This retreat has consumed my mind, and it is a good thing. For so long the majority of my thoughts were consumed with me. What I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. How I could be better but how I always failed. How I missed things because I blatantly forgot, or how I avoided things that would have probably been good for me. How I acted like a brat to my kids or husband, how I had been selfish or lacking in someway. How I lost my temper and if I had just prayed more or read the bible more or just been a better christian I wouldn’t struggle this way.
There was one day, I had clarity. I could see my bucket of energy and I knew exactly what filled it and what emptied it. I had just spent three of the most glorious days in Tennessee and they were without my husband or my kids. Just to be clear my favorite time is with my husband, and I love my time with my kids but this was different. In the total of the three days, not one thing drained me, NOT ONE! My activities were either neutral or fulfilling. I had never felt that way before. This was the first time I had gone on a trip by myself since I had become a mom, 7 years earlier. SEVEN.
During those three days I was cooked for, I slept without interruption or fear of a kid getting into something. I spent time with people who made me laugh, hard, and who loved me to literal tears. I bought myself things, with money I had budgeted, guilt-free. I was creative, I painted with a rare and crucial friend. We drank wine and worked on our canvases, using colors that spoke to us, experimenting with different tools and brushes. Then when we couldn’t think of anything else to make them better, we switched. They became a weird, swirl of the two of us. We didn’t care if we didn’t want to hang them in our homes it was the process. It was the time we spent doing it. I will forever remember that night and those three days.
Do you feel it? That sigh of relief. The longing for what I felt? That is what I want the retreat to be. I want to give that feeling. I want to give a hyper sensitivity to our energy, and I want to only fill, and fill, and fill.
“Come to me, those who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
We are not meant to conquer life. We are not even meant to be good at it, not even a little. It is suppose to be hard and challenging. Its not a question of if, its WHEN we are weary and burdened, God will give us rest. When we are weak, HE will be strong for us. Time and time again it is made known that we need to be fully dependent on God. So why are we surprised when we struggle? Why are we disappointed in ourselves for once again falling short. We will always be short. We will always be needy. If we weren’t, unfortunately we would never turn to God, we would never look to Him, we would never acknowledge Him. Maybe I shouldn’t say never, but it would be a rare occurrence. Because of our strength and capability we would spend our time praising ourselves, and not give a glance to the One who created us. So, stop. Stop beating yourself to a pulp. You will never be any better at this life then you have been in the past. All you can do is fall into the arms of God. Give up the effort of trying to take His place and find a joy in knowing that it is not your responsibility.
When we let our minds race with insults about falling short we are wasting energy and when this is happening all day, everyday we are expending exponential amounts of valuable energy. And as a mother, that is energy I am unable to live without. Instead, let God take the worry, the fear and the doubt away. If you need it, spend the weekend with me in January to help understand how to let go of each area of our lives so we can focus on what really matters. So we are spending more time filling up then emptying out. That is my hope for the retreat and for you.