Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sweet Retreat

After a week of puke buckets, fevers, missed school, disinfectant, lack of will to live and lots of tea and lightly buttered toast...I was so grateful that this morning arrived.

For the last five years, my daughter, Kate and I have attended a sacred event that my women's circle at church hosts entitled "The Sweet Retreat."

Scheduled during the Valentine's season, it's an opportunity for mothers, grandmothers, sisters and friends to carve out time and honor their sweet little girls.

Since the beginning, I've facilitated the opening prayer along with my daughter, Kate.  Everything from creating the words to sharing the message brings joy to my heart.

Now that my children are 11, 8 and 5...our lives are very full...subsequently, it's rare to find one-on-one time with each of them.  I'm typically in the throws of shuttling them from here to there while multi-tasking in the process.  So, the chance to carve out the morning alone with Kate to talk about all of the ways that we love each other was really glorious.

We started out with an opening question:  Write down some of the things you love about your special someone.  I laid our respective notes side by side.

My note to Kate says:

I love you SO  much and am very thankful to share this special morning with you!  Thank you for being so creative, colorful, musical and full of life. You make my heart sing.
xoxo, Mama

Kate wrote to me:

Kelly,  I love so many things about you, but here are 3...
1.  I love your passion for jewelry.
2.  I love your beautiful voice.
3.  I love how God made you!
xoxo,  Katherine E. Gering

I'm not even sure where to begin with all of the things that I love about this note.  The first is that she referred to me as Kelly.  Not long ago, she asked what my real name was.  When I told her Kelly, she said, "well then, we should call you that because you're not just a mama."  Since that time, she has decided to go by her God-given name of Katherine because she says that it suits her better and that a letter signature should incorporate your middle initial to honor your whole name.

But probably the best part of her correspondence was that she loves how God made me, which is what everyone yearns to be loved for...just being exactly as they are with no strings attached for improvement. 

And just like that before the brunch and formal program had begun, I was already grateful and in love all over again with my daughter.

It's a remarkable thing to notice the ones you love and to be noticed by them.  It means the world to share why you love someone and what they bring to your life.  It's just that often we get busy, take the moment for granted and choose not to carve out the time.

As the morning continued, I found myself looking at her smiling, remembering when she was little, glancing forward to when she might be presenting in front of large audiences as a young woman...all the while being eternally grateful for this slice of time.

I love you, Kate.  Thanks for making my cold, February morning warm and sweet.

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