Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Out of Office


  1. 1
    an act of moving back or withdrawing.

I had to step away for a minute.

Not for too long, not too far away, but I just felt the need to step away. 
So I put up a vague out-of-office message about having no access to phone or email and left for three days. 
People probably assumed I was on jury duty or deathly ill. 
It was neither. 

I recently traveled to Ohio's Hocking Hills for a small women's retreat where we shared encouragement, ideas (has anyone thought to keep a running list of items in your freezer, then mark things off as you use them in meals - - in an effort to use what you have? Me either.), struggles we face daily (
work/home/faith balance, organization, endless to-do lists, prioritizing, this list is longer than it should be....), and things holding us back (self-doubt, anyone?). 

I won't bore you with the details, but I did want to share with you a few high-level ideas I drove home thinking about, that I thought worth sharing:

There is no perfect time, so quit waiting for it. 

There is, however, the time where you actually make a change and think to yourself: I wish I'd done it (whatever that is), sooner. 

Don't live your life in fear, live your life in faith. Because faith trumps fear, every time. 

Children are the product of a marriage. How you live now reflects wholly in them. 

Your marriage should never be a product of your children. 
Let that one sink in!
One day the kids will leave and it will just be the two of you, again. Are you doing the things now to be ready for that day?

No Service is not a bad thing. We were warned prior to the retreat that our cabin didn't have  cell service. I assumed this meant it had poor cell service. I was wrong, and it was amazing
It was big time refreshing to focus on the people around me and the intent before us, rather than the newsfeed of the world. In fact, I missed Hurricane Harvey hitting the great state of Texas. What an awakening when I returned to a place with constant connectivity. 

Nature = Nurture
Prior to attending this retreat I read about the things we'd need to be prepared for: kayaking and hiking. 
I hike on the farm daily and the only boat I trust is the kind that holds gravy...," I thought to myself when reading the packing instructions. 
Then, I packed my favorite barn clothes and a really fancy pair of hiking boots I purchased for our first trip to Alaska. 

Kayaking and hiking were so, so needed. 
Kayaking and hiking forced me 1) out of any familiar activity 2) to disconnect further, with no service and no sense in bringing a phone into the elements 3) to get winded.
I thought a 30-pound kiddo and carrying buckets was work. 
Our 4-mile kayaking adventure lasted 9 miles. 
Now that's work. 
And confusion. 
And darn good conversation. 
And none of us able to pick up our overnight bags the next afternoon. 

I want to share something with you about kayaking. 
We thought we were traveling for four miles, but miscommunication took us five more. At every bend of the river that flowed through scenic Ohio I looked for a sign that we were getting close to the prize. 
The end. 
Dry socks. 
Rested arms. 
A freakin' snack. 

But it never came. 

I would fix my eyes on a landmark far into the distance, then shed an invisible tear when we passed it with no sign of the end. 

That turned out to be a good (great) thing. 
I laid back in my kayak and thanked God for a few days away. 
Off the farm 
I laid back in my kayak and thanked God for a group of women who made me think,"I thought I was the only one...." several times throughout the retreat. 

If you ever get the opportunity to disconnect and spend a few days away from your routine to focus on the things that matter, I truly encourage you to do so. 

I understand that we live in a culture that glorifies busy. Which is quite sad. 

We'll also be those people in twenty years who have to answer this question:
Twenty years ago I was
...doing things my way my dream
...learning my dream
...making it work
...never satisfied


...working a lot and using my thumbs mostly to see what other people my age were doing, with my head tucked down missing the world around me. 


  1. 1
    an act of moving back or withdrawing.

    Is it time you stepped away
    for a minute?

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