We are cloistered in this home for a weekend of whatever recharges us, refreshes us, helps us rest and recuperate.
It means you are free to do as you choose. To read or knit or envision or plan or nap or walk the beach or eat too much chocolate. To shower or not. To take a bath at 4 a.m. and have biscotti and coffee and then a nap later.
The only understanding is that we gather twice a day for meals, we don’t eat in silence, and we pray for the individuals in the family of the sister that made that particular meal.
It amazes me, how much I like talking about my kids and my husband. My turn comes Saturday at brunch and I am beaming as I pass around pictures of my family.
They really are beautiful.
I think I’m a little obnoxious as I work my way through each individual - my sharp Paynes. Beaming like a mother hen and just so pleased with them all.
But I’m also wide-eyed, because there are prayer requests for each one of them and my heart wants these sisters to pray with all of their mama-hearts, and with His heart. This is one time where I am expected to go on and on about my family and no one is annoyed or waiting for their turn. It's all about what God is doing in us, and I don't want to leave anything out.
I don’t think there’s anything better that you could do for a mother than to listen to her praises and requests, and then pray for her family.
(Well. I guess you could bring her dinner, too.)
We are filled with the breath of heaven and my burdens are lifted, my heart beat slows, my anxiety gives way. Sisters pray and I can see the angels carry incense, like wide ribbons of smoke, like a great host of mother’s hearts wrapping our words around my family. Right around their very bodies.
These are the kinds of prayers that I want to pray continuously.