A Mother’s Retreat Weekend

I always thought it might be nice to have a day or a weekend retreat of sorts. Not really a retreat in the strict sense but more of a retreat-from-being-a-mama retreat. Please don’t think that I am this wild woman who cannot wait to escape her family. Not at all. I just thought it would be nice to carve a little time aside for myself to rest, refocus and spend a little time letting God nurture me and fill me up. I knew once Abigail was weaned that I absolutely needed to do this but didn’t know if we would really have the money or time for me to go away, what with moving into a new home and then all of the shenanigans that followed. We kept talking about it but it just wasn’t coming together. I finally just said, “How about next weekend!?” I made plans to stay in the guest room at my mother’s house and kept it simple.

My sister came to pick me up once our girls were in bed on Saturday night and we made our way out to my mother’s. Now, I do have to say that I slept terribly the entire time I was away. I am not a good daytime napper to begin with so that coupled with two bad restless nights of sleep and I was still pretty tired when Ben and the girls came to get me on Monday afternoon. That being said, I was so refreshed by the time they came. I had lots of time to just lay in bed, pray, read, knit, drink my whole cup of coffee in one sitting…it was a beautiful thing really. I had a few good cries, really letting down my whole, “I’m the mom, i’ve got to keep it together” mentality. I’m not sure if it’s because i’m the oldest child in my family that I have always felt that way but that’s just the way I am. I think what I enjoyed most out of my entire weekend was that I got exactly the thing I needed.

I spend every waking moment of my day living and loving for those around me. My mind is occupied with my two beautiful girls, my darling husband and those that I love and it is not often that I remember that I am more than wife and mother. God reminded me that I am those things and they are important but that nothing is more important than being His. I am His daughter. I am His beloved. I cannot tell you the sweet, sweet tears that I cried being reminded of this and knowing this truth the minute I felt Him remind me. For me, it isn’t about being the old Katie, you know, the single one that did what she liked, when she liked. It’s about continuing to be His daughter, no matter what else I am and what I am doing. How will I ever show my daughters how sweet it is to belong to Christ if I forget that simple truth in my everyday living. All that He does is for love of me. It’s so easy as moms to get caught up in this business of being in control. With little people all around us, we make so many decisions, so many choices all day long that it is easy to think that we are in control. When it comes to me and my well being I know that I need to let Him reign in my heart. I need to let go and let God as cliche as that sounds. When I’m thinking should I rest while the girls do or should I catch up on blogland, I need to remember that I belong to Him and He doesn’t want me getting burnt out. With the same care I take in teaching my girls to do good things for themselves to be healthy and safe, He is reaching out to teach me the same.

I made two lists while I was on my retreat. One list comprised of things I like to do and that give me joy/life. The other list was the same but things that bring our family joy/life. Now my goal is to incorporate those things into our calendar so that we have things to look forward to. One of the things on my list is knitting. It keeps me from eating junk food in the evening and keeps my hands busy. It helps me to concentrate on that one repetitive thing and put aside my brain that usually does not know when to be quiet. My goal is to always have some project on my needles. Whether I get one row done or 10 doesn’t matter. It’s good for me and is a practical way to make things for the people I love. One thing on our list as family is fellowship. I want to make a conscious effort to invite people into our home to share meals, play times, prayer times and to grow together in our faith. It is so important, especially for my husband who works in a secular environment every day and doesn’t have the same opportunities for fellowship that I am permitted because I am home during the day.

My weekend away was one I will never forget because it was my first one. There are perhaps things I would change for next time but it was a declaration of independance of sorts. It was me saying to myself, “you deserve time for quiet, and rest and refuelling” I am so very glad that I did this. I know that I will plan for one more retreat before we have another baby, probably next year sometime. I think that every mom is capable of doing this, even if only for an afternoon or overnight. I was able to wake up, drink coffee, pray in bed for an hour and a half, have a hot shower and go to mass alone. It was incredible. Even just that whole morning to myself might have been enough. God is so good. I know this blog post isn’t poetic. I wish I was that good a writer, but I just want to share what God did for me, knowing how many of my mama friends could really benefit from a good soak in His love, too.

As for my husband? He did a beautiful job with our children. They had fun, they had tears, but most of all they had special time with Dad and learned that it’s okay when mum goes away, because she comes back! I may have more to share about my time, I just need to pray about it a little more. Think about doing this ladies! I am refreshed and feel more relaxed than I have in a long time. God is good!!!

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3 thoughts on “A Mother’s Retreat Weekend

  1. Oh wow Katie! I am so glad for you that you were able to do this! What a joy! It is so important for us to refuel!Note to self: Plan a Mom Retreat! (too bad I can't even carve out enough time to get my hair cut…)

  2. Katie, I feel like just *reading* this was like a tiny retreat for me! I'm so very glad you did this for yourself AND for your family. A filled-up mama is so much better able to love and serve!I've been hoping to get into a routine of going on a two-hour mama retreat once a week (just to a coffee shop or something) – partly to pray, partly to plan. It will be easier to do this once Elena is better able to nap without me around. I really look forward to the time when I'm able to go for a whole weekend! (And really, that time is only about 7 months away.)

  3. Oh yes! About a moth ago I asked DH if I could have a day off, and so that Saturday he took the kids for most of the day. I was in desperate need of alone time to reflect etc, and spent most of my time doing just that sort of thing, remembering there is life outside of Mummy-land and dealing with some things I hadn't had time to before. It was so good after a long week with the kids I asked DH for a repeat… Now Saturday is the day I clean up and organize the house, in peace and quiet, at my own pace, with my praise music or Focus on the Family broadcasts… Work on a bit of my stuff (blog/notes etc.. mostly typing) and now spend about an hour and a half in prayer at the end of the day as well. It has been great! Also, just a suggestion but the other thing that helped me re-discover my own identity etc… was taking 30-60 minutes in the evening after the kids are in bed for a bit of alone time. If Michelle Duggar, Mom of 19 kids can do it, then I have no excuse! I don't do it every night, but it had been so long since I read any books to nurture my faith etc, and when I do it helps me to keep moving forward…

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