It had been over two years since I’d had a long stretch of quiet and rest, when the idea occurred to me.
“You are feeling depleted. Go away for a night!”
I first checked Travelzoo for overnight deals. Nothing good. Somehow I stumbled upon an Episcopal monastery that had a guesthouse. Included in the price were chapel services 5 times a day with chanting monks, along with gourmet meals 3 times a day.
Here’s why it was so appealing: In the past few months, I have been so desperate for alone time for prayer that I’ve been setting my alarm for 3:30 or 4am knowing that my kids will wake at 5 or earlier. I’ve also been enjoying some online versions of the Book of Common Prayer, which contains the daily prayers and readings used by the Episcopal church. And I’m learning to sing the Psalms thanks to this amazing app I discovered! Where has this stuff been all my life and why am I just now finding it when alone time is so scarce?!
Thus, the monastery idea seemed perfect.
Unfortunately, visions of Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love came to Cool Dad’s mind on mention of my possible monastery trip. (This is a movie whose message makes us want to throw up.) No, I did not want to join the monastic life or run away to far-off countries to escape the realities of life. I just wanted some silence, rest, and perspective.
So Cool Dad slept on it, and the next day he said I should go.
It was incredible. Just what I needed. Silence, rest, and perspective. Receiving God’s love that comes as I rest in him.
Even in the moments that I fumbled my way through figuring out the Book of Common Prayer, or ran through the house with the sound of bells telling me I was late to a service (just like my hero Maria VonTrapp!), I felt the assurance that God’s love for us does not depend on how well we perform or how hard we work. Or what other people think about us. It’s just there all the time!