A retreat is the act or process of withdrawing. It can mean to step away from the usual stuff in your life. It can mean that you play hard or relax a lot. Or maybe both. It can be a solitary thing. Or with a group of people. Sometimes going on a retreat means going somewhere far for an extended period of time. Sometimes it means slipping away for an hour to get a pedicure. A retreat is what you make it.
This weekend I had a bit of a retreat in my favorite place in the world — our home. I’m here all the time, so the surroundings were quite familiar. My family was all here too. Nothing unusual. But I took a break from a lot of “regular” stuff. I kind of ignored my to-do list. I gave a cold shoulder to the computer. I didn’t get out much. Instead, I stayed in my pajamas most of the time and we played, cooked, relaxed, and read as a family. We also watched and listened to inspired men & women speak on solid principles like faith, morality, gratitude, priorities, respect, integrity, work, service, etc. I am so grateful for modern technology allowing for this kind of goodness to be broadcast right to our television. I absolutely loved every minute of it.
For the past few months I have been retreating early in the morning, before our children wake up. This time is a gift. Sure, I could sleep just a little longer. That would be nice. But I am choosing to arise a little earlier to spend time in total silence, hearing only the prayer in my heart and the words that I am reading. Silence. Stillness. Such a gift. As I go to wake up the kiddos I have already established my tone for the entire day. A happier, more grounded, more peaceful, more grateful tone.
I will leave it at that and not get too personal. (After all, I don’t personally know 99% of you reading this. And 99% of you don’t know me — personally.) But I wanted to bring this “retreat” subject up because I know without a doubt that some of you are in need of a retreat. Perhaps a daily retreat — even just 30 minutes — to start your day. Not enough hours in the day, right? Then what gives? A little less facebook? A little less TV-watching? Maybe turning off the radio on your commute just to be alone with your thoughts?
And what about retreating with your spouse, for those of you who are married? I’m a believer in regular date nights and getaways together and even full-blown vacations with just the two of you — if it’s within your means.
I’ll step down from my soap box, with hopes that a few of you might feel motivated to figure out a way to retreat in your own life.
Now … let’s have a little fun and do a giveaway on this fine Monday, shall we? Speaking of retreats (how perfect!), there is a Paper Muses scrapbooking retreat at Hidden Springs Ranch in Altamont, Utah. This November 18-20 weekend is their 7th year doing this. The retreat includes lodging, all catered meals, 4 classes including supplies, prizes and giveaways. They would like one of my blog readers to win a FREE pass to this retreat ($400 value). Super cool. And I bet “super needed” by you or someone you know?
Anyone is free to leave a comment regarding retreats and perhaps share what works for you. If you specifically want to be considered for this Utah retreat, be sure to note that in your comment. A randomly selected commenter will be announced on Wednesday.
And I promise my next post will be more visual and less text. ; )