Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Can one have a religious retreat in the midst of ten people (four adult family, one adult special friend, and five children?).  Oh my, most definitely.

I needed to get away from it all.  Each day was running into the other while I found myself in a haze of numbness... meeting each new morning not with expectation which should come with every new twenty-four hour gift He gives.

Instead my soul was in as much of a drought as the land around me.  Not that my Friend was not there but that connection... the sense of His Presence... was as fuzzy as my cell phone service through the mountains (or as my Rocky Mountain friend says... the hills) on the way to my eastern Destination.

To be quite honest, I dreaded the 2,000 mile trip for there are days I have found it difficult to drive into town and back... physically and emotionally.  My home is familiar and fits like a tailored, warm, knitted sweater around my shoulders.  Travel opens one to interstates and toll roads and big big trucks splashing one's window in the rain and really rude people on four lane bypasses around the big cities.

But travel also leads to beautiful Destinations and lovely People and along the way we find too numerous to count Christian radio stations playing lovely music and a few favorite Bible teachers and listening to Brotheren and Sisteren from places other than my hometown .  Not to mention some oldies but goodies channels filling the car with rowdy rhythms.  ;)

While I found Peace each day sitting in a cozy chair in my daughter's master bedroom reading lovely books and quickly perusing favorite authors, Joy was also renewed playing baseball with grandchildren (although the catcher... that being moi'... missed balls as she could not keep her eyes off the amazing view).

Joy was found visiting coffee shops in quaint Connecticut towns, sorting through dusty volumes in a used book store, enjoying the most amazing food cooked by my daughter, and just being with lovely people... not perfect by any means (for most were related to me and I can tell you they would be imperfect just for that reason)... but lovely.

He knew all along... He knew I needed more than just absorbing the Wisdom in the books and once again knowing His Presence as I read the works of the Puritans and Piper and Schaeffer (Susan, not her parents) and Alcorn and other wonderful authors.  But I also found that some refreshment comes only in the presence of gifts He has given here on this planet... family and sweet friends.

I believe He tried to teach us that in the Gift of His Word.  He went to weddings and had dinner with regular people and turned mourning into joy at a fish fry after the Resurrection... and He was the Cook.  He promises us a someday Wedding Feast and tells us to love our neighbor as our self and to not forsake the assembling together.

I came back refreshed in spirit and soul even if I needed days to recover physically.  Days to read books and Scripture and think of ways to write down thoughts and prayers on paper.  Days to watch a refreshing video and make apple pie and chicken noodle soup.  Days to reflect on all things learned and how to bring Springs of Life when the Days are filled with Drought.  Days to remember and smile.


Cheri said...

Sounds so wonderful, Brenda. I'm so thankful that you were able to retreat for a time.

We had an early Christmas with all our grown children and the two grands earlier this month. What a blessing! To be all under one roof, sharing meals, laughter, family 'isms'. Snuggling with the grands. Mmmmm.

Twas what this momma/granny needed.

Welcome back. You were missed and we look forward to hearing more.

matty said...

What a wonderful week you had! I shared in your joy at OSV. It is one of my favorite places, particularly the meeting hall and the farm house. How could one care for a family in what seems to be such a small place? Thank you for the pictures as my little heart sang with yours as I shared the lovely day!

BTW, the babies are growing up! Aren't they all so beautiful??



Anonymous said...


I love all your posts. The humor, the wisdom and information are wonderful. But, your Sunday Afternoon Tea posts are the best.
Each post seems to be just what I need on that day, and rejuvinates my spirit and readies me for the week to come. God is truly speaking through you to your readers' hearts. You have such a gift for writing and expressing thoughts in ways that are so relevant in our lives. So glad you enjoyed your New England retreat and were able to be with family.


Anonymous said...

You wrote, "My home is familiar and fits like a tailored, warm, knitted sweater around my shoulders."...That describes me to a T! I do like to get away from time to time, but always love coming HOME!

Thanks for all you share!

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Brenda.

Glad you got a mini vacation and time with family is so very precious.

He always knows what we need. And I am thankful He does.

Lori in PA

Vee said...

A thought-provoking and precious post, Brenda. I, too, would always choose home over any other destination, but that's not always right for me. I'm so glad that you allowed the stretching even when it hurts. It hurts more not to, I think.

freetobeme - Anita said...

What a delightful commentary of your time with family and friends. Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your posts, I'm glad you had a refreshing time. You have encouraged me for years.

Yaya Yarns said...

What a blessing!!

Mrs.Rabe said...


How special this trip was! There is such delight and treasure in spending time with family. I am still in the stage where my family are all gathered around me, but one day they will have their own homes and families and it will be a joy to visit them!

Thank you for sharing it all with us!