Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Retreat~ Two Ways

This weekend I experienced something I have not been accustomed to in my life for over 21 years~ an house bereft of other human beings. With the exception of the kids and Brian sometimes taking off for an hour or two (maybe even up to three, if I want to be honest), I seriously do not remember an extended period of time without someone else being here with me since I gave birth to Carissima. Needless to say, it caused mixed emotions~ elation (I get to actually get on the computer for more than 5 minutes), joy (YES~ I can make whatever I want to eat AND eat it wherever I want), confusion (what movie do I choose when I get to pick it?), peace (lots of time to pray & read without being interrupted). It has been a great weekend!

Now, dear readers, you may be pondering the question, "How on earth did she manage to get them all out of the house (okay- Cari does live on her own & Josh is in NH at school, but there's still the rest of them)?". This is the best part~ while I've enjoyed my weekend here at home, Brian, Cari, David and Mary have been at Mt. Angel Abbey for a pre-Easter retreat. It is something that all St. Joseph Church catechumen and candidates (people who will join the Catholic Church at Easter) get the opportunity to do. A friend of mine, Michael Ford, wrote an essay about the Abbey, which you may enjoy reading. They are having a time of reflection, learning, prayer and growing both individually and as a group. I am excited about hearing how their time went!!

I spent Friday night dropping the family off then headed home to enjoy a plate of homemade nachos (nothing difficult~ shredded cheddar & Monterey Jack, onions, salsa, sour cream & tortilla chips) & a netflix instant watch film, "Manna From Heaven". Afterwards, I spent some
time praying and headed to bed, well sated, both physically and spiritually!

Saturday morning found me waking up to pray then head out the door to work out at Curves. Next was a quick stop to Marivilla's Bakery~ a Mexican bakery in NE Salem (on Devonshire just west of Lancaster)~ to pick up some cookies and a few pastries. I then came home to make a delicious breakfast of eggs, onions, cheese & sauteed mushrooms (found at Roth's for 25 cents a pound) along with some bacon and a pastry. With a hot cup of coffee and some computer time~ including getting to chat on Facebook with Josh's girlfriend, Mary~ the morning couldn't have been better!

My computer time was interrupted (a very welcome interruption, at that) with a call from my friend Gabrielle who was ready for me to come to her house for an afternoon of teaching me
how to knit, along with tea and lots of talking as we have a tendency to do when we get together. Lunch would consist of Green Chile Enchiladas (a second batch that I had froze when making David's birthday enchiladas) along with the aforementioned cookies bought (and made) earlier that
morning. I did start to learn how to knit (she promised we'll get to the "purl" another time soon), and my small piece of green knitted yarn looks like the start of something for our bunny~ or a pocket, as Gabrielle called it. I had a delightful time with my dear friend (and daughter, Emma) which was a wonderful segue for the evening to come. I headed off to St. Joseph's where I spent an hour in the Adoration Chapel praying and having sweet communion with our Lord. Then, on the way home, I decided to splurge as I knew I still had a plethora of cookies sitting in the back seat~ I drove through Arctic Circle and ordered a caramel shake~ showing some self-control as I choose a small even though a medium was a mere 30 cents more.

You may not know what's it's like to share one bathroom with three other people, or you may totally be able to empathize with me~ those of you in either group may just skip the next few sentences. Upon arriving home for evening, I was able to take time to pray followed by as luxurious a shower as one can have in one's 1912 farmhouse bathroom (no complaints- let's just be honest here). Trying to figure out if I wanted to make something for dinner, I choose instead to have some more leftover enchiladas; this time covering them with some of the sauteed mushrooms and onions. Another movie~ this time with dessert of 1/2 my shake and 1/2 a cookie. This was followed by the evening toothbrushing & night prayer along with a few chapters of Pope Benedict's Heart of the Christian Life. It was a very contented and grateful woman who fell asleep in my bed surrounded by dog, Ruby & cats, Solomon and Josephine.

This morning the alarm went off at 6:00. Why would I get up that early when no one's here to have to make breakfast for? Because it's the first Sunday of the month which means 7:00 a.m. Latin Mass at St. Joseph's. Worth getting up for? Absolutely~ especially when I got the opportunity to then come home and spend time not only praying for my family's last few hours at their retreat, but time to do this post. In 10 minutes, I will get in my car and drive to the Abbey to pick up the retreat attendees (at least, the three of them that are from my family). I will have the opportunity to eat lunch with them and hear about their weekend as well as talk with the other attendees who have experienced the retreat. Do I expect to pick up a husband who may have learned to be more attentive to me? Maybe. Do I expect to pick up teen-agers who may have learned to be more responsible in doing their chores? Possibly. Do I expect to pick up a young adult child who may have figured out there is more to life than having stuff? Hopefully. But, what is more important is that even though they have been at the Abbey on retreat, I have also been on a sort of retreat. My expectations need to be for my own heart to be drawn closer to God, and, in turn, draw my husband and kids to Him. We shall see what happens as our retreats both come to a close, and we enter into our everyday world once again.

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoy your posts...especially knowing you are just around the corner from me. We never get together, but I love following your life of adventures in cooking, family and spiritual growth. Many times I have been encouraged by what you write, and your joy of living. Thanks for sharing! I hope your 'time away' from the family sinks in, and you find many more benefits from this past weekend as time goes on. Have a blessed week!!!