Monday, 22 May 2017

Retreat

This past week I Travelled up to Stirling in Scotland to visit one of my oldest and best friends. She is due her first baby in June almost exactly a month before my little squidge so life is about to get a bit more hectic! Matt thoughtfully arranged the visit as an early birthday present for me, so we could enjoy some retreat time together.

how could I possibly
leave this buttercup destroying angel?! :p
I was very ready for some solo time, but as the plane took off I realised that I had some serious reservations. I knew Clara was being expertly looked after by her grandparents and Matt was available if needed, but this was my baby, without me for the first time in her whole life! It was a very weird feeling.  

Becoming a mother and spending a year as that babys primary caregiver changes you. It necessitates a complete shift in how you perceive and define yourself. This isn’t a bad thing but it is possible to loose sight of who you are in amidst all the changes. 

I think some time away from the baby is an essential part of establishing healthy boundaries and retaining an identity outside of motherhood.

So with this in mind I managed to quell my irrational desire to exit the plane post haste and hurry back to my baby, which was just as well because both her and me had the time of our lives! She had the undivided attention of her devoted Grandparents and didn’t so much as whimper the 2 days I was gone. 

Meanwhile I had the luxurious opportunity to have (many) uninterrupted conversations, lounge in the sunshine, and enjoy at least one night of uninterrupted sleep! Matt even booked for Emma and I to go on retreat to this amazing centre….


Time to think and pray and journal was so welcome and the heated indoor pool we had to ourselves for the afternoon certainly didn’t hurt!

 As I was praying and chatting with Emma I kept being drawn back to the idea of who I am in this season of life, its easy to feel overwhelmed and I found myself feeling pretty tearful as I considered the reality and responsibility of having two kids so close in age. I wrote this poem which ended up being a great starting point for more reflection..


 I am constant vigilance,
I am the ears in the night,
the eyes in the day, 

I am provider of needs,
Port for the storms
Cocoon for the unborn.

Counter of kicks, hics and sticking out bits,
I am planner, pre-empter and worse case cuddler.

I am exhausted,

I am mother.

At first I couldn’t read it back through without feeling overwhelmed and tearful, but I felt like God was challenging me to read it back to myself out loud several times over. By the fifth or sixth time I read through what I had written my perspective had a totally changed! 

I felt like it became a direct revelation of the mother heart of God, a clear picture that I am not alone on this journey of motherhood but that he enters into it wholeheartedly with us. He too is creator and therefore mother.

Who are you in this season God?

I am constant vigilance,
I am the ears in the night,
the eyes in the day, 

I am provider of needs,
Port for the storms
Cocoon for the unborn.

Counter of kicks, hics and sticking out bits,
I am planner, pre-empter and worse case cuddler.

I am God,

I am mother.


I will end with some pictures of me and Emmie. We are friends who have journeyed together for a very long time in all sorts of different circumstances. There is no sweeter balm than the laughter that old friends share and I am always refreshed and inspired in her company. I am so proud of who she is now as she juggles all the complexities of writing up her PHD and engages with impending motherhood. What a joy it is to share this journey with her.  




              

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