When a mom leaves her family and home for a weekend, it’s not a light decision. Plans, preparations, arrangements, etc., are made for both home and destination. What could be so important as to invoke extra work?
This year was the sixth year for the Time for J.O.Y. retreat at Camp Mitchell, sponsored by the Arkansas Episcopal Church Women. I think each year has taught me something that enriches my understanding of my spirituality.
- Part of the mystery of Grace is revealed through Beauty.
- No two retreats will ever be the same.
- We make sacrifices to do what we love, but family is always a priority.
- Just because you don’t think it’s a good idea doesn’t mean Spirit won’t work through it anyway.
- When living into your call, expect to be surprised by the potency of Spirit.
- Not everyone needs what I need to experience Spirit deeply, and laughter goes a long way to feed the soul!
Needless to say, the time and energy I put into helping orchestrate these retreats is rewarded by the lessons and insights I gain. I never regret taking this time apart, even if it does take me a day or two (or three) to recover afterward.
Like one retreatant said this year, society knows the power of a group of women, but we seldom honor our potential. I encourage you to honor yourself and your peers. Gather together with common purpose, united for something true and good, and watch what can be revealed to you.
And no matter how much planning we do, the magic happens when we do our best and then let go. Most of the time it takes less energy than we think. If you’re like me, you set your expectations so high you almost always set yourself up for failure. Well, drop it down a notch or few. I left my husband without a menu for the weekend. He did the grocery shopping and no one starved. We have some great friends who helped make sure the house was clean when I returned. We never know how grace will be revealed in our lives. But by not planning every detail, we allow room for pleasant surprises . . . or at least worthwhile lessons. We allow room to let God work in and through our lives.