I left Friday afternoon to head to the hotel. I picked up a bagel and a Panera salad for breakfast and lunch the next day. I had no plans to leave that room until I had to. I was able to store them in the fridge. The day was yucky out, snowy, cold, dreary, the perfect day for staying inside. I also took some chai tea mix and hot chocolate just in case I wanted a warm drink!
The rest of my time, until 4:00 on Saturday was spent reading, journaling, listening to music, praying, and relaxing.
Here are the books that I took with me:
I love to read. I usually have about 5 or 6 different kinds of books that I am reading all at the same time. I took them all with me. For the longest time, I stopped reading because I didn't feel like I had time. Then, about 8 months ago, I realized I needed to make time to read for my sanity and enjoyment. (It is so easy to put my wants aside for the sake of the family. I am learning that this does not benefit any of us!) Let me tell you about my books(from top to bottom):
1. Holy Bible - self explanatory - I am currently reading through the Gospels.
2. At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon - Fun reading about a pastor that lives in a small town. I enjoy having at least one fiction book at a time to read. I finished this one 2 days ago, and am anxiously awaiting the next one in the series. It is nota grip-your-seat kind of reading, just fun and relaxing.
3. & 4. Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist- I love both of these books. They bring me life and challenge me to live better. They have really shor, easy-to-read chapters. I come away from each one with a nugget of truth. These have been particularly good for me in this season of transition. She focuses on really living our lives fully and always seeing the "sweet" alongside the "bitter" in life. Every time I read them, I find myself laughing out loud, sometimes crying, and always talking back to the books. Any book that evokes those responses in me has my vote!!
5. Lost in the Middle by Paul David Tripp - This book was recommended by my husband. He is reading through it with a group of guys. It addresses middle age(which by the way, according to this book is 35-55. So, even though I am not 40, it applies to me!) He addresses the issues faced during this time of life and shows what the Bible has to say about those issues. Once again, a really good book for Rick and I as we maneuver through our life transition.
6. Journal - self explanatory
7. Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Leman - I have felt frustrated lately in my parenting. I like Kevin Leman's style of writing, and tend to agree with his parenting philosophies. He is similar to a "Love and Logic" Style. My favorite part of this book is where he takes most of the issues that we regularly deal with as parents and addresses them in alphabetical order.
8. Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch - I gave up on dieting a few years ago. I have found that my struggle with eating is about so much more than the food. When I severely restrict myself, it triggers all kinds of problems for me. I can do it, but it doesn't really solve the problem, and when the diet is over, I put the weight right back on. I read this book about 4 years ago, and felt like it was time to break it out again.
The other thing I spent some time on is writing in my kids' journals. I try to write to them once a year. Well, I was behind so I took some time to do some catching up. Even though I am doing it for them, it is so good for me to sit down and write out to my kids what I love about them and how thankful I am for them. It reminds me of how great they are. You see, when there are lots of kids in a family, there is always someone upset about something, fighting, or disobeying. This can really make me feel like a crappy mom and like my kids are out of control. This exercise of writing in their journals, reigns me back in and gives me the perspective I need. I have really great kids, but I just can't see it for all the "stuff" I have to constantly deal with in this house.
This is totally random, but I floss so much when I am away!! I know, crazy, right? I have such a hard time fitting flossing into my life. When I go away, I floss like 3 times a day. I should probably go away more often just for my dental health!
On Sunday, I went to church with the kids while Rick finished his portion of the getaway at the hotel. It was the 14th anniversary of our church. We heard the stories and watched 12 people get baptized in the service we attended. It was so cool. I was in such a good state of mind to hear from God after my time away. The verse He kept bringing to my mind was, "He must become greater, I must become less." That is where I am in this process. My identity MUST be in Christ and Christ alone. That has been a theme for me. I am trying to embrace that. My value has to come from God, not people or my works.
It was a good weekend. I am thankful for the opportunity to get away, and a husband who sees the value in that!!