Last weekend I went on a retreat with four women from my church. It was a mother's retreat.
Reading the blurb in our church announcements a few weeks ago made me cringe. It sounded so not me. I found out from a friend involved in the planning, it was meant to be a chance to get away and focus on your own personal relationship with God.
I breathed a sigh of relief and signed up after discussing it with my husband a bit. I was not interested in a retreat about how to mother. I was interested in some time away and getting to know some other women better (who also happen to be mothers).
I talked to a few women about going and signed up but I still felt a bit anxious. Thankfully, that didn't stop me from showing up.
Sometimes, I think mothering has a lot to do with simply showing up; we don't necessarily have it all mapped out, but we keep at it every.single.day.
The retreat itself was a breath of fresh air. I spent some time outside and had encouraging conversations with the women I went with. The speaker reminded us that God delights in us, allows us to lament (He can take it) and grants us peace which frees up our minds to meet the needs of others.
There was also a cooking demonstration from a local chef who taught us to make two dishes. On Saturday afternoon I had every intention of taking a nap, but ended up going for a walk. It was a great chance to slow down and take in my surroundings.
On the car ride home we agreed it was a good opportunity to get away and take some time for ourselves, which usually feels selfish.
Upon my return on Sunday afternoon, I was greeted by a squeal and shout of "Mommy!" from my daughter.
There will be days I'm not greeted with such enthusiasm and I'll even go without being acknowledged. But for now, I treasure those greetings of squeals and keep plugging away at this mothering gig. I don't have it all figured out and a weekend away wasn't going to shed much light on the mysterious things my daughter does.
I want to treasure the reminder of the freedom we get from seeking God's peace. Too often I don't seek His peace and feed off the frenzy of what's going wrong.