When I was a young woman with four small children at home, the days flew
because of the many demands of motherhood. Someone was always
needing my attention: dinner menus, diaper change, toddler’s cry,
school homework, milk supply gone, and need for school volunteers,
Church ministry was waiting on my (lesson? training session?) plan for the next
“Moms with a Mission” meeting.
Spending time with God? Are you kidding me? Sure, I found time for God,
but the prayer and thought time would often be in the car while on errands and
with the children watching a movie or cap-napping in the back seat. There
was only one way to survive that crazy, full time of my life, and it was
the grace of God.
I longed for quiet meditation time alone. Just God and me with a Bible, journal,
and solitude! I desired time to sit by the water for hours with a cup of coffee
so that only fluid thoughts would come for a fresh plan for my life that would
be exciting and fulfilling. Would this ever be possible? I missed God. I
missed the inner me. I needed to know if I were on the right path for God’s will or needed to change direction. Maybe I could say “No” or resign from less meaningful, time-consuming commitments?
As my children have reached maturity, three of the four are no longer in the nest.
The longing for God intensifies. We are not designed to go through life at a
break-neck speed, never stopping to dig our toes in the sand or smell the
coffee (or for that matter, drink the coffee.) We were created with a hole
in our soul that only can be filled by our Creator. Only when we take the
time to just BE, to think, to pray, to seek, and to listen will the void in our souls
begin to be filled with positive thoughts and actions.
Happily, I am pinching myself because of a recent personal retreat of
three days alone on the beach. Three days when no one needed me for
anything! Three days of ocean sunrises and sunsets, of toes in the sand,
of praying, journaling, thinking, listening! A slice of heaven on earth!
Time away alone (the key word is “alone”) filled my love tank, and I
will treasure the experience always.
Privacy allowed me to think about all the blessings that are mine:
my husband, my four beautiful children, and all of God’s blessings
in our lives. When we step back for a little while, we can see things more clearly
and become more focused on the truly important qualities of life.
Do you have a safe, happy place? Is there a creative way for you to take some
much needed time alone? Maybe you cannot leave your family and obligations for three days, but could you escape for three hours? God is waiting for you,
and He wants to fill your soul to remind you of the beautiful creation you are
and the purpose He has for your life. When you return with your soul
replenished, you will find an abundance of fruit already in your garden.
Your spirit of gratitude will overflow into every area of your life. You will find
patience that you did not know existed. You will grow in appreciation of the
people closest to you, and the relationships will deepen and be strengthened.
Whether it’s 30 minutes, three hours, or three days, take a “Mommy Retreat.
I highly recommend it.