25 March 2013

getaways

I've been thinking a lot about my weekend getaway.

A LOT.

Falls Park, Greenville, SC
I sat for a long time watching this small waterfall, a short walk downstream from a larger one. I absolutely love waterfalls (side note: my husband proposed in front of  a waterfall during a hike).

Those 48 hours of time to myself (and later with a couple friends) made the entire week that followed a little better. It was indeed intense and difficult - but with a time of refreshing behind me, I faced it a with a bit more strength.

I've been a stay at home mom since the very beginning. I rarely get out to do much more than make a grocery run after my husband is home. There are many dynamics behind the reasons for this, none of them are selfish on other people's parts, nor are they martyr-like for me. It's simply a reality in my life. On top of that, I have always believed that my kids are my responsibility and often felt guilty for leaving them in someone else's care.

What I missed along the way was the realization that if I keep running on empty, I have nothing to offer any more. That works for all areas of life: spiritual and emotional specifically come to mind.

It's not easy to find uninterrupted time in my house - even at night a toddler finds more hours of sleep in my bed than her own. If I wake early, someone inevitably needs me and if they call out loudly while I'm downstairs more people wake and need me. If I shower for more than seven-ish minutes, there is often a small person popping their head into the bathroom with a question, complaint or need. (The same applies to the potty.)

This affects spending time with the Lord, with the need for a good cry, with the need to finish a phone call, with writing (you don't want to know how many times I've gotten up during the writing of this post!).

My conclusion was that I need more time away. If I'm lucky, a weekend (or long day) once a month. Even every six weeks would be wonderful. If I can do this, I will have a chance to build up my reserves again, to dwell on the things of God, to laugh heartily, to follow my whim as I explore somewhere at my own pace. I will have the chance to relax and renew and refresh.

I wonder how many other moms have that need. I'm wondering especially if there is a way to help create that opportunity for them. An inexpensive getaway for one day, one night, perhaps two...? Something without an agenda, with discounts built in (for lunch, a shared hotel room, maybe a tour or one activity). I would love to find a way to create an affordable getaway for moms. Would you take one if you had someone to watch your kids for the day (my husband does that in my case)?


What stops you from getting away? 
What would help make it a reality?

18 March 2013

greenville

My plans to hit the mountains this past weekend got changed up a little.
Instead, I was offered the chance to use a friend's already-paid-for hotel room while she and another friend attended a conference. After wavering a good bit, I finally agreed since it meant money would not be such a stress to me all weekend (and the whole point was to de-stress!).

We were in Greenville, SC. What a beautiful town! Small city, fun atmosphere, a touch of nature with a river and waterfall a few blocks away...not a mountain getaway, but good enough to give me a break.

I drove up alone and arrived just before my friends got back to the room. We giggled til late like girls at a slumber party. Then I spent Saturday by myself traversing the lovely Main Street, checking out the river and listening to the music that the waterfall made. As I meandered back toward lunch and a huge cemetary, I disovered a street violinist that filled a good bit of my time as well. I found the lilting tunes inpsiring and relaxing as I people-watched. Saturday evening was spent with my friends, laughing until I cried; and Sunday we revisited the violinist until it was time to leave.

I came home with notes and names and ideas for stories. My mind is brimming with new characters and what might happen to them. I feel more visits to Greenville must be in order for the sake of research!

I still want a trip to the mountains, and I will hopefully take one soon. But for today, my heart is a bit less battered, my soul not so weary. I was able to bask in the presense of the One who loves me most, who renews me inwardly, who restores me.


"....He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul."
Pslam 23:2b-3a


How was your weekend? Did you come away feeling refreshed? If so, why?
I would love to hear your thoughts!

13 March 2013

struggling

I'm struggling to find joy this week.

Shoot, I'm just struggling to find peace.
Last week's near-crisis left me in a deep stress that won't dissipate. I cannot get my head above water long enough to shake it all off. I am not alone long enough to work it through within me, to let my God heal my heart. My coping skills for the everyday things evade me. I feel like my world is crumbling around my feet and I can't find my footing, my stability.

What will I do?
My husband is encouraging me to get away this weekend. That is hard for me to do. But I will. Because I need to. And I am having to forget the budget to do it. I'm having to trust my husband to do my job (juggle four kids' - some with higher, very specific needs). And I am having to trust that it will be worth the time and effort. Trust that the Lord will meet me there, meet the needs of my heart.

What I long for is to bask in His presence. To soak in the life and the love of the One who loves me best. My heart is deeply drawn to the mountains. It always has been, and that's where I hope to escape to this weekend. Perhaps I will hike a little. Perhaps I will write on my current novel a little. But mostly I want be in this place that always draws my heart closer to Him.


This is deep and personal - so why post about it here?
Because I want to be open faced. I have discovered that open breeds open. That one heart open and willing to share encourages another to be open and willing to share.

So tell me, how are you this week? Happy? Hurting? Hopeful? I would love to know! 

07 March 2013

knowing

Yesterday morning I woke up a bit too early and felt a particular pressing to pray. I prayed for my family, especially my children. My heart was laden with thoughts of them and their day ahead. It was to be a busier day than usual, some new and potentially stressful experiences in store.I needed strength to get through it. So did they.

There were some highs and some lows as morning rolled into afternoon. But we were getting through as I'd hoped. There was extra goodness to be found in the new things which is not always the case. Then as we rode through a particular low point, my world crashed even lower. Truly, almost to the lowest place I can imagine. It was devastating and intensely painful.

It resulted in almost no sleep for me last night, as my mind whirled and my heart ached. It left me shaking, scared.

But God was above it.

Somehow I came out on the other side. We all did. In the dark hours of sleeplessness, a comforting thought rose to meet me. My God knew how yesterday was going to end up. He knew long ago. He knew in the morning when I woke and needed to pray. He knew before I realized what had happened. And He was in place, His hands upon each one of us, His angels on guard, protecting.

And He is still in the midst of it all.