This past weekend I got to go away.
I packed my bags—a single duffel, actually—and said goodbye to the kids, who didn’t mind at all that I was leaving them. Staying with friends from Friday ‘til Sunday? A grand adventure!
(My husband couldn’t watch them because he was on retreat too—a retreat of a different sort called Wood badge Training.)
Even George seemed caught up in the excitement. He was the one that I worried about the most, and is the reason I hadn’t gone on a retreat since this one. He was nursing; he needed the momma!
Well, he still needs the momma but he’s no longer nursing.
Much, I might add, to his chagrin.
And so away I went—away from the noise and confusion of the world, away to a Franciscan retreat center that fairly
screamed whispered peace.
I thank God for them.
Would it surprise you to hear that the retreat has changed me?
Would it surprise you to know that I still sin?
Of course it has and of course I do. Yet I am trying this Lent to be mindful, not fretful. No easy goal for a worrywart like me! Especially when those goals keep changing every day. For example, I thought that maybe—just maybe—it might be profitable, upon my eager-beaver return from the retreat on Sunday evening, to give up coffee and blogging and snacking and breathing.
Just for the remainder of Lent, course.
Four days later and I have tweaked those goals—tweaked them to be more reasonable. John told me that I need to establish S.M.A.R.T goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Frankly, I think “not breathing” is extremely measurable.
So I’m chewing on a lot spiritually and trying (above all) to pray more. That, too, is a specific goal—specific and timely and all the rest. Praying helps me to combat all the worry, and face it—we mommas got a lot on our plates.
And that plate’s usually sticky.
Which makes it worse.
One of the best parts about the retreat this weekend was that I made it with several friends. We couldn’t talk to one another—it being a silent retreat and all—but it was a tremendous comfort having them there.
Plus I know that they “get” the challenges of re-entry that were waiting for us when we got home. One of them emailed the rest of the group, saying, “I sent my son an email and said that whenever I get back from a retreat, I shudder when I look at the calendar.”
His wise 21-yr old reply was: “Don’t let that calendar push you around – God only wants the present moment from us.”
Giving God the present moment. I’ve heard it before but do I heed it? This seems to me the best Lenten goal of all—of giving God the present moment, of giving Him the best I’ve got. It’s giving Him my life in all its complicatedness—my motherhood, my marriage, my friendships, my me.
It’s asking my little man “Who loves you?”
And hearing him tell me, “Momma do.”
That’s right, my sweetie, Momma does love you. Who loves you? Momma do…and our good God in heaven loves you too.