A mucky Monday

It’s raining buckets here today. It has been raining buckets for days.

So much so that I am starting to wonder if we all need arks to get around or if maybe God is trying to tell us something? (like clean up your act!?!)

I’m back at home after spending a beautiful, relaxing and peaceful weekend at a women’s retreat in NW Georgia. It was at the WinShape Retreat center on the Berry College campus. Absolutely beautiful.

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This is the grounds of the retreat facility. The buildings used to be dairy barns and they have retained the rustic ceilings inside and created beautiful meeting spaces and lodge rooms for the guests.

Every time I go I hate to leave. It is so peaceful and the staff is so welcoming. You feel cossetted in a cocoon of loveliness the whole time you are there. It is a perfect place for a retreat.

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This was my second year attending the retreat. Last year we were blanketed in snow and it was freezing.  This year, we had rain and gloom but the temperatures were pretty mild.

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I actually went for a walk on Saturday afternoon – in the rain, initially, and then it cleared up. I walked to the “Old Mill” that was the original grain mill. It was waaay back in the woods, but well worth the walk (even in the rain) as it was beautiful to see.

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I wandered around campus for a while, enjoying the scenery and then went back to my room for an epic nap. The kind that songs should be written about – it was that good. 

The afternoon and evening were spent with some very special ladies and then Sunday morning we had one more session and headed back home to our families. I hated to leave and yet at the same time I couldn’t wait to get home to see SuperMan and the girls.

Now I’m back to reality and have been kicked out of the cocoon until next year.

I need to figure out how to sustain that “retreat glow” a little bit longer…

More than just baking bread

Wednesdays are usually the days I post a recipe, but today I wanted to share something a little different with you.

Yesterday I had the good fortune to be able to attend a very special event put on by some very special ladies.  It was a fundraising function but the event itself was focused on bread making and other baking tips/techniques. 

I learned a lot about grinding your own flours, what tools to use, what to do (and not do) and I got to taste some really awesome food. 

But what struck me the most was the lesson-within-the-lesson of the day. I’m not even sure the ladies who were organizing and teaching really had this in mind when they planned things, but it was what stuck with me.

Mixed in with all the tidbits of information about healthy cooking habits and how to prepare food that is not only good for you but tasty, too, was this overwhelming sense that it’s not just about the nutritional value of the food.  It’s about the love and care that goes in there. It’s about taking the time to prepare food from your heart – food that will nourish your family’s bodies and souls. 

It struck me, as I was there, that this is our job – as mothers, wives, homemakers – to make a home for our family – one that is welcoming, loving, nourishing and enriching of their hearts, minds and souls.

I think we all get so caught up in the day-to-day rush of life that we sometimes forget this.  This morning was an opportunity for me to remind myself why I am a mom… why I chose to marry and have a family. It wasn’t so I could spend my time rushing from school to dance practice to girl scouts and home again. It was so that I could share my life with people that I love – and give of myself to them.

It really helped to reset things in my mind.

So, that afternoon, as I tidied up the house and planned dinner, I rejoiced in the fact that I had a house to tidy, I had kids to feed and dinner to cook.  I gave thanks for the many blessings I have been given and let go of some of the little frustrations that normally get me down (like shoes and book bags and Barbie dolls scattered everywhere). 

I learned a lot more than just how to grind my own wheat and get a good rise on my bread… I learned to remember why I am a mom and to focus on showing my love for them when I’m doing even the most mundane things for my family.

And that makes all the difference.

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