Originally uploaded by Jean 1.
Spur of the moment. On a whim. Spontaneous departure. Getting the Heck out of Dodge. Whatever one calls it, Mommy's need time to just be. Be who they are when they are not with their kids. Be who they are when they are not caring for their homes. Be who they are when they are not ironing clothes for their husbands. Be who they are when the kids are grown and out of the house. Be who they are, Period. As a mom, until last year, I had fallen into the belief that who I was had been engulfed and absorbed by my husband and children, that I no longer had my own separate identity. I'm not trashing on my family. OH NO! I cherish my husband and children beyond words. I would not trade one day that I have had with them (although I would maybe try for a trade on some of those "flu and strep throat days) nor do I wish for a different life, I am very content. But there are days when it is easy to allow oneself to lose sight of who it is that God created...me. Not self-centered looking, but inward looking. When I had lost sight of that, I had stopped growing, changing, becoming a new creation. I was more focused on helping my children be who they were created to be, more focused on supporting my husband as he was doing and being who he was created to be....but myself, no. It's not to say that God had discontinued to speak to me, or that I had no direction in life, but I had lost sight of the fact that someday down a fairly short path, I was going to emerge as a person who no longer had the responsibilities of raising my children. Who would I be without that calling? How mature could I be if I had not been growing?
As I pondered these questions and re-read a couple of chapters in "Purpose Driven Life" I found that my purposes had lost definition. I was only living up to a few of the callings I had been given in my life. I was a loving wife, I was a giving mother, I was a caring friend, I was a productive part of our church body, I belonged to PTA and MOPS, I did A LOT OF STUFF. But, I was not feeding my spirit, allowing myself to relax, I was tying myself up in knots with my roles.
Last year, two of my best friends and I were blessed to take the trip of our dreams. We left behind all for one week and just lived. We talked, we discussed, we grew. It refreshed my spirit, my soul, my life. My husband said I came back a better me than I had ever been. Since that time, I've found that my heart had been yearning for that type of release, but I had denied it out of a presumed obligation to denying myself for the sake of the family. It brought the three of us (Jean 2 and Jean 3 and myself) closer...not just to each other, but to our families. It created a spout for all that stored up emotion, relieved all the emotional knots.
This past Saturday Jean 3 called and said "Jean 2 says she's in a funk. I told her what she needed was for her to kidnap you and meet me in Kansas City for a night." My spirit leaped. I was immediately on board, I just needed to run it by my spouse. His response "Sure, why not?" Just that easy. We three Jeans talked through 3-way calling and made our plans. We drove up, found a hotel, went for some retail therapy and then spent the rest of the night talking. The kind of talking that gets on deep levels, that deals with real issues and vaporizes tensions.
We headed home the next day fueled for life, energized for our families and refreshed in our spirits, and ideas of where we will go next year.