Tuesday, March 5, 2013

retreat....no, really... I mean it....RETREAT!

This last weekend I was away speaking at a women's retreat in Washington.
(Shout out to the PBF women!)
I got to take my friend, Melissa, with me.
We did a lot of laughing.
Mostly, Melissa, laughed at me because I could not maneuver climbing
in and out of a top bunk bed.
(Why are the rungs so far apart? Why are sleeping bags so slippery?
Why do I not have any upper arm strength?)
We had chats long into the night. We talked about changing our perspective.
We talked about bills. We talked about marriage. We talked about work.
We talked about food. (We love food!)
We talked about puberty.
(Puberty? Not so much...welcome to the conversation of mothers of pre-teens....)
I like the word "retreat".
I don't picture it at as a nicely themed girls' weekend type of word.
In my mind, I hear it as a full battle cry.
"Sweet mercy, run for your lives! Retreat! Did you hear me? RETREAT!"
I picture myself, arms flailing, running all out, breathing hard to get
to a place of peace. A place where the clamor of life eases up enough so
I can hear myself think and give God a chance to connect with me.
Sometimes what we need is a moment to breathe.
We need to regroup and re-organize our plan for living.
Some of us need to lick our wounds. Some of us need a spa day.
Most of us need a spa year.
I am not a army tactician but I have watched enough civil war movies
to know that when all hell is breaking loose and the guy in charge yells,
"Retreat!" it is so those who are fighting the battle can back up
and get together with the guy in charge.
They need to disengage, get out of the fray and they need to do it at a full out run,
so he can give them a new course of action. A new vision. A moment of peace.
He is calling them back to a place of safety because they were getting smacked
around pretty good and were about to lose the whole battle.
I sat in on a devotion this weekend that called "Retreat!" to me.
It was if the Holy Spirit was saying, "We need to change course here because if you
keep going the way you are going, it's not going to be pretty.
By the way, have some chocolate....it looks like you could use some."
(I think the Holy Spirit is down with chocolate.)
I don't think a retreat has to be at a camp...though it is nice when it is.
But I do think anytime you change up your surroundings it helps you re-focus.
Sitting in a park during your lunch break. Running with a friend before
you start your day. Locking yourself in the bathroom while
the children watch PBS and doing deep breathing exercises.
Sitting in Starbucks for an hour while your friend watches your toddler for you.
So this morning after I take the kids to school,
I am going to go for a walk at the park near my kid's school.
So I can get together with the Guy who is in charge and find out what's next.
I want him to call the shots.


Lori Riffe said...

Just perfect. I told God, just this morning, that I needed some 'down time'. Time to re-group. I like calling it 'retreat'. We need to recharge. I took a walk this morning to start. I think a nap is in order too. I hope you gained some great time with Him today.

susanna said...

Thanks, Lori! I did! I'm glad that you are getting time to re-group yourself!