Last weekend I was given a gift – the gift of gifts, in my opinion – to get away for the weekend and simply hole up with my words.
It came after a whirlwind of spring activities, when the HBH (Hot Black Husband) had been traveling for work and I’d traveled out of state with our two boys by myself. I’d realized, even though I really, really love my sons, ages three and ten months, and even though I really, really love my husband, a grudge had birthed within me.
I looked at his boarding pass and said something like, “Honey, you are so lucky you’ll be able to fly by yourself to Dallas and back, without small children crawling over you, all by your lonesome. You’ll be able to get at least two books read, just on flights alone – I mean, are you excited for time away or what?!”
He looked at me perplexingly, not understanding how “work trip” could equal quality time by himself, and that’s when I realized: I’m envious of him. I am jealous of the time he’ll spend away from his family, because even though traveling is hard, he’ll be able to refuel and reload. Forty-eight hours away – sleeping in his own bed, eating what he wants to eat, and being valued in his work – will help him rediscover who he is as a human apart from his role as father.
So I booked a weekend of my own, here:
Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect. Ten, fifteen years ago, had you invited me to spend a weekend away by myself, without a friend in sight, I would have balked at the idea. Eat in a restaurant all by my lonesome? No way. Hole up with just my laptop and a stack of books to occupy my time? Uh-uh.
A Seven on the Enneagram and an extrovert at heart, I wondered how my insides would react to not being around people, to not having someone to converse with for all the big and little moments.
I wondered what it would be like to be all alone, to get to know myself all over again when no one else is there to provide affirmation of your being.
For me, I didn’t book it as a spa weekend, but I went into it with the purpose of sitting with my words. I needed time to let loose tangled phrases, to free and invite to paper paragraphs inside. I needed to give proper space to the process of being still and letting my fingers tell the story that’s already living within.
I also mused aloud whether I’d miss my boys too much – or really, whether they’d miss me too much. But even in thinking that, I realized by holding on too tight to the reigns of motherhood, I wasn’t giving my husband the opportunity to fully step into his role as their father.
At the heart of it, I realized I didn’t trust the man I love as one who is more-than-capable and more-than-able to be all they need for an entire weekend.
And friends, that’s when I’ll repeat to you the first thing I said in this post: the weekend away was the gift of gifts.
When we are given the time and space to breathe, we more fully discover who we are and who we were meant to be. We discover that we’re funny and we make ourselves laugh. We find that there’s still healing that needs to take place, but this time, we don’t shy away from it.
This time we dive right in, reacquainting ourselves with the Spirit and with ourselves, experiencing a new side to God and to ourselves as we lap up buckets of shalom.
So, what would it be for you? What could it be for you?
I realize that for you, it might be just a morning away or a full Saturday to let loose and roam. It might be creating a space within your house, a corner that’s all yours, or it might mean creating space within your every day.
And when you finally carve out that space, the beauty is that you’re free to enter into the space however you choose. Because wherever you go and whatever you do, know that you’re not actually alone – you’re merely inviting the Already-Present One to further make room in your life that day.
So, what’s stopping you?
Let’s push for space, for each other and for ourselves, for the ones we love and for those we fight for. And friends, let’s then receive the gift of space.
Don’t worry, there’s more! Mostly more ways for you to dive in and participate with the #wholemama movement. Head on over to Esther’s blog to read more and learn more and absorb more as well. Otherwise, I’m curious: how do you create and celebrate SPACE in your life? Do tell!0