Retreat House

The kids and I just got back from spending most of last week with my favorite people. Ito had a follow up appointment from his scary “episode” which resulted in a trip to the ER so the babes and I hitched a ride with Mimi to be there for him and show him some love. For now, things look good. 1 more procedure in 2 weeks to confirm/rule out bladder cancer. God is in control!

Every time I stay with my grandparents, I think I am going to offer something and I am always far more blessed and come away with so many unexpected treasures. God always speaks to me there in a simple yet very profound and special way. (of course it didn’t hurt that my phone personal computer battery died, I didn’t have a charger & was forced to disconnect from the outside world for a bit and look interiorly once more) 😉 Buuut, mostly because their home is filled overflowing with a spirit of prayer, deep peace and profound joy and love that only comes from knowing our Lord in a very real, very intimate way.

My body was envigorated and energized with plenty of good food & rest and my soul was inspired and uplifted through prayer, sharing and just witnessing their day to day lives! They are the best chefs I know, the best listeners I know, the best people at living out their vocation and life’s purpose that I know. They speak with the kind of wisdom that has lived without modern conveniences and known the value of hard work; with the blind faith that has bore babies at home; with the strength that has had to bury a child; with the courage & humility that has left their country of birth and taken tremendous risks & made incredible sacrifices for the betterment of their future generations (like me and my kids); with the respect for each other that you just don’t see much of anymore. Their character and virtue is the kind saints are made of. What an absolute treasure it was to sit together and have a meaningful conversation (several, actually) in our Pjs 😉 over some coffee with my Grandma and mom, to be able to pray the rosary all together, and to talk with my 85-year-old Grandpa about things like the classical education we are giving our kids and cloth diapers (I’m highly considering the upfront investment if God blesses us with more babies) and listen to his stories (which are like reading the most fascinating book) and words of wisdom on marriage and child rearing and living a good life pleasing to God. I absolutely savored every moment with them. Of course, the little ones were filled in their own special ways too.

Our nature girl - having a ball digging for dirt clots while insistent on being in the nude 😉

Alizea was all giddy and full of squeals upon seeing Him…

In observing all 3, I was reminded again that simplicity is the key and that less really is more…

The water was fuh-reeeezing. This was before we added a few pot fulls of hot water to take the bite off. Hey, a little mortification for the body doesn’t hurt 😉 ha!

I feel so blessed that God has allowed my children the opportunity to have this amazing witness of love in their lives. What a gift they have been given to be able to develop a relationship and such wonderful memories with their great grandparents. It would melt my heart to hear the girls calling out for Ito, following him around the house and run into his arms so excitedly! So special!

And of course it didn’t hurt to have the human swing willingly available to rock the babe to sleep 😉

The closer it got to our departure, the less I wanted to depart the retreat house.  The morning that we left, I nursed Soren, put him back to sleep and made my way to the living room. I could smell the freshly brewed coffee coming from the spotless kitchen. I then smiled from ear to ear upon seeing this admirable sight.

She was on her 2nd rosary and 2nd mile. It was only 7:15am.  She is eighty. four. years. old. If that doesn’t inspire you to get off your bum and take care of the ‘house of self’, I don’t know what will! 😉

Mom, thank you for towing the 4 of us & all of our gear, for helping so much with the kids so I could retreat from the daily responsibilities for (quite) a bit. It was so neat to mother side by side with you, share so much of my life with you and learn from you along the way. What a special time we had! I love you so so much!

And Ita & Ito, I pray for another visit real soon!!!

2 Responses to Retreat House

  1. Dearest Marisa, I could not agree with you more. It truly is a God gift to be able to spend such quality time with Ita and Ito, the two best treasures on this side of the New World. They have the kind of LOVE that keeps overflowing.Ita and Itos’s spirit is truly God’S LOVE in action. So whenever it works out with Ita and Ito’s schedule, I will be more than happy to repeat the experience as many times as you all are able to. With all my Love! Also, I love your nature pictures they truly spoke loudly to the topic, RETREAT HOUSE!!!!!

  2. Marisa, Thanks so much for sharing your weekend in such descriptive words and pictures. I wasn’t there, but you enabled me to get a taste of what was obviously an awesome weekend. I’m so happy that you and the kids have such invaluable treasures in your life!

Leave a reply