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.
“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
― 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)