Friday, July 17, 2009

A day to retreat...

David had the Friday before the 4th of July off and said I could have the day off to do whatever I wanted! My mind was swimming with ideas - so many good things that I could've done, but this turned out to be the very best thing!

I started out by going to pick blueberries! I wanted to do that first before it got hot and I'm so glad I went early as it was pleasant and cool when I arrived.

The berry patch is down a very cute road:

I packed a picnic breakfast and washed a few freshly picked berries to enjoy!

After I finished picking, I was ready to sit down and enjoy my breakfast! A cornmeal almond shortcake with spiced peaches, fresh blueberries and a jar of cold milk! Yummy!

I had a plan of what I wanted to do on my day - most of it was just to retreat. To spend time reading my Bible, praying and working on a few family projects. A friend graciously agreed to share her home with me while she was out of town. So after picking berries, I headed to her place.

It was a refreshing and restful day for me - and I think that God really impressed two important things on my heart. Surprisingly, they both came to mind while I was picking blueberries! Time in nature and God's creation is always meaningful for me spiritually and this day was no different.

One of the significant things was about perspective. I would think I had picked an area clean of ripe berries only to move a few steps over or bend down and look upward and see that there were still more I hadn't seen in my last view.

Isn't that true in life too? I can get very bogged down in what is right in front of me at the moment and forget to change my perspective a bit to see the bigger picture or find those nuggets I'm missing out on.

What would you do with a day to do anything you wanted?


Mary Ann said...

A personal retreat. I am so in need of some time alone and am hoping and planning for some time soon to pray and reevaluate specific areas of my life.

Glad you were able to get away!

Anonymous said...

Very relaxing ! I'm so used to running that, even if I would have the time, I am not able to stop and just enjoing something...the nature..a beautiful mind is used to run's very sad..
Thank you for sharing your experience !
Cinzia from Italy

Amy @ Keep'n The SunnySide said...

Sounds like a wonderful day. If I had a whole day to myself, I would pack a picnic lunch, grab my camera, and go for a hike. I love to "try" to capture God's beauty with my camera lens. This allows me to go back on days when the beauty isnt as evident, and see God's promise. Thanks for sharing your day.

Wendi said...

Sounds like a fantastic day!

A day to myself... wow, I don't even know where to begin. I think I would start the day by sitting outside and enjoying a cup of tea. It doesn't happen often, but I love to enjoy the stillness of the day before all the hustle and bustle begins around me. I would then go for a drive in the country and find a quiet spot. After recharging I would hit a craft store or two.! Imagine the fun of having time to look and look without a little wanting to touch everything!

I am so happy you had some time to yourself!

Cheryl said...

How nice you were able to go on a personal retreat. I have never actually done that, but I am sure I would enjoy the time. I have done big retreats with other women, but your retreat is different. You were able to really reflect and spend time with God and enjoy your surroundings.
P.S. your breakfast looked yummy.

Sharon said...

How wonderful Monica! I am SO GLAD that you were able to get away and have some time to refresh :) Your day sounds perfect, the breakfast looks so yummy!

I would pack a picnic lunch and head to the mountains with my Bible in tow. Do some meditating on God's word and hike. I would also bring either a sketchbook or camera :)

have a blessed weekend and thanks so much for sharing :)


Mom said...

What a lovely day! Thanks to David for making it possible. :) Your breakfast looked delicious and was packed so beautifully -- I love it that you did that just for yourself! And I love the lesson you took away from berry picking. :) I'm so glad you got to have this special day! love you, Mom

Melissa said...

Blueberry picking...looks and sounds like your experience was a pleasant one this year!!!

So glad you enjoyed your retreat!!!

Love you!

Anonymous said...

Your day sounds just wonderful! It's grea you packed such a nice picnic, complete with pretty plates.

I think mine would include coffee and breakfast on our porch, a nice hike in a local park, curling up with a book in a comfortable spot for several hours, then a night off from cooking and share a special dinner our with my husband.

Kim from Philadelphia

Ginger said...

I took one day on my birthday several years ago and did something really decadent that I have not done again (and don't know when I will)~~I splurged on a day at the spa. I got a massage, facial, pedicure, lunch, and hair style/shampoo.

