October’s Treat Yo’Self Day:

If you don’t know why I call these days “Treat Yo’ Self” then go back and read prior posts like August or July’s retreat days. ūüôā¬†I’m about 8 hours into this day of solitude and it is so good.¬† I am so grateful for an amazing hubby who sees me and my need to retreat monthly.¬† I am thankful for my mother in law who loans me her apartment while she sleeps at our place.¬† I am thankful for the book Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry that reminded me of my desire to take a day each month for silence and solitude for soul maintenance.¬† I am thankful for the luxury of this day.¬† I recognize others may not have the support system I have nor the resources to make a day like this happen.¬† But it is my hope and prayer that everyone could have this opportunity to reset, refuel and rest.¬†¬†
I have about 14 hours left of this retreat and many of those will be sleeping.¬† I think I am due for an extended retreat of at least 2 nights.¬† I believe it has been well over a year since I last did that. It may even be 2 years.¬† I believe I set out to take 48 hrs to retreat 2 years ago.¬† It was the week we had¬†court for our youngest to decide guardianship.¬† We were also mid packing to move out of our home (with 4 kids and a dog)¬†and into an apartment for the unseen future.¬† My youngest¬†sister (19yrs. old at the time) who was living with us asked, “How can you leave us with all that is going on?”¬† That is was exactly why I felt the need for retreat because things had felt so heavy that I just needed time to¬†be with the Lord.¬† In a fav book of mine, Invitation to Retreat by Ruth Haley Barton, she says if you are feeling the need to retreat than receive that feeling¬†as an invitation from the Lord to get away with him. So I had scheduled 2 nights at a local retreat center.¬† By 36 hrs., I felt ready to re-enter life back at home.¬†¬†
I started my day retreat about noon. I originally planned to leave at 8am.¬† But I forgot I needed to plan next week’s homeschool stuff, take a shower etc. Noon felt like a good time.¬† I packed up my journal, computer and a few books.¬† I always pack too many books but better be safe than sorry. I grabbed a current book I’m processing called Rhythms of Renewal and then prayerfully scanned my books I still want to read.¬† I grabbed Necessary Endings (Dr. Henry Cloud)¬†and The Wounded Healer (Henri Nouwen).¬† I headed off to Caribou Coffee to buy a mocha and sit outside and write.¬† I first quickly ran into dollar tree to get a few necessities.¬† I did not want to make the same mistake I did last retreat by wasting¬†time shopping because at the deepest level my heart does not need more stuff or more distraction.¬†
I enjoyed my time writing about last month’s retreat day or actually lack of it.¬† After I finished that I spent some time reading drafts of my husband¬†Jeremy’s writing.¬† It is a book we want to write together about leading/planting a church together.¬† I was barely into it and already teary eyed at how good it is.¬† It was about 3:45 and my butt had enough of sitting on a metal chair so heading to my mother-in-laws place to have a snack and nap. I set my alarm for 30 but stayed cozy on that couch for an hour.
At that point I headed out to get dinner.¬† After dinner I decided to continue sitting at my outdoor table and flipped through Necessary Endings.¬† It is an excellent book that I originally read years ago.¬† I had bought it and the Wounded Healer through Thriftbooks.com¬†a few weeks ago believing that I would likely need to read them.¬† While reading I came across some very helpful and timely stuff for this season of transitions/endings.¬† It brought clarity on how I can help my kids grieve and process this ending as well.¬† I am so thankful for these retreats that allow space for my heart and mind to think through things. Retreating is so necessary to ponder on things. I love what author Mark Batterson says, “Change of place + change of pace = change of perspective.¬† These retreats always bring more clarity to my life because I have chosen to change up my pace and place. It is literally 8:50 p.m. and I am considering brushing my teeth and tucking in for the night.¬† This is one of the beautys of these retreats- the space and permission to listen to what the body needs.¬† In The Attentive Life, the author shares how he advises retreatants upon arrival¬†to sleep as much as they need.¬† Sometimes there feels like so much to do at home that we push past what our body is asking, which is rest.¬† Or I know for me I have felt silly admitting that I want to go to sleep early.¬† I often only allow myself to do that when it gets desperate like during an anxiety filled or burnout¬†season.¬† But I have to remind myself that I can’t burn the candle at both ends.¬† If I want to start my day in quiet and stillness by rising early then I have to go to bed early.¬† I love this quote I found recently, “The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.”- Henry Ward Beecher.¬† For me if my day¬†starts with a small child standing beside my bed demanding my attention – it feels like I move from one urgent need to the next with taking little time to pay attention to my own¬†body’s or heart’s needs.¬† The wee morning hours are a gift because my attention is not pulled in several directions.¬† It is easier to just “be”.¬† When I stick to this discipline then I am more likely to take daily mini retreats outdoors to just sit and be.¬† I am more likely to pause and be present.¬† Be present to the Lord’s promptings.¬† Be present to my body’s needs.¬† Be present to my family.
Ok this mama needs sleep.  
I woke this morning at 3:00am and felt pretty rested at that point since I already got 6 hours of sleep.  But decided to sleep some more.
I woke for good at 7:15 a.m.¬† Took a shower in silence which is so rare since someone at home usually knocks or has some pressing question that can’t wait til I am out of the shower. ūüėȬ† A little trick I have learned- I now lock my bedroom door then the bathroom so if they are knocking and talking to me through my bedroom door- I can’t hear it.¬† I don’t live in fear of “what if there is an emergency?” Then a butter knife can unlock the door if needed.¬†
I spent a few minutes after that in centering/contemplative prayer before reading some Scripture.  I journaled some cool stuff that happened last night. I feel like I received clarity on how to help our kids process the grief of closing down Story Church and how to celebrate together after our last Sunday.  
Now I need to pack things up, go pick up our middle daughter then head to our oldest daughter’s soccer game then later our youngest parent visit.¬† And once our youngest is in bed tonight we will head out on a date so I can share all the cool stuff I have been processing on this retreat.¬† Date night always works great after a retreat for the purpose of sharing all I am processing.
Cost of this retreat:

  • lodging: free
  • mocha and chocolate covered coffee beans from Caribou: $10
  • dinner: $9 at Alpaca’s
  • dessert: $5 Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Mmmm….English toffee

$24- soul maintenance retreat: priceless