So life got a little crazy and I’ve ignored the need to write updates. I remember at one point telling Mark, “Who planned all these back-to-back events on our calendar?” (knowing full-well it was me!). Needless to say I purchased a big white board calendar with 4 months at a time rather than just my phone. I fell into the trap of ‘it was clear so it can be filled’ without seeing the big picture of what may be happening before or after in the month.
The weekend of January 20 I went to Winshape Retreat Center for the Cup of Joy Retreat. If you are local to Georgia and have never been to Winshape you must go – it’s amazing! I actually took my boys and parents recently to see the campus it’s that pretty. It rests at the back of Berry College. I went with my friend, Kim Cone, who is an alumni so she was able to show me all the special spots on campus.
The following week we kicked off a new couples small group with our church that we are leading and we served at the GroupLink event at our church that weekend. Mark and I have served with that ministry of our church for our entire married life and love doing it together. (Find somewhere to serve with your spouse – it’s a game changer!). Later that week I flew out to Texas to surprise my dad. After 40 years of working as an insurance agent with State Farm he retired. It was so special for our ‘original’ family of four to be together for this monumental time in my dad’s life.
Then the Super Bowl happened which was a big deal for us of course with the Atlanta Falcons representing. (I ran out to Wal-mart that week and got us all shirts – we are obviously BIG and LOYAL fans (ha!)).
The weekend of February 10 was wonderful. I was honored to have been nominated to attend The Confetti Retreat which is put on for women with cancer and a friend of their choice. It was a God thing to me that the ‘Spring’ Retreat which they always hold in March or April had to be moved up to this weekend – the weekend that just happened to be the year anniversary of my diagnosis. They completely pampered and spoiled us and it was amazing. Here is me and my friend Kimberly McLeod that came with me.
Mom and Dad came in town the weekend of February 17 for us to enjoy a weekend away. We used our Marriott points and stayed at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation Resort. It was so relaxing and absolutely beautiful.
The following weekend, February 24, we sent the boys to my in-laws and had a ‘work weekend’. It was the first time that we had been able to ‘work’ on our house since moving in. I had been keeping a list of all the things I’d like to change, do, or organize, but was never able to. Since I had my surgery the same week we moved in and then the whole year flew by with chemo, more surgeries, recoveries, injuries, etc. it just never happened. I had sweet family and friends that unpacked me and decorated for me so it was time to put some of my own touches on the house and organize some corners and spaces that had been ignored for way too long.
And yes, if you are keeping count, that was three weekends in a row that I was away from my kids…and I’m not done yet…
The first weekend in March we had been planning (for almost 5 months) to go to Pigeon Forge, TN for a retreat with our new small group couples. The Thursday evening before we left we ended up having to postpone the retreat to September due to illness and other conflicts with couples in the group. This ended up being a blessing in disguise and allowed us to have a nothing-planned-and-nothing-to-do-weekend at home with our boys.
Which brings me to last week…Garrett was diagnosed with the flu (another reason it was good we weren’t traveling when he started not feeling well). So the whole week was canceled and I stayed home and snuggled with him. The whole family got on Tamiflu.
This past weekend my long-time friend (over 20 years!) Jenny (Faulk) Morgan came in town with her sweet family. We have 6 boys between us…SIX! Needless to say it was a fun time with lots of sword-fighting, outside play, and energy. I took the boys out of school Friday and we visited (and hiked!) Stone Mountain.
Needless to say, I’m hopeful that the new calendar will prevent me from over-scheduling our family again. The importance of rest became quite apparent to me over the last 8 weeks. There is a reason God worked in a day of rest every 7 days – time to slow down and actually breathe.
Do you need to take time to rest? Maybe you need to look at your calendar as a bigger picture and see if there are things you should start saying “no” to. I challenge you to take the time to breathe – I know I am!
P.S. Make sure to click on the hyperlinks I included.