Time to Retreat

Napoleons retreat from Moscow

Napoleons retreat from Moscow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fall Back

These words conjure up images of war.

You know …

Decorated gentlemen on horseback, led by an officer who is poised on his white stallion as he stares down the enemy. The color guard flying their flags so you know for whom they fight.

The officer shouts, “Charge,” and the battle begins.

Men start running toward one another, stomping out a rhythm of pending collision. Weapons ready. Their mouths open wide issuing battle cries. Gunshots ring out; contributing to an orchestra of chaos.

Wisps of smoke grasp with shady white fingers to catch hair and coattails flying past as if to draw the warriors back. Mid-cry the smoky air rises. It chokes and coughs fall from lips as it fills their lungs. It stings and tears spill down their dirty cheeks.

Battle cries turn from fierce to fearful as pain replaces courage and infantry men are injured. Rivers of red flow through the peaks and valleys of the fallen soldiers who litter the field; many lost lives and some lost limbs. This is the heavy price of war.

The Grande Armée Crossing the Berezina.

The Grande Armée Crossing the Berezina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hope starts to wane as they watch their brothers in arms fall to the left and right. Where conviction of belief once went before them, confusion settles in. They look around, bewildered and wonder what cause they’re fighting.

At last in the distance a shout reaches them. It breaks through the noise of metal on bone and bone on bone.

The disembodied voice of the commanding officer shouts, “Retreat! Fall back! Retreat!”

He’s lost enough men today, in a matter of hours, which means he’s lost this battle. He wishes to keep the remaining soldiers safe, alive and well to fight another day and possibly win the war.

re·treat [ri-treet]noun

1.the forced or strategic withdrawal of an army or an armedforce before an enemy, or the withdrawing of a naval force from action.

You’re wondering what this has to do with me? Well … this is my life: a war over time and self-care on the battlefield of busyness.

My enemies are my schedule: work, family, friends, committees, and personal goals; and my distractions: TV, movies, Facebook, twitter, podcasts, and anything else of interest. They all crash together vying for the optimal position in priority.

And I feel like I’m losing this battle. But I won’t lose the war.

So this weekend I responded to the call of my commanding officer to retreat. To take time to recharge, regroup, assess my losses, and ready myself to go back into battle.

My church hosted a women’s retreat which sold out quickly. My sisters in arms are all fighting on different fronts and needed this time …

re·treat [ri-treet]noun

5.a retirement or a period of retirement for religious exercises and meditation.

And, the busyness of life almost prevented me from going. We had scheduling conflicts with my husband who also had a retreat this weekend and his wonderful mom who came to stay with the dudes while we were away.

I missed part of the weekend retreat but am so thankful that I didn’t decide to bag the whole event. I was able to make the drive to the campgrounds in silence, watching the snowy landscape pass by. It allowed me to clear my head and my heart in preparation. (My apologies I didn’t get any pictures of the location.)

English: Snowy Day at Droop Mountain, WV

English: Snowy Day at Droop Mountain, WV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I arrived I had the privilege of hearing three moving testimonies of women I’ve known or observed over the years. Emotional and vulnerable stories about coming to faith that they hadn’t shared before. Stories that made me cry and celebrate their triumph.

In those moments, these courageous women let down their guard. It made me grateful for the community … for the solitude … for the reminder that we all need to rally together after a long hard fought battle.

I wish I could adequately capture the feeling of peace for you. I wish that you could understand how refreshed I feel with just one day away from my normal routine.

I am incredibly thankful.

Maybe you can relate … maybe you just need a break. It doesn’t have to be faith based like mine was but maybe you are craving the quiet so you can face another day.

Tell me … what is your war? What battles have you lost and won? But most important … how do you retreat?

Definitions complements of dictionary.com

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