She who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.
Sometimes life homeschooling kids is a fight. It’s a dirty, messy slog through hostile terrain, day after interminable day. There are days when I’m convinced that they really are out to kill me, or at least to shatter my sanity beyond repair. The same can be said, I’m sure, of life with kids in traditional school, or of life with a spouse, roommate, or anyone else with whom one shares intimate space on a daily basis.
When it’s been like this for a while–and getting us back into our schooling routine after an extended winter break most definitely qualifies, as does the month of February in general–it’s time to step back. Waaaaay back. To retreat strategically, regroup, and come back stronger.
I’m fortunate that a group of women in my church family plan a wonderful retreat each year right around the time I most need it.
Earlier this month about 15 of us met up at a camp out in the woods for the weekend. We shed our outside roles: wife, mother, employee, boss, retiree, whatever. We became a group finding our shared experiences and interests, taking a brief spiritual journey together, finding peace and serenity in the gorgeous natural setting, and enjoying the fellowship and connections made along the way.
The weekend was not without its challenges, but we also saw unexpected gifts arise from the difficulty. There was hope and strength; and there was vulnerability and tears. The care these women took with each other’s sometimes fragile souls was beautiful, and there was honesty even when our opinions differed. It was a safe place, a place of deepening friendships, a place of food and fun and laughter, especially when the games came out in the evenings.
I came home renewed in spirit, refreshed in body, but best of all with my mental reserves and my social connections strengthened for the battles to be fought in the days and weeks ahead.