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In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

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“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting Away vs. Rejuvenating

When I was a young mom, I never felt like I had to "get away" from my children.  I remember one time, a family member asked if she could take the boys for the weekend.  I said yes, out of obligation which I should NOT have done, to only hear her tell her friend, "She just HAD to get away from them!" 
I was so hurt. That could not have been further from the truth!

I have NEVER wanted to just "get away".... 

There have been many opportunities for retreats or get aways that I have been invited to through church or other functions, and if the unwritten motto is, "get away from your kids and husband"..... I respectfully decline. 
Personally, I think that is one of the most awful messages we can give our children and husbands; the idea that if we LEAVE, we will feel better and life will be better.  Giving them the message that mama is getting away because life at home is just too awful to want to be there is a very sad, message indeed.  Going away for 3 days or 2 days  only DELAYS the issues we are dealing with at home, which become BIGGER, since the kids KNOW we left because of THEM.... Getting away for "ME TIME" is an  overused  destrutctive LIE.  How many nail jobs does a person need?  
One can also attend a retreat or a seminar for the same length of time, and leave our children with the satisfaction that mama isn't leaving them, she is going to gain information that will benefit them. 
We can leave them feeling secure and loved, or we can leave making them feel like we are escaping.

There is reason and purpose to rejuvenate our hearts, souls and minds.  Frankly, regaining strength when we are weak; I mean the kind of strength that is life changing and life strengthening, is only to be found in the Lord.  HE is our source of strength and our life line of water that causes us to thirst no more.  

One of my readers De, asked this question in comments on my previous post.  And it made me think about what I do to gain strength when I feel so weak or worn.  For the last couple of weeks I have been physically worn out due to bronchitis.  I think I am finally on the other side of the worst, but certainly not out of the woods, and I have felt physically and spiritually weak.
I find honestly, when I begin to get weak or worn out, it is not because of the children are doing anything different than before, but it is because I am not going to my source for strength as I should. :)
If my prayer life is suffering, we all suffer.  If my personal time with the Lord suffers, then I find myself depending upon ME instead of the Lord, and that is never a good idea. :)

Don't get me wrong. I think there is a time where spending time with a spouse or even spending time alone can be a good thing.  But if it is up front and yearned for, if it is used as a way of ESCAPE and not necessarily rejuvenation, it sends a bad message to our children.  

Our children KNOW the difference.   If we ESCAPE out the door, the message sent  is:"I am so bad that you have to run away. You don't want to be around me. There is something wrong with me.  I must be causing you so much shame that you don't want to be near me." "I am unloveable".

However, if our attitude is one of rejuvenation, we can hold off until the children are asleep, or carefully get up before they wake and take our time then to gain strength and energy from the Lord.  When we are full of grace and mercy as He is,  our children benefit from our relaxed nature and the need to disappear, disappears. :)
If we do choose to go to a retreat seminar, we can prepare them properly ahead of time, and leave them with a sense of being missed and a sweet coming home.

There is also the time when conflict arises, that it may be VERY appropriate to withdraw to pray. I have told my sweeties at times.... "Mama needs to go pray".  And it is always ok to do this.  They have learned that when Mama prays, she is serious about solutions. This also gives them time to think and even pray on their own, which we highly encourage.  Ten minutes later, when we come together, most of the time, things are totally resolved and we move on with our day.

I have heard it said that God does not give you more than you can handle.  I think I disagree. I think God wants us to be dependent upon Him.  In our weakness, HE is strong.  He LOVES to work through us and we become His hands, His feet..... HIS LOVE, and we exist in HIS STRENGTH.
In Christ Alone our Hope is found.


:)De said...

I agree... People tell me all the time that I need to "get away" from my kids, which for me and my kids sometimes causes more stress and insecurity, which lead to more dis regulations...you know the cycle.

Thanks for such a great answer. I too find support in my weekly Bible study and my pastor and wife have made themselves so available to me. I need to remember to use our early bedtime to rejuvenate. Thanks for the reminder.

Dagbjört said...

I could not agree with you more. I can't understand this need people talk about to get away from their kids. Now, my son is asking to spend a night with his grandparents soon, I actually find THAT hard! And still, they are his family too and he meets them every day. I always want him home but of course it is a different story if the idea comes from him :)

Annie said...

Christie! SO well said! You are on a roll!

My fear is that there ARE people who need to get away from their kids....and people who need to get away from their jobs, too. That makes me so sad because I think that need signals someone who has not fully committed themselves to their vocation. And I shudder when I hear people loudly proclaiming this selfish stuff in front of their children.

Christie M said...

LOL Annie. :)
I have had people come up to me OFTEN and ask things like "How can you STAND 4 boys!" or "Don't you need to get away from them?" RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN! It made me so angry inside, because I DO NOT feel that way.
YES, there are times where I need to gain some strength, that is what grocery shopping or going to the is for. LOL
BUT that "running away from the kids and husband thing" is a common thread EVEN within the CHURCH, and it is wrong. It is a grass is greener on the other side type of mentality, or a "you don't understand my life" mentality.
GOD understands our lives and he places us in them....

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