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The Value of a Personal Retreat

by | Jul 23, 2009 | Authentic Living

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The Value of a Personal Retreat

If there is one thing I have enjoyed about this past week while recovering from my surgery, it has been slowing down! I have not had this many days in a row without my husband and kids, ever! Not in over 20 years! Don’t misunderstand, I love being with my family and I miss them terribly, but the time spent on my own has been really therapeutic for me. You don’t really get to experience a lot of peace, quiet or a slow pace when you have a full household!

Just prior to my surgery I was actually dreaming about taking a “personal retreat” —  little did I know I would actually get one! It didn’t come without pain, unfortunately (HA!), but I enjoyed it for what it was — a chance to be alone with my thoughts, rest at will, and be free of the daily expectations us moms face every moment of every day!

The Value of a Personal Retreat

I wouldn’t trade my family for anything of course and I am thrilled to be going home soon, but having this personal time has reinforced in my mind the value of slowing down and time alone. It is amazing how clear your thoughts are when you can complete a full sentence in your mind without several interruptions. I can only imagine how lovely it would be to take a few days off sometime when I can actually go for a walk in the middle of the day or head out for coffee mid-morning, rather than just lie in bed! Maybe someday!

The Value of a Personal Retreat

There are seasons of life where much time alone is not really possible or feasible, but even an hour or two at a coffee shop with a book can do wonders! I dream of a personal retreat at some beautiful bed and breakfast or quaint hotel, but that is fairly unlikely. I can dream though.

Do you all take personal time for yourselves?
Have you ever taken a personal retreat? What is your experience?

The Value of a Personal Retreat

How was your week, dear blog friends? Did you find time to slow down, look at the beauty in your life and live on purpose? I hope so. I’m glad you take the opportunity to reflect on what really matters each week and link up your posts to encourage others! Please link only to A Beautiful Life related post and as a courtesy please link back to The Inspired Room!

Images of The Hart, New Zealand — A dream escape!!
discovered via Absolutely Beautiful Things

This post shared with Hooked on Fridays!

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Thanks and congrats to you both!


  1. steadymom

    I love my personal retreats! My husband is great about letting me do this every year and it is valuable and refreshing.

    Hope you are feeling like yourself again soon!


  2. Gina

    Even though it was for the wrong reasons, I’m so glad you got to spend time with your family. I took a week’s vacation about a month ago, and it made me realize how badly I want to be a stay at home mom again. Hope you’re all better soon!

  3. Arleen

    Hi Melissa. It’s important to have time to yourself, so, although your time to yourself was not planned, it’s nice to appreciate. I love the photographs you featured this week!

    Take good care and feel better soon!

  4. Katie at

    Funny what we discover when we least expect it. Beautiful reflections here.
    I have been frequently thinking about the idea of a personal retreat this summer. Fingers are crossed.

  5. Flower Patch Farmgirl

    I’m currently hosting my 2-year old’s “personal retreat” on the couch, as she recovers from a tonsillectomy! ;)

  6. Fifi Flowers

    BEAUTIFUL place for a RETREAT!!! Hope you are doing better too!
    Bon week-end!

  7. Julia

    Your story makes me think twice before wishing I could have some time alone. Ha.

    Enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts, and get well soon! :-)

  8. Rana

    I love going on personal retreats. I get to do this in about 2 more weeks. I can’t wait to just sit in a quiet spot and let my mind just relax and let go. I hope you are feeling better soon!

  9. Stephanie

    I share the same feelings about retreats. I love my family, but I am not just wife & mom. I am Stephanie. My beautiful life post from yesterday was also about the need for a retreat – one that is close to home.
    Happy weekend!
    Stephanie from “A Fine House” and “Ready, Set, 40!”

  10. Chie

    I do understand what you feel, Mel. I just been through a complicated surgery recently and still running back & forth to the hospital for check-ups. Peace of mind is the key of this moment. Kids & hubby or the big family, we really have to set them aside for the time being. We have to look after ourselves. No spareparts for sale! So, hope a speedy recovery.

    Your family will understand truly and dearly your situation now. Am looking forward for a cosy family reunion when you come back to your feet again.

    God bless and take care of yourself, well. Your loveones, survives without you and waiting for your come back soon.

    xoxo lots!

  11. Candi

    I hope you’re feeling better! I had a great evening on Thursday, I went for a walk through the vineyards near my home. It was a great time, and very relaxing.

  12. janice

    Hope you’re building your strength up slowly but surely.

    I would love to sit and read on that white wooden porch in the photo…

    I had whole days alone this summer while we were all at home on ‘staycation’; my husband took my son to play football or tennis while my teenage daughter’ was with friends. It really recharged my batteries, but it’s also given me a frightening glimpse of what life will be like when the kids grow up and leave home.

  13. Janmary, N Ireland

    So glad you have been able to take time to reflect – even if as a result of physical paim.

  14. charles

    excellent blog with some great aricles – i just so love that white wooden building – gorgeous!

  15. Debbykay

    As women, I think we sometimes forget to take time for reflection and refreshment–we are always on the going and doing things for others. I just returned from a dream trip to a 18-century chateau in southwest France. It was amazing, and allowed me to be away from all the stress and demands of life doing something totally unexpected! My only regret is that 10 days was not quite long enough. I hope you can stop by for a glimpse of the beauty and inspiration of this lovely place.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers for healing and much deserved rest!

    Take care my friend,
    Debbykay @ Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm

  16. Astrid

    I admit…lately I’ve felt that I could use some personal time. I’d love to get away for a weekend….my husband goes away on business trips and being the sole parent is just stressful (I know I shouldn’t complain but I never intended to be a single parent). This past week has made me feel like I could use a break- or a refresher. The sad thing is that I most likely won’t get it….maybe in ten years. I can hope though.

