The month of February was sort of a blur - I was either extremely exhausted, incredibly stressed, or both at the same time. Add in birthdays and parties, a loss of voice that is still straining to come back, and you can see how badly I needed to go on the Mother's Retreat this weekend. I was struggling sometimes to have enough strength for the next hour, let alone the rest of the day.
It's hard to put into words how amazing this weekend was for me. I'm still a bit emotionally wiped out, but I'm so grateful for what I learned. I don't want to get into too many details now because everything's so new for me right now and I'd like to let it all simmer for a while.
I can share some of my notes though:
Jesus took time out for himself to pray, and so should you.
We lead our family by experience - our children will look at our actions, not our words, to see how we live our lives.
Women are vessels of faith.
We are daughters of the King - do you act like one?
Positive fear is an act of faith (as opposed to a negative/destructive one)
"One act of thanksgiving in trial is better than 1000 in good times." ~ St. John of the Cross
Acceptance is NOT a weak response.
Surround yourself with women who hear your heart and do not judge.
They are the 10 commandments, not the 10 suggestions.
You cannot love the God you can't see if you cannot love the brother or sister you can see.
"A good example is contagious." - St. Augustine
"I give all my children courageous hearts" (unfortunately, can't remember what verse this is from)
"Life cannot have meaning without prayer." - Pope John Paul II
Trust is like the toddler letting go of the table learning to walk, or the child riding a bike without training wheels - it doesn't happen all at once, it takes lots of practice.
Good prayer does not always result in good feelings.
Prayer doesn't have to have words to still be a prayer.
You can pray for the desire to pray.
What does "holy" look like? You and me.
"The glory of God is woman fully alive." - St. Ignatius (I think?)
Worry and anxiety are burdens that keep you from being fully alive.
Surround yourself with faithful friends.
I also heard this song on the weekend and loved it, and then when I was driving home right after the retreat, guess what song was on the radio? The line that pretty much sums up everything right now is "The way it always was is no longer good enough." It's time to get brave.