This month’s 24 hours away almost did not happen. I spent the first week of November at my dear friend’s house in Kansas. She moved away this summer and surprised my son and I with a trip to her house. This trip was planned months ago. It was perfect timing. We had just lost our dog and closed a chapter on doing full time ministry so I felt exhausted. Being at her home felt like a safe harbor to rest. I got to sleep in and nap when needed. I sat alot on her comfy couch under a soft blanket. I got to visit with a friend who loves me lots. It was a gift to this weary heart. So anyways I had planned to do this 24 hr retreat at a local prayer center a week after my Kansas trip but we realized that felt like too much time away for our youngest son. So I cancelled my hermitage rental at St. Francis Prayer Center and planned to stay at my mother in law’s apartment 2 weeks later. My plan was to get away Sunday at 2pm to Monday 2pm. Prior to that I decided to bring my mother in law lunch from our fav Hibachi place then go walk/talk and pray before kicking off my solitude retreat. This was a nice way to roll into my time away. I decided to run a few Christmas shopping errands at the beginning of my retreat. This time was mostly silent which just brings so much peace when I am not talking myself. But this time is about freedom and not legalities like me talking to the cashiers or hearing Christmas music playing in the stores. Nothing wrong with these things and it is good to focus on the freedom of these times. The gift of solitude to be able to stroll through stores without a busy 5 year old was a gift.
I returned back to the apartment at 4:30pm. I had a snack. During these times I try to listen to what my body needs by eating when hungry and sleeping when tired. 5:00pm I am pooped so I decided to nap. Normally in my everyday life I would not do this for many reasons like that is when I am working on dinner and it might make it hard to fall asleep again at 10pm. I decided not to set my usual 30 minute nap alarm. I have discovered that 30min. nap help me not to have a nap hangover where I feel worse than before the nap with intense grogginess. I decided to let my body sleep as much as it needed. My oldest daughter was recently sharing about the sleep debt idea she is learning about in her psychology class. So I decided to help pay off some debt. 😉 I slept 3 hours and woke at 8pm. I did not think I would sleep that long but that is what this time is for: rest and restoration.
Prior to my nap I had decided not to go out for dinner or dessert this evening. I was feeling the need to tuck myself in, to hem myself in to her cozy apartment. I did not want to go back out in the dark and cold. I wanted to hide myself away for the evening. I wanted the warmth and comfort of this familiar place. I wanted the rest and peace it offered.
I ate leftovers of my vegetable soba for dinner. I had some ghiradelli chocolate I bought for stocking stuffers. It made a nice dessert. I then read a tiny book called The Little Book of Fika: The Uplifting Daily Ritual of the Swedish Cofffee Break. I then took a relaxing hot bath.
I decided I’d be up for awhile since I just took a 3 hour nap. 😉 So I watched a chick flick DVD that my mother in law had. It was a nice evening of relaxing. I checked out another digital book via the Hoopla app. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish secrets to Happy Living sounded good. Hygge is a Danish word that means a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. This word reminds of the Hebrew word, Shalom which means peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. I did not start reading it yet. Around midnight I decided to go to bed. I knew I had the time to get a full night’s sleep by sleeping in the next day.
I rolled out of bed around 9:00am. I got ready, ate breakfast and headed to a local coffeeshop to sit and write. I wrote a few blog posts. The first post was about losing our fur baby, Holly. I had picked a cozy little table in the back of the shop with a view of the beautiful fall follage. My back was to the rest of the place so it felt like just me there. This was nice because as I typed out this first blog post there were lots of hot tears pouring out. So the privacy of this cozy back table was nice. I have about an hour left before I head home. I told our youngest I would be there when he gets home from school. I think I will read my new book for the last hour. But I’d like to visit with my hubby before he gets home from school so I will head out now. I am so thankful to Jeremy who supports this monthly rhythm of retreat.