I am leaving this evening on a retreat with 15 other women to a cabin somewhere I have never been in Wisconsin. These women are all in my small group at church. I am not sure what will be in store for the weekend but I am looking forward to seeing what our two leaders have put together. I am also just glad to be getting out of town to an unfamiliar place. I need that right now. Just putting all my focus and energy this weekend on God. Not thinking about the paperwork I need to get done for next week, not thinking about the emails I need to respond to, and really just taking quality time for myself and my relationship with God. People are often reminding me “Erin you do so much, accomplish a lot, hear from so many, don’t forget to take time for yourself.” Well I am doing just that this weekend by going on this retreat. My hope is I leave my sleepless nights back home and get a lot of rest this weekend. When I awoke at 3:20am last night and could not stop tossing and turning I almost thought of blogging in the middle of the night but as I sat up in bed with a restless mind decided I really need to get sleep knowing I was going on this retreat. When I went to lay back down my cat who had been sleeping at the end of my bed was now sleeping on my pillow. I pulled him down into my arms and eventually fell back asleep after an hour of being up. It’s been a long week!
The two leaders of my small group have been working with us every time we meet once a week on life long maps. The first one we did two weeks ago was “My Life Story Map”. We first described aspirations, interests, dreams, positive influences, events, people, places, vocations, avocations, highs and lows, losses, hurts, negative influences, insights, questions, and noticing God, starting from our early childhood to our late teens. Next we had to do that from our 20’s to now. We are going into the retreat with another Map we had to fill out. This map is called Desires and Longings Map. You start off by writing today’s date and then your envisioned future year. Then on this map you are suppose to fill out each category like you were in the year you are envisioning. For example I went 10 years from now to 2021. We then fill out this map as if it were the year we envision and what you think each category will look like.
Desires and Longings Map
- What Dreams are beginning to Take Shape
- What Motivates Me
- Desires and Longings
- Healthy Habits
- Inner Qualities
- What would I need to Let Go of to Be More of What God Created Me to Be
- What Would be Gained
I am not yet sure what we will be discussing with this, but I think it will be interesting to see what comes out of it and the entire retreat. I think back 10 years ago and never would of imagined the things that would happen over the course of the next 10 years. It has been quite a ride of major highs and lows and many things I did not see coming at all. From being a published author, passing a law, major media appearances, national speaker, getting my masters degree, losing an entire extended family, a seizure that lead to a medical diagnosis I never saw coming that has really made me question a lot of things in my life and reminded me how quickly life can change in the blink of an eye and never take anything for granite because you don’t realize how good you have it until something happens to change it all. I do know one thing if I live to see another ten years I already know it will be quite a ride as the past ten have been.
Some major events are playing out in my life at this very moment that could shape what the next ten years will look like. Events I have kept very quiet about and plan to keep quiet about as they develop. Someone like myself who used to be a girl locked away in her childhood diary has now a lot of publicity and accomplishments achieved but also knows what to keep private and what to go public with. Especially when there are days that I get 400 visitors to this blog many of whom are just lurking. As I have learned in this life there are few you can trust and the best thing to do is to trust yourself after all you know yourself better then anyone else besides God. It is Him that I constantly am turning to for guidance, wisdom, strength, courage, and the answers I still seek and long for.