Tuesday, February 19, 2013


So, I recently got home from an almost-24 hour Women’s Retreat. 

I think it should have been longer. Based on the number of notes I left for my husband and children, it gave the impression that I was going to be gone for a week…or more.

I mean, who can blame me…all day long, as I was preparing to leave, I kept thinking of things I need to tell or remind my husband about…and it’s not like he’s ever taken care of the children without me before so I wasn’t 100% certain that he would know how to do it.

And Heaven forbid he do it wrong.

And by “wrong” I mean any way other than the way I would do it. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you ladies? No offense, gentlemen. I'm sure none is taken...because there are only a handful of you reading this and you may or may not be paying much attention to what I am saying.

It's a lot of "blah, blah, blah"...am I right?

I suspect that Mr. Always Random and the PBA may have been slightly disappointed when I came home just a short 24 hours later. Not disappointed that I came home…just that I came home so soon.

And to be honest, I also felt a little slighted by the actual amount of time in which I got to retreat…it's not like I’m asking for any money back, dear CB, but I am saying that I didn’t get the full experience.

Let me explain, for those who may not know.

I had a migraine. And I haven’t had one of those for about 10 years. To be exact, it was when I was pregnant with the 9yo (soon-to-be-10yo..I should probably give you that heads-up, lest you be confused...and in just a little over a month, he will be referred to as the 10yo...but not yet, lest you truly be confused).

And for the record I am MOST DEFINITELY not pregnant. We don’t even joke about such things. The man-to-man defense has worked pretty well for us so we’re not wanting to deviate from the plan.

To back up just a bit, here’s how it went down on the retreat. I woke up with a headache. Which was surprising because that rarely ever happens. And if it does happen, I take an ibuprofen and drink some coffee, maybe eat a little something and I’m right as rain (what does that mean, anyway? “Right as rain”? I don’t know, but I do know that I was NOT “right as rain” that morning.)

No amount of breakfast, ibuprofen (I actually took 2) or coffee budged that headache one stinking bit.

As the morning went on, we listened to the first teaching time and then we broke into small groups…but all I could think about was lying down. My stomach was nauseous and CB told me later that I seemed a little out of it.

I wanted to know how she could tell, but I didn’t really want to know the answer.

So I didn’t ask. And she didn't offer. 

Sometimes much is said without a question.

But anyway, as soon as the session was finished, I made my way to my room (which was fortunately just happened a few feet away), so I could, in fact, lie down.

And if you know me at all, you will be shocked and amazed (and possibly disgusted) by what I did next.

My bed had already been packed up…yes, I’m like that. When I am ever somewhere other than my own personal bed, after I get up and get myself ready, then I get my things ready to go. This does not necessarily imply that I am ready to hit the road…it simply means that I want to check that one thing off my list.

Sleeping bag, sheets and pillow were all put away and ready to go home. I was not, but they were.

However, at this point, I was really in no condition to remake my bed, nor was I going to ask for help. Actually, no one was around to even ask, as they had all gone upstairs for lunch.

So I pulled my pillow out of the plastic trash bag. Oh, yes, I always have to cover it up during traveling…I won’t go into why but it does have something to do with germs and transmission of disease.

Louis Pasteur would be so proud; I’m sure we're related.

And I put my pillow down on the bare mattress.

And THEN I proceeded to lie down on the bare mattress. (It was a new mattress but that really does not make it more palatable to consider, does it?)

Yes, folks, I did. Nothing between me and the mattress but my pillow and the clothes I was wearing.

(Insert shudder here.)

I must confess that it is taking everything I have to relive this moment and share it with you, because I wouldn’t want to lie down on my own mattress without a cover.

And yet I did it.

And I have survived to tell the tale.

But I have been a little itchy…I’m sure it’s nothing.

So why am I telling you all of this? Why do I tell you most of what I tell you?

Who even knows.

Well, I know that some of it is simply lack of filter. And an attempt at a laugh.

And I know that some of it is God-led. He has a weird sense of humor, God does…letting me EVER be His mouthpiece. It seems a little risky if you ask me.

But I do have to share with you why this is all important…what my take-away was from the week-end. There were several take-aways, in fact.  

Yes, I most certainly learned much from the topic…the retreat was based on Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts (which was not required reading, but I read it before the retreat…NERD ALERT!). 

If you haven’t read it, I think you should. BUT….please heed this bit of advice: it is not a book you will fly through, so take your time and soak in what she is saying; the first two chapters are a little intense, but keep going because they aren’t all like that; and I, personally, wasn’t a huge fan (or even a small fan) of the way the last chapter was written. I understood what she meant, but didn’t care for the presentation.

Sorry…I’m not really selling it, am I? But I don’t have to…a book which has been, for 60 weeks now, on the NY Times Bestseller List kind of sells itself, and doesn’t really need little ole’ me to plug it.

But the overall idea of it is thankfulness BEFORE the gift…whatever the gift may be that God is trying to give you. And what may not seem, at the time, like a gift…is in fact not just a gift, but a GOOD gift. And we have to open our hand up wide to receive it.

That’s my synopsis anyway.

So...while I was trying to be thankful and open my hand to receiving the gift of the migraine, I was able to tick through a short list of gifts I received because of it; and I must  pause here to say, as I began writing down my list of gifts (working towards at least one thousand), it quickly became obvious that there were so many others...not simply during the week-end, but all the time...so many gifts.

I'm in no way doing this book justice...you kind of just have to read it.

But these gifts in particular are the ones I kept replaying in my mind as I drifted in and out of sleep on the un-sheathed bed.
  1. I got to be prayed over by a sweet group of friends. I don’t even know who was there, as I kept my eyes shut…if you have experienced a migraine, you know that even the light can hurt. So if you were there...thanks!
  2. My friend NB had migraine medicine…because she never goes anywhere without it…and it was able to knock out the major pain within about 2-3 hours. Thank you, Lord!
  3. I got to take a nap.  That never happens. I will think about the idea of a nap and how glorious it sounds, but when I am at home, the siren song of the blog (or some other fun thing such as laundry or cleaning…well, not so much the cleaning…or clipping coupons…fun stuff, right?..it pulls me away from the nap.) So hard though it came, I did kind of enjoy the nap.
  4. I let someone else take care of me. I got to be taken care of by my sweet friend SV…who, BTW, was SV before she got married and was still SV after she got married…and she did not keep her maiden name. What are the chances of someone with a last name starting with “V” to FIND and then MARRY someone whose last name starts with the letter “V”? Was it that she had some really nice things engraved or embroidered with her monogram that she didn’t want to stop using because the monogram would be incorrect? That is someone who is loyal to a monogram, if you ask me. (And yes, I was thinking about this while I was lying there…a migraine doesn’t stop this crazy train of thinking…scary, right?)
That’s about it for my learning this week-end. And since we all know my proclivity for wrapping up a post…ok, not really….you should recognize the sarcasm oozing out all over the place…I’m going to simply pull the rip cord on this now. 

And I’ll confess this too…I was just trying to find a way to use the word “proclivity”…oh, it’s such a delightful word and it’s been rolling around in my head, awaiting usage.

I’m sure it was worth the wait.

Regardless (notice, I did NOT say irregardless, because that is not a word; don’t use it or I may have to hurt you…just a little grammar lesson for you…no charge)…have a fabulous day!

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