Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mini Quiet Retreat

On New Year's Eve day - David's mom and her husband were willing to take our kids out for a few hours. There was plenty of work to do, and I balanced my time alone with productivity and quiet rest.

I tried to do work that needed my brain to be clear because I can clean the bathroom even when my brain is fuzzy! But there are some things that need a little more concentration and so I was grateful for the time to accomplish a few of those things.

Then I sat down with my Bible and my lunch and just enjoyed the calm and quiet. I love natural light and don't like to turn big overhead lights on. I'd rather sit in this grayer light than in a more harsh light.

And in addition to craving quiet and needing to find some of that which brings me to a restorative place, I am also craving beauty and time at home. This enamelware candle holder was a fun and unexpected after-Christmas-clearance find at Target. I already love it and know I'll enjoy using it in the years to come.

Doing little beauty things like this is soul-filling for me. Beauty is a balm. And I notice that quiet + beauty is a good recipe for me to incorporate into my life when I can. Slipping out the front door to quietly snip a few greens took mere moments, laying them in the tin and putting the candles in was equally short. But the enjoyment of the process and then enjoying the result yield greater benefits than the small investment of time might suggest.

Do you ever just take a little beauty walk around your own home? Sometimes the light will come in just right or you will just walk through a room and pause for a moment to truly appreciate the blessing of home and the life it may bring. I hope your home makes you feel that way.

Another small act of beauty which appealed to multiple senses was to put a little pot on the stove to simmer - I looked to see what we had and was pleased to see some cranberries I bought around Thanksgiving with the hope of Christmas and making little canning jars of berries and evergreens and candles, an orange brought home from our time in Colorado, a few sprigs of evergreen left from the above candleholder, cinnamon sticks found languishing in the back of the spice cabinet and even a new bottle of whole cloves that I'd found on markdown somewhere.

It almost takes longer to tell about it than to actually do some of these little things, but again - they are worth it for the joy and life they bring.

Your time of quiet may not include beauty making or may hold other elements which are as necessary to your own heart and soul. Have you studied yourself to see what it is that brings this kind of refreshment to you?

I have noticed this past week that I've been reaching for clothing items that say "comfort" to me. Sometimes I'm willing to wear something cute that may not be the most comfortable and at other times I want the most comfortable thing I can find so that my clothing is not affecting my mood. I'm not even sure how to explain that - but I think it has to do in part with a state of mind. It just struck me this week especially one morning when I changed four or more times until I landed on something that felt comforting.

Curling up with a good book was also a delight. This was such a fun book! And I love the concept of her subtitle: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave. Yes please!

A quiet retreat doesn't have to be anything specific, there is no magic formula. This was probably 3-4 hours and again I balanced marking a few things off my list with taking some time to sit and just be. At the end of the day, David asked how my day was and it was so encouraging to be able to say what a good day I'd had.

What is that kind of day for you? Of course we need and want different things at different seasons, but this was just what I needed!


Tina said...

The older I get, the more “quiet” I require! I’m mostly refreshed when it involves the outside. Spring has me sitting on the front porch. Fall and Winter has me sitting near the pond at the fire pit. I love the hush that takes place in nature in the evenings. Creation restores me.

Mary Ann said...

Your slippers are so cute! I got some new cozy slippers for Christmas that I enjoy wearing around the house, too. Thank you for the reminder of simmering something nice-smelling on the stove. I used to do that all the time and it smelled so lovely!

Mom said...

There are seasons of life that actually have too much quiet in them. I've enjoyed having soft music playing to fill the quiet here. (I smiled when I read the part about comfortable clothing - I always want to wear comfortable clothing!!) I have a fire going in the fireplace on this snowy day which is a cozy comfort. I think just being aware of what is bringing comfort and restoration is what makes a difference because that can look so different for each of us and at different seasons of our lives. I'm glad you were successful in creating and surrounding yourself with beauty and comfort! :)