Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Retreat, No Surrender

Last weekend, the women of our church held the first (of many I hope) retreats in beautiful Wimberley, Texas. But as I think I might have possibly mentioned, we have been a little under the weather around here. So when Jude succumbed to the flu the day before I was supposed to leave, I knew I wouldn't get to attend.

But Kris knew how much I wanted to be able to go. Almost every woman in our church would be there and it was a rare chance to spend some time with them in a fun, relaxed environment. So my mom agreed to come over and help Kris so that I could go on the retreat.

I know what you're thinking...Super Mom! Way to leave your kids when they are sick and weak and really need you. Who does that?

Me, apparently. And I'm actually really glad that I did.

Of course, I struggled with the decision. Even though Kris encouraged me to go and even though my mom graciously offered to come stay and help while I was gone, it went against every inclination I had as a mom.

But I was exhausted. After having the flu, (I did mention that already right? I had the flu. Just making sure you got that) I was exhausted. Like "just brought home a newborn" exhausted. I slept in 2 hour increments while I was running fever and then the kids got sick and Simeon was teething so we were up all night with them. I was drained and this was my big chance to rest up, recover, and come back ready to be a fully present wife and mother.

So I went. I knew the kids would be fine. They adore their Mamaw and their Daddy and the two of them are more than capable of doing what needs to be done. It was a sacrifice on their part for sure. Sick kids are whiny and clingy and sleepless and just all round pitiful. But they were willing and I'm so glad they were.

I left Friday afternoon and came back Sunday afternoon rested and refreshed. It was such a joy to get to know the women in my church better and to spend some time alone. And to sleep. I won't lie--that was probably the best part given my stage of life.

I know this was a rare gift. Usually, life doesn't work out that way. The challenging, tiring portions don't normally come with a break in the middle so you can recharge and gather steam to finish well. The next time we are plagued with illnesses, I can't expect a little getaway. So I'm so thankful for the opportunity this time and especially to my husband and mom for making it possible. There were no guilt trips or desperate phone calls. They didn't make me feel like I was abandoning them. They were genuinely supportive and that in itself was such a gift to me.

As I was there reflecting on this opportunity, it struck me what a picture it all was of the gospel in my life. I saw it all as a physical picture of what God has done for me spiritually. I was brought out from a place of despair and weariness to a place of quiet rest. I didn't deserve it. I didn't even ask for it. It was just provided. I did none of the work but received all of the benefit.

The weekend was wonderful. I love the women in my church. We are a diverse group of ladies that have learned a lot about being the body of Christ to one another. So I'm so grateful I was able to go.

I reentered my life with a rested body, a refreshed spirit, and a renewed gratitude for my family.

So basically I'm saying abandoning my children was the best thing I ever did. Nominate me for Mother of the Year, ok?


Brad and Carrie said...

What does make you mother of the year though is realizing your limits and accepting help. Something I have yet to learn, so way to be far ahead of me.

Cheryl said...

Oh Jamie, you know my thoughts on this already. But I want to reiterate the sick feeling in my stomach when you said you were "iffy" about going Thursday night. And then when I heard your text Friday morning, my stomach hit the floor before I read it. When I saw that you had decided to go, I was elated. Thanks for putting me through that emotional roller coaster. ;)
But seriously, you are a terrific mother, and our community was strengthened by you being there. So thanks for accepting that gift from Kris and Mamaw.

Lynn said...

I love reading and listening to your thoughts. I'm so glad you were there.

Patti said...

Perfect title.

Mamaw said...

Well, it was a breeze for me. Little or know effort at all on my part. We sat around and watched the Wiggles and Caillou (the whiner). Kris got carry-out most nights, just one big FUN-FEST. Ok, I exaggerate a little, but let it be known there is NOTHING I wouldn't do for my "little" girl. I will be the second one to cast my vote for her as Mother of the Year. I know for sure, Kris will be the first.

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