I have LONGED to go on retreat for YEARS now but I always had an excuse. Someone needed to be home for the kids when they returned home from school, and who was going to make sure everything ran as smoothly as me, “Wonder Woman?” That was back in my martyr mom whoa is me role where I selflessly gave of myself, placing everyone else’s needs and wants before my own. Needless to say this behavior created a very bitter and resentful me!
Rewind to a few weeks ago. Remember that list of things I long to do? Well, retreat is on that list and I started thinking what would be a great birthday gift to myself? It didn’t take me long to come up with a day of prayer at a retreat center. I am so fortunate to have a retreat center only a few miles from where I live. I called the day before and excitedly made reservations. I wrote down my goals and objectives for the retreat which mainly consisted of praying for each of my children for a lengthy time (I wrote down an hour first but decided 45 minutes per child, then 15 minutes of silence would probably be better – that way I could HEAR God speaking to me). I knew I would need my bible, journal, camera, water bottle and pens. I did a quick google search for more ideas but I kept it really quick because I didn’t want to be bombarded with information. One tip I really liked was to meditate on the cross. I hadn’t done that but in passing and wrote it down as a reminder. I also liked the tip to not bring reading material because the purpose of an individual retreat/ day of prayer is to PRAY and talk with God.
My rough draft schedule went something like this: 9:00 – Thank God for his many blessings/ confession 10:00 – pray for oldest son 10:45 – silence 11:00 – pray for daughter 11:45 – silence 12:00 – pray for D 12:30 – lunch 1:00 – pray for extended family members and friends (I did also write to pray for children who were suffering, President and other issues that are dear to my heart). 2:00 – pray for self 3:00 – pack up and head home
Well, wouldn’t you know the devil had other plans? My schedule was thwarted by a late night phone call saying there was a change in plans. I was sooo upset because I really wasn’t equipped to deal with any negative news. I decided I would STILL attend retreat even though I would go later than planned and leave earlier. I simply had to revise and I figured that there was a reason the devil was so busy trying to keep me from this special time. I was going to get a breakthrough and leave with clarity and peace. I HAD to do this for me no matter what!
Stay tuned for Part II. 😉