Where is Happy? Finding Ways to Retreat

I’m linking up with Kate and the gang at Five Minute Friday this week where she is celebrating her 2 year anniversary of hosting this crazy chaos. Congratulations Kate! What is this chaos.  5 minutes of (mostly) unedited writing on the one word topic she reveals each week. Click the link above if you want to join us.  It’s a great way to get your feet wet if you’ve been wanting to try your hand at a little creativity. 

This weeks prompt?  Happy

I’ll be honest, I’m not feeling much happy right now.  We’ve had a whirlwind summer.  We’ve been on the go almost nonstop.  One kid here, one kid there, another kid with us, me traveling, son traveling or thinking about traveling that is scheduled in the near future. Transcribing interviews for the book (which I admit hasn’t been going very well) And then eveyrday normal life in the middle of all the chaos.

And there have been times that I have not been happy.  In fact, I’ve been downright miserable.  I love having fun, but I also enjoy my downtime.  An there hasn’t been much of that.  (I will add that I am not discontent.  God is big enough to handle all the stuff, there’s just a bunch of stuff right now and sometimes it’s overwhelming; that’s all)

when life is chaos, find ways to retreat at home Click To Tweet

How to Retreat without leaving home

So I try to retreat within the chaos around me.  It’s not as difficult as it once was, or as I once thought it would be.

Headphones are amazing inventions.  I’ve been known to find a good old chick flick, plug in the headphones and forget there are 15 kids tearing my house apart.  Okay, that’s a bit of exaggeration, but I do remember one day when kids were running and pillows were flying,  If I’d not been absorbed, I probably would have fussed.  I would have been frustrated, and the kids wouldn’t have had near the fun.

Scripture writing has been extremely beneficial.  It’s part of my (mostly) everyday routine.  I like the Scripture writing plans at Sweet Blessings.  I’ve been doing this since March.  It’s been such a blessing to me. It seems that God knows exactly what I need.  Amazingly, I can do this even with the chaos going on around me.


Time away.  Yes, I know I said retreating “at home” and  I know Jennifer wrote about building a life you don’t need a vacation from.  But, let’s face it.  Life happens around us, even when we do all we can to make a happy life.  Circumstances that are out of our control.  Like dealing with neighbor dogs that won’t stay out of your yard.  Not only that, but they run right on your porch and attack your dog.  Instead of normal, the dog retreats to the kennel to lick his wounds for 3 days and someone has to pull him out to wash the wounds and make sure they’re healing okay several times a day. The growing children that always need to talk as your on your way to bed.  And then there’s the extra stressors that come from ministry responsibilities, especially when you’re spouse is in church leadership.  Not only am thankful for my husband’s desire to serve. It is wonderful to watch him as he preaches, and encourages people.  I LOVE being a part of it, but the truth is, sometimes the phone rings and we know our plans have been changed.  Sometimes visits need to be made, sometimes issues arise that are just not convenient but necessary.

Sometimes you just need a little space to reconnect with each other, and the family. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy.  We’ve found airbnb to be an excellent resource for a inexpensive place for an overnight or two near home.


Dance lessons  Yep.  Shane and I finally took the plunge. Our first lesson was last night. It’s an inexpensive community class near us. Some of you may remember, I taught ballroom dance many years ago. It’s like riding a bike, you don’t forget.  But Shane?  He’s never had a lesson in his life.  I once tried teaching him many years ago, and it didn’t go very well.  But last night was fun.  And we both forgot about everything but the dance and each other for an hour and a half. It was blissful!

Painting Classes I’m sure you’ve seen those BYOB paint classes popping up everywhere.  And while it’s rather faddish, it might as well be taken advantage of while it’s here.  Shane and I bought a Groupon for 2. When our dance classes are over, you’ll find us in front of an easel with a glass of wine.

I’m sure I could name other ways to retreat from the chaos; but I’m past my 5 minutes.  What are some ways you retreat to regroup and reset?  To find your happy?

And yes, many of us probably thought of the song “Be Happy”  I also thought of one by Bobby McFerrin

11 thoughts on “Where is Happy? Finding Ways to Retreat

  1. Love that you guys are taking dance lessons. That’s something we’ve talked about doing ever since our dating days. Maybe “one day” should be sooner… 😉 This post was exactly what I needed – thank you! (Visiting from FMF)

  2. So fun that you and Shane are taking dance lessons. Sorry you haven’t been feeling particularly happy lately. But glad you are finding some time to escape. Love you friend. I’m in the #5 spot this week.

    1. There’s just been a lot of heavy stuff going on around us…doing fun things is sure a way to get away from it all though

  3. I thought about suggesting dance lessons to Barbara, but she pointed out that my having a flashback in the middle of a waltz and reverting back to jiu-jitsu would probably not be a great idea.

    Retreat? It’s not a word to which I’m accustomed, I’m afraid the only context I have for it comes from Gen. Oliver Smith at the Chosin Reservoir (and please pardon the language…I thought it would be unfair to Gen. Smith’s memory to edit his immortal words) – “Retreat, hell! We’re not retreating, we’re just advancing in another direction.”

    There’s nothing like a Marine. When the world dials 911, it’s a Marine lance corporal who picks up the phone. And I firmly believe that God Himself has a globe-and-anchor tattooed on his right bicep…with a bulldog on His left.

    #1 at FMF this week.


    1. Naw, Andrew, Barbara probably wouldn’t have had much fun had you given her a jiu-jitsu chop (is that even a thing?)
      No apologies necessary for Gen.Smith’s words.
      I’m glad you stopped by!

    1. So we need to go together, you and Shane can step on each other and your hubby and I can get down, lol. Seriously, I’m pretty proud of Shane he didn’t step on me once last night.

  4. Christy, I appreciate your transparency; it is uplifting. Also, thanks for sharing the ideas about how to retreat. For many years I have thought about taking dance classes. Time to turn “one day” into a specific date. 🙂

  5. great post christy:) so fun! lots of great suggestions for stress relief and finding ways to have fun together. and bobby mcferrin’s song? love it. i THINK it came out while we still lived in JA!

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