Bringing the Monastery Home

It’s been exactly one week since I packed my bags and headed to the quiet of the St Scholastica Monastery and Retreat Center.

One week of learning that “no” is not a four letter word. One week of asking for help and wondering at all the amazing, talented people who have been in my life, waiting, all along for me to ask them, but who I never tapped for fear of being an inconvenience. One week of silent car rides and practicing communal silence with my family.

It’s a funny thing when life is quieter…more still…words seem to have greater weight. I like this new-found quiet and even, more, a greater respect for the spoken and written word.

This weekend’s activities stand in stark contrast to last week. Yesterday, we traveled with 24 children (ages 5-13) and close to that many adults to Dallas for a basketball tournament.

Quiet stillness has been replaced with the rush, rush logistics of moving 50 people from one place to another, the loud voices and constant chatter of excited young children, and the sideline yells and hollers of a zealous crowd of parents have taken the place of the reverent whispers, bird song and the soft sound of the wind in the tree tops.

It’s definitely a different world, and I am honestly struggling a bit to function here. I miss the mini-monastery we created at home, and while I am having fun with my family, I yearn for quiet solitude.

So how do I do this? How do we create this monastic life and still have a family life? Are the two mutually exclusive?

I don’t think so. I think it’s possible to have a little bit of both in this world. And I’m on a mission to figure out how.

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