Now, for a "simple" pleasurable day--probably one like today. My son is at his grandparents' house for the weekend. It is 9:24 and I'm still in my pajamas, though I've been up since 6. I don't often get to read blogs, so I started with my online news at Fox and moved to the blogs. I never have had time to really interact with my favorites, so I decided to do just that. Now I'm about ready to try to finish cleaning up my "school room". I am determined to turn that spare bedroom into a semblance of a bedroom. I've been to other teachers' houses and couldn't tell they were teachers. I WANT that!

This afternoon, I will go to Curves and on to a friend's house for the daily cat-sitting while she's out of town.

Elise said...

How sweet of David to give you a day to yourself!! I love how you even packaged your breakfast so sweetly!!

Sadie said...

I loved all the pictures in this post... so very quanit and lovely! I could use a retreat like this.

I saw on your list was "Home Ec", and was wondering if you had this link in your arsenal:

Unknown said...

What a great idea!!! :-) Right now it is hard to get completely AWAY because of my wee nursling ;), but I am sure that I can come up with a retreat close to reading a book in my hammock next to our pond, listening to my IPOD, sleeping, or crafting...
For a time when I don't have to nurse, I think I would enjoy a shopping trip with my sisters, a quiet trip to a lake with my books & knitting, or a scrapbooking retreat!! :)

Jennie Shutt said...

I don't like going out by myself so it would be hard for me to go. I went on a retreat several years ago and couldn't stand to be away from my family. I didn't sleep and I cried alot. I wanted to go home but my husband keep saying it would get better. If I had it to do over again I would have went home it wasn't worth it for me. If I had one day with no overnight I might be able to do it.

angie said...

You put some much forethought into your day and packing for your picnic lunch. You must have really needed this day! Good for you to not spend it running errands or sitting in a noisy shop. Yes, God's creations are so thought-provoking.

My daughter and I have spent 3 hours each day this week at a historic battlefield/park along the Delaware River while my son attended Revolution camp. We rarely went to the playground as God's beauty inspired more creativity.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great day! What a lovely picnic setting too.

Anonymous said...

Oh Monica:

What a lovely day and how very thoughtful of David to make it possible.

I loved how you made everything so pretty just for yourself!! Also, that you took time to reflect.

I've been sitting out on my balcony every morning this week,
reading my Bible and praying and reflecting on God's many blessings to me. It's so lovely and peaceful out there. I just love it when it's not too hot or too cool to do that.

Thinking of you with love,

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

I love that you totally did this for yourself... even down to the teenist details, just because that is what you love, love to do, appreciate, and care about.

You reminded me of the verse that says "he who refreshes others will he himself be refreshed"(not sure where that is found, Proverbs I think), and I know you can't do that very well if your not feeling refreshed yourself.

Thanks, once again, for the encouragment.

chandeliers said...

I need to have a personal retreat! Im going to have to talk to my hubby!

Holly Campbell said...

I am not sure what I would do with such a day. . .

Yours sounds like it was just wonderful! Your photos are beautiful as well. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I have also been on many big retreats, but the private kind are the best to me. I can God in every sound around me and I love your analogy to the perspection.

Julie said...

Your day sounds absolutely beautiful. Now you've got my thinking about trying to arrange for my own little retreat.

angie said...

I had to comment again, 3 days later, because I can still visualize your pics of your picnic breakfast. During this busy summer for our family, I have the opportunity to pack a picnic lunch or dinner at least 4 times each week. I feel that I am choosing fairly nutritious foods for our picnics, but my presentation has gone way down hill!
Just an idea--perhaps one of your future blog posts could be a how-to on packing a beautiful picnic or setting a table for an outdoor meal. I would enjoy the tutorial.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Stunning photos... heart retreat here...

All's grace,

Savor the Journey said...

What a fabulous day of retreat and "listening" you planned!
I know many people who would benefit from similar planning .. including myself!


Me said...

I just read this Monica and noticed what an awesome impression you had from God on needing to look at the bigger picture. Thank you for sharing.