Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)
The hot water droplets are penetrating my neck and back as I lean into the water stream of the shower. My muscles begin to relax and I can feel the stress of another day literally go down the drain with the soapy water. I inhale the aroma of my coconut-lime bath wash and it takes me far away where I see palm trees, a blue sea and a clear, blue sky in my mind’s eye.
Am I at some fancy resort on a secluded island? No! I am in my bathroom, hidden behind a closed door, praying that I am not going to be summoned by one of my three children or my husband, for goodness sake!
Being a wife and mother, my only retreat during this season of my life, is to tell my oldest daughter to answer the phone if it rings, make my get away by running to my bathroom and shutting the door before someone complains that they are thirsty, hungry or needing to spend some quality time with me.
I need some time for me! Gone are the days of reading a good book and not being interrupted at least once on every page. Gone are the days of watching a whole movie without falling asleep before it ends. Gone are the days of having a Saturday to myself wondering, “What shall I do today?”
If only I could have the opportunity to go away for awhile, have some quiet time to think, to read, to lay in bed and watch old movies all day, to eat a bowl of cereal for dinner and not have to cook what everyone else wants to eat or to be gone for a whole day and not be concerned about needing to get home to juggle the household. Just once.
I have almost forgot what it was like… before the husband, before the kids, before the responsibility of a family, to be free and to be me.
As the hot water begins to turn cold in my shower, I pray that the Lord gives me love, patience and kindness, to care for my family. He reminds me of my calling. I grab my thick, white cotton towel and dry off. I ask the Lord to help me be a godly wife and mother.
“Help me, Lord, I need your strength.” I spray on some coconut-lime body splash and dry my hair. I try the new over-the-counter facial mask and give myself a quick pedicure. As I rub on the thick, moisturizing lotion into my foot, I remind myself that this won’t be forever. The kids will one day be grown up and gone, and how I will long for them then.
For now, this short time in the bathroom is my sanity, my retreat. I put on my flannel pajamas and head to the kids’ room to read them a bedtime story, kiss each one, and tuck them in. “Good Night, Mommy. I love you bigger than the whole world,” my son says.
“I love you, too, sweetie,” I say with a smile.
Ephesians 4:1-3 (NIV) “…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
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