she had pumped up everyones tires before they left but her own- making her ride unneccessarily difficult! We moms need to make sure we put air in our tires, too!

thehomespunheart said...

Love Tracy's comment - and Carrie, I'm so glad you got to do this! Yeah Eric for making it happen too!

David is supportive of me doing this as well - but I always find that even though I talk about wanting to do it, I never actually want to take the energy to leave home and go do it.

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

Carrie,

I am glad you were able to recharge. I need to do this. I have been feeling very overwhelmed this week. It is hard because I feel guilty even thinking about it. Something I need to work on!

Kara K said...

Carrie I admire your truth and honesty. You're a great mom and person.

Kara

mer said...

Kudos to you for asking your husband for a break. For many years, I expected my husband to "notice" that I was overwhelmed and to offer a retreat to me. When I finally realized that it wasn't a luxury, but a necessity, and spoke up, he thanked me...and he's never NOT been willing to cut me loose for a few hours when I've asked.

And I'm with you on the journaling thing...it really helps me clarify things when I can put them on paper.

Blessings,
Meredith

PS--Where in Colorado are you from?

Joy@Joy in the Journey said...

Carrie,
I think it is just grea that you were able to take this retreat! I too, need to do this from time to time. Back in earlier days, I could do a whole day retreat, but now, with kids a shortened version is just the thing.
On another note, I wanted to answer your question about Nyala. I did know him from Moody, although not well. My roommate was an MK from Zimbabwe and they spent a lot of time together!!
Blessings,
Joy

Jody said...

Being "just a mommy" is harder work than many people realize. You have to take time to recharge. I think that may be why some people "snap". You have to take care of yourself, too. Good for you for taking care of you!