This weekend I got to spend two nights alone in a Victorian house in an area known for fishing, hunting, hiking, and other outdoor activities. It was north of here, so spring hasn't really arrived, which meant there weren't too many tourists. It was a wonderful retreat for me. I read, prayed, journaled, slept, hiked, and basically relaxed. This house is made available to pastors free of charge for up to two nights by the church camp that owns it. One of the board members knew of it and told me about it. Daughter tried to lay a guilt trip on me, and I called her on it. She did pretty well with the limits I set for her (she could call twice a day-- no more).
Last night when she called I told her how I'd gone on a hike and I hadn't heard any complaining. I told her I was able to take my time to read all the information on the interpretive signs in the nature center. She was able to laugh at herself, which was nice.
It is such a wonderful gift, to have the freedom to go away for a couple of nights for a retreat. For far too many years, Daughter's needs limited my freedom to do things like this. I have to remind myself that I can do these things now-- I'd learned not even to consider the possibilities, and it's hard to learn a new way. As I was driving back this afternoon, I realized that I could do this on a regular basis-- and if I did it from Thursday night-Saturday I wouldn't even have to take time off to do it. Of course, Daughter would probably object if she didn't get to come home Thursday night, but I think she'd survive.
I came back with some goals for myself, and a plan to follow through on them. I have some insights into how I need to approach our fall focus. I am refreshed and ready to jump back into things tomorrow-- actually, I may do a couple of things yet this evening.