Away From It All

It’s been twelve blissfully cool days with Middle Son and family here in Atlanta. After the first couple days of touching base with friends I have to confess I’ve spent the majority of my free time nestling in the cutest little room on the second floor of their spacious home. It is wonderful little room with a large window which showcases a wall of tall, green, beautiful trees. 

I love the view from this window because whether I’m standing sitting or lying down all I see is a curtain of vividly green leaves. It’s an east facing window so virtually every morning I am awakened by dancing rays of sunlight flickering across my face.  I love it so much that after I fully wake up I just lay in bed gazing out on the dawn for close to an hour. I start out to praying but most of the time I lay there feeling thankful and blessed for peace and calm and beauty.  

It’s a lot like being on retreat. 

Beingon retreat or taking a retreat is defined as a period of quiet rest and contemplation in a secluded place’. In other words, ‘getting away from it all’.  In the early days of the church, retreats were individual times of separation from the world to still your heart and mind in order to be able to better hear from God.  One would go on to a retreat house or prayer facility dedicated to providing an avenue for the opening of your heart and spirit. This was generally a solitary exercise set aside as a time to develop your relationship with God. 

In the modern church today we tend to think of retreats as going away for a time (usually a weekend) with a group of people. Generally the men’s and women’s ministries at your local church will sponsor group retreats. There are sometimes retreats for older teens and the children may also have their summer day camps.  The singles group at my church went on a retreat to San Antoine a year ago and we had a wonderful time of fun and fellowship. All of these times of retreat will strengthened the relationship of church members with God and each other.  I have enjoyed the ones I attended. I would encourage everyone to attend a good group retreat at least once a year especially if your church sponsors one.

I encourage you to schedule a time for a solitary retreat just for yourself. There are times when being away for awhile, alone with God is what your soul really needs.  Give it a try. Take a weekend and spend the night in a hotel or search the internet for a retreat house or prayer facility near you where you can spend a couple of days.Turn off your cell phone. Leave your laptop at home. It will be a wonderful time of refreshing. After the first time you take a solitary retreat you’ll start to crave them. You’ll come back rested in body, renewed in your faith and with a stronger, deeper relationship with God.

Been on retreat lately? Planning to go on one soon? Tell us about your favorite way to 'retreat'. 


Baby Love

A few weeks ago my middle son called to tell me that he was sending me a ticket to come visit him and his family in Atlanta. I was delighted. ‘How long are you going to keep the old girl this time?” I asked.  “I think we’re going to keep you for the whole month of August.” he replied. “Seriously? The whole month?”  “Yeah. You need a break from that Texas heat."

Bless his dear little darling heart.

He was waiting for me at the airport this last Saturday.  I could pick him out from across the terminal not only because I’m his mother (we can all spot our babies in a crowd, can’t we moms?) but because at 6’2” he stood out in the crowd. He also very handsome and has a dazzling smile. An obedient son he leaned down to let me kiss him on the forehead like I’ve been doing since he was a baby. In fact, my nick name for him (and his brothers) is “Baby Son”.

I have been singularly blessed with relationships I have with my three sons. Not only do I love them all but we are all good friends. It seems each of ‘the boys’ (another nickname for them that came up in from my family) has a specific area of interest or hobby that is also a love of mine.

Oldest Baby Son loves music – in fact, he stole (yes stole) all of my record albums when he moved away. I tried to be upset but he actually played them more than I did and he loves the vinyl. He keeps me up to date on all the best music, plays a number of instruments and has a beautiful singing voice.

Middle Baby Son and I both love books. We are nerds for sure when it comes to bookstores. One of the major outings for us when we’re together is to hit the Barnes and Nobles where we wander the aisles for hours, drink way too much coffee and then buy out the store. Last time we did this we spent over $150.00 on books. Did I say we loved books? 

Youngest Baby Son and I love movies. Well, video of any kind really. For us, movies are books that move. He’s lives up the highway from me in Texas (Oldest Son is in Boston and Middle Son is in Georgia) and about once every other week he comes over to ‘give the old girl an airing’. We hit the movie theater then eat Chinese food. We laugh and fuss for hours about everything surrounding movies – the directors, the actors, the storylines. We have a lot of fun together.

All of my sons have grown up to be good men. I thank God for that. I could say that I raised them alone, but that would be misleading. I was separated when my youngest was seven months old and divorced two years after that. It was a difficult, heartbreaking time but I lived in the same town as my family which was my saving grace.  My parents and my brothers and sisters and my church family were all there to help out and shield the boys from the brunt of the pain. I credit my family and friends for a large part of helping the boys grow up to be the good men they are today.

I love my sons very much and am very proud of them. If I do nothing else in my life I will be proud to be able to say I had a hand in raising these three wonderful men.I do have pictures of all of my baby sons but unfortunately they are on the portable hard drive I left at home in Dallas. That was the one piece of organizing (putting all the scanned pictures in one place) I finally did get done. Maybe I can raid their Facebook pages for current pictures.

More about my Atlanta trip in the next few posts. In the meantime tell me about your baby sons and baby daughters including all of your grandbabies and assorted nieces and nephews. I'd love to hear about the young people in your life.


Renaissance Women: A New Day

Yaaaay! August 1st - we made it!!!

Renaissance Women are back on the move!

It's 2:30 in the morning and I'm smiling. It's been a long night of wrestling with the Blogger interface but I've finally gotten the best of it! I have my background uploaded, my layout locked in and the majority of the font styles and colors in place. There's still quite a bit of tweaking left to do, but I believe I've laid down a good foundation to build on. The most important thing is having it ready for August 1st (today) to officially 'open our doors' again! Whooo - hooo!

You may have noticed the name of the blog has slightly changed from 'A Renaissance Woman' to 'Renaissance Women'.  I've been thinking about doing this for a long time and I think it best fits with the scope of this blog. It's about women - all of us and what makes us tick. It about becoming the best we can be and helping others to do the same.  I love being in the midst of a group of women, laughing talking and sharing our hopes and dreams  for our lives. I love one on one phone chats which can last for literal hours, especially with my out of town friends. I love connecting with other women and helping them to connect with other women.  All of us helping each other to be renewed, revived and rejoicing as we go.

You can see from the list on the sidebar that there are many great female bloggers on the web. I've only listed a very few. A number of these women have been come very good friends even we've never been the same room together. (Other than a chat room that is). In addition to pointing them out on the sidebar, I'm going to be highlighting them individually from time to time. Lots of fun and wisdom on that sidebar, and some darn good cooks as well! We might even be fortunate to have a few do a guest post or two. 

So here we are, back and hopefully better than ever. Thanks for hanging in with us. Looking forward to catching up with everyone over the next couple days.

Have a great day!