  17. Cathy

    I’m glad you were able to get something positive out of this experience! I’m the sort of person who needs lots of time to myself so I can really relate to this post. I hope you get a “real” retreat soon.

  18. Emily-Sarah

    I am sorry for the way you landed your retreat, but it certainly sounds like a tremendous blessing (after the pain)! I am getting ready to go on my first-ever “retreat” next Thursday. I’ve never stayed at a place that was built and billed as a spiritual/personal retreat, and I’m excited. My goal is to use that time for prayer, spiritual reflection, and as a writing retreat. The place has acres of woods, trails, lovely cottages … and no internet. I haven’t been offline for two days in a row in a long time!

    I’m glad you experienced such a wonderful respite in your unexpected adventure!

  19. Kathy

    Over July 4th weekend I had what I called an “accidental retreat”. My husband went away for three days and I was alone for the holiday. What a BLESSING it was for me to be in my own house, doing what I pleased, eating when I was ready, and time for lots of personal reflection. It did my heart good. I hope you are feeling better soon and able to find time and space for a retreat you can fully enjoy.

  20. Candace

    Glad you are feeling somewhat better and refreshed. Just a thought, but even superheroes have their hiding places. So, supermoms should have theirs as well.

    I posted a comment to the Nester talking about families whose children are sick and in our city for treatment. They come from all over to a place you may have heard of, St. Jude. Some of these families end up living at Ronald McDonald, Target, and Grizzlies Houses. I cannot imagine what kind of personal retreat these parents and families need. I wish I could bring their own homes to them with the comforts and ease of a place they know so well.

    Have a happy weekend!

  21. Daly Essentials

    I’m glad that you’ve been able to enjoy some of your recovery time! It’s amazing what a little alone time can do for your psyche!

  22. Patricia

    [sigh] Another beautiful Friday, everyone. I understand the value of personal retreat, however little I get of it. Sometimes I go a little nuts with the fact that so many people are around me and I can’t get away. The continued “there-ness” is maddening. Some days I just want to scream “Go away and leave me alone!” Argh! I’d love to visit a little B n’ B like you have pictured and hide for awhile.

  23. Chele

    God always makes good out of bad…. what a blessing to have a personal retreat (even though it’s not the type you wish for!) I don’t have many times to myself but when I do, it is an amazing experience!

  24. Cindy S

    We all need a rest once in a while. So enjoy! I wonder if God allows these times to come in our lives just to slow us down and cause us to enjoy the roses in life and to just breathe. Enjoy your rest, I am sure you deserve it. And thank you for this blog party. I love it. Hugs ~cindy s~

  25. viva cindy

    i have taken several solo trips, and I find that 2 days is long enough for me. read and relaxing usually at a beach. i worked for an airlines so it was so easy to hop on a plane to wherever and just get lost.
    for everday retreats? I like to go running or just walk in the park with loud music. I feel so wonderful just being outside, the music energizes me and its a great time to think -uninterrupted!

  26. Holley

    In early summer I had the sense I needed to get away, to be alone with my thoughts and God for a bit. I pricelined a room in a nearby town and just went (gracious hubby agreed). I spent most of the time writing, thinking, praying about next steps. I still drift back to that time as an anchor when life gets a bit too chaotic. I also take briefer retreats to coffee shops or even my own kitchen table. Actually, I think I’m due for another…thanks for the great post and reminder!

  27. angie

    I love that beautiful peaceful white seems to hold such history

  28. Sophie

    It feels like its been months since I’ve been by myself for a whole day… in fact the only time really is when my hubby takes the kids down to the dvd shop for (gasp) a good 45 mins! My personal retreat is probably the ungodly hour I get up to spend with God every day… that and blogging while the kids are resting the in middle of the day!

  29. Penny

    I pray you heal very soon and take good care of yourself! I love love love your blog! I’ve been an empty nester for about 2 years now, and yes I love this new chapter in my life. After 23 years of being a very busy Wife and Mom,( and working part-time) I was ready for a little down time. HA
    Some days I really crave a loud and hectic day-with kids and their friends running around. I miss seeing their beautiful faces at breakfast and hugging them every day! Enjoy this as much as possible, and DO NOT feel guilty!

  30. anne

    Such a beautiful place to retreat too..enjoy your rest Melissa, and make the most of it :-) Even though it was through surgery that you have to rest, something really positive has come of it.

    I get so much time to myself, Empty nester of quite a few years, more than 7 at least, no husband at home for weeks at a time, for most of the year, I do work, but that has slowed off….so I am quite lonely, most of the time.

    People say why don’t you travel if you have time, I don’t really want to travel on my own and experience great events and have no one to share them with. On the other hand it might just be what it takes to awaken my life, it is down to me!!

    Take care and enjoy :-)

  31. Sweet Cottage Dreams

    Melissa, I pray this finds you doing better after having your surgery. I am so far behind on reading blogs that I did not realize you were going to have the surgery *huge apologies!*

    Yes my dear, we all need times to ourselves. I find that once my boys were older I had more *free* time – but never without the word *busy* incorporated in that time. It IS so important that we take at least a few moments in each day for reflection or just to take some good deep breaths.

    sending you get well wishes and a BIG hug,

  32. Pinky

    I didn’t know you had surgery or for what but will wish you a speedy recovery. I remember when my kids were real little locking them IN the bathroom with me just so I could get a shower! They would moan and complain that “it is HOT in here”:):) Now, they are grown and gone and I treasure those memories. I ahve ALOT of alone time, and am very grateful that I CAN sit on our deck and read a book, but I still miss the happiness of all those voices around me. Hugs to you and get well wishes, Pinky


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