Monday, October 1, 2012

Off the grid...

I went away on a women's retreat last weekend.  Chris took the boys to his parents' house.  When he arrived...
Ron (father-in-law):  Where's Summer? 
Chris:  On a retreat with church. 
Ron:  Where? 
Chris:  I have no idea. 
Ron:  No idea!  You need to call or email or text her and find out.* 
Chris:  I promise, she does not want me to contact her. 
Ron:  But what if she didn't make it.  You don't even know for sure if she's there. 
Chris:  Look, this is one of the few times when I know exactly what Summer wants.  Yes, there is a chance that she is dead on the side of the road, and her body is rotting.  In that case, I will be devastated and her parents will never forgive me.  But, it's a really small chance, and I'm not going to contact her.
I rarely enjoy acknowledging that Chris is right.  He was.  Being completely free was exactly what I wanted.

The retreat was wonderful.  When you live with boys, there is something particularly beautiful about a roomful of women singing.  The weekend was an answer to prayer, or more accurately an answer to what I should have been praying for but mostly just felt sad about.**  The first night, as I lay in bed, I started to pray to find friends there and then caught myself and thought, "That's selfish.  I should pray for something less needy and self-involved like experienceing God or being able to help someone else," which really translates to, "I don't want people to think I'm needy and self-involved.  I want them to know I'm super-spiritual and not at all needy."  In that moment, I glimpsed the underlying pride in my reluctance and decided to just let it go and be a spiritual parasite that weekend.***  I prayed for friends.

I met some great women.  There was a lawyer who loves to read.  Neither of us could sleep so we traded book recommendations and talked over mugs of tea while the rain came down and everyone else slept.  I talked discipleship with a tenderhearted and humble (in the real way, not my super-spiritual way) woman who wants to help women get into mentoring relationships.  There were some new homeschool moms who wanted to know how to homeschool with a toddler (I'm afraid there was more self-assurance on my part than was really warranted.  That'll be my next post.  The bright side of making yourself a little ridiculous is that it gives you blog-fodder.)  I also met an absolutely radiant woman who is expecting her first baby.  We talked about balancing work and home and being okay with not putting all, or in my case, any, of yourself into a career even if you had fancy schoolin'.  I talked.  A lot.  I gave my opinion.  A lot.

So, I usually try to be conscious of self-involvement in conversation, says the woman with a blog about her life.****  (I know that may be shocking to those of you who know me irl, but imagine what I'd be like without that effort.)  But last weekend was a time when I really think it was okay to just be needy and talk about myself.  Anything else would have been prideful and dishonest.*****

* I take it as a sign of Ron's deep love for me that he actually proposed texting, as he thinks texting is second only to the iPhone in inanity.

** It's less grammatically incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition when you know you did it.  Just FYI.

*** In case you didn't catch it, that was super-humble of me, which implies that I'm super-spiritual.

**** I just want to make sure you didn't miss that super-humility again.

***** And there it is again.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes, at least for me I know that what I need is to be spiritually fed and sometimes that happens through friends, I don't think that makes you an spiritual parasite. It sounds like God blessed you with just what you needed. I am so glad.


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