I’ve started a blog entry a few times this week. Each time, after a few sentences, I’ve hit the “delete” key on the keyboard. Ever feel like you’d wish you could hit the “delete” key on a few things in your day?


A plethora of dental appointments … delete!

Raising my voice rather than taking a moment to breathe first … delete!

The long unmoving line of traffic … delete!

The list of errands I didn’t get to yesterday … delete!

My messy kitchen calling my name … delete!

The important papers I can’t find … delete!


As technology and our society advance, the distractions around us increase. I’ve always been a bit bold in resisting a trend, but when it comes to distractions, I buck fiercely. Life is chaotic enough without added demands and disruptions. The schedule of a parent is busy regardless.


When I fight the urge to hit the “delete” key during my day, I often take time out to think about our next vacation.  I lean back in my chair and close my eyes while I listen to soothing music. I imagine the ocean waves rhythmically splashing to the shoreline. The gentle breeze minimizing the heat from the day while swaying hammocks signal their sanctuary.


In moments, I’m there. I’ve never fallen asleep during these virtual vacations, but when I open my eyes a few minutes later, I feel like I’ve rested. It’s my temporary retreat from the day.


Whether it’s taking a walk, closing your eyes in a chair, or even a hot bubble bath — take a few minutes to retreat from your day or rest on a virtual vacation. It’s not a distraction, but a necessary appointment!


Solitude. Dark roast coffee. Just a side table for my computer and I. Sound pitiful? Perhaps on the surface, but truth be told … these ingredients make up my weekly getaway to a local bookstore’s coffee shop. And I look forward to it every week!


Life gets chaotic and some days we endure things not so fun — such as my morning dental appointment today. It’s such days where I anxiously await my alone time. My 1 1/2 hours of solitude to read, write, vegetate, or drink lots of dark-roasted coffee.  It doesn’t matter what I do — it’s just my time to be.


For me, I find it helpful to make some of my solitude time away from home. That way, other household demands can’t trail along with me. The laundry hangs out in the hamper. The phone rests in the charger. The dishes remain, wherever they are whether dirty or clean. My husband and daughter do their thing. The dishes never complain and the phone is meticulous about taking messages. The clothes? I’ve never heard them scream. And my family enjoys their own routines during this time too.


For grins, I looked up the word getaway and laughed at one of the words referenced — “absent yourself.” I like that! It’s almost like telling life’s demands, “Hey, I’m sorry but I’m stepping out for a while.”


The word I like most was “retreat.” A retreat sounds like a day spent at the spa or on a tropical beach. My not-quiet-two-hour retreat doesn’t provide a spa or beach, but rejuvenation certainly shows up.


As parents, we often hold out anxiously awaiting our next vacation for rest — that is if we planned one. Such big trips are fantastic, but mini getaways contain their own treasures.


“But I don’t have time to getaway,” I hear some say. Remember the word ‘mini?’ Little escapes here and there. Small bits of time. Brief havens. It’s possible, but we need to get creative.


One friend of mine with two small children took advantage of visiting family by escaping for an hour each day to get a coffee and window shop — alone. The quick daily retreat provided the renewal she needed.


Need a few ideas for your next absent-yourself-event? Take a bath after the children go to bed to melt away the worries of the day. Sneak a book and flashlight under the covers at night — it’s a silly retreat that makes you feel young again. Wake up before your family, to a quiet house. Walk the dog to release stress robbers.


It doesn’t matter where your getaway is, just make sure it includes the opportunity to just be. So where will your next retreat be?


Winter is finally here! It seemed like it would never come and Fall took up permanent residence. But Saturday evening, it snowed. Snow is the physical marking for me that winter finally arrived. We frantically raked up the plethora of leaves that blanketed our property knowing that snow was on its way that night.


As the last leaf was dropped into the bag, it began to snow. Perfect timing. Our daughter went running outside and tried to catch snowflakes on her tongue. She brought our puppy out to see her first snowfall — however, I do not think the dog was impressed.


The next morning, the idea of winter settled in nicely. I opened the blinds, and the scene before me brought a smile to my face — SNOW! Snow on the trees. Snow on the ground. Snow on the roads. SNOW!


I’m not sure what it is about the morning after an evening snowfall, but it feels so calming to me. It makes me want to snuggle in a blanket, start a fire, drink hot apple cider, and read a good book. Fresh snow means people slow down — I like that! Fresh snow means people stay in more rather than continue with their busy lives — I welcome that!


So this morning, I sit listening to my mellow Christmas music, watch my candles flicker, look out my window at the quilted covering over the ground and read a section of my bible. It’s a peaceful morning. In the midst of such hustle and bustle of the season, a morning like this is refreshing.


As I pondered the passage in the Bible I read, I thought about situations in my life where God feels silent and asked myself if I believe God could come through. It wasn’t a matter of if He could, but would He in the timing I prefer?


Isn’t that so often how we think? We focus on the when. The people of Israel waited hundreds of years for the promised Messiah. I’m sure there were many times they questioned whether it would ever come and many undoubtedly settled into the idea that God’s silence was taking up permanent residence.


But God never reneges on His promises. His timing was perfect. He sent the promised Messiah at just the right time. The excitement that stirred among everyone at that time had to be exhilarating. I’m sure some exited their homes to witness the star in the sky shining so brightly — the long awaited Savior was born! What a peace must have filled their hearts the next morning, knowing that Jesus was finally born.


The difference with my morning-after-snowfall feeling and Jesus’s birth, is that my snow melts at some point. God’s peace is everlasting!