Welcome back for the final day of our “Aim for Love” 2017 Family Retreat. Day 3 was on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so the kids and my hubby were off from school and work. I liked the retreat spanning over into a Monday. It was good use of a holiday weekend.
We started the morning off with a family yoga session led by me. Yoga is one of the loves of my life, and I wanted to share it with my family. But, I also feel that we all need more tools than ever before to deal with the fast-paced, over-stimulated world in which we live, especially children. We need healthy ways to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, disconnection, etc. without turning to food, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, or other numbing methods.
I opened up with us sitting in a comfortable seated position and finding our breath. As we inhaled I cued “I am loved,” and as we exhaled I cued “I am loving.” My 7-year old stormed off his mat yelling, “This has way too much Valentine’s stuff in it!” He returned later when we started moving.
After some basic stretching and a few sun salutations, I focused on heart-opening poses to support our “Aim for Love” theme. Heart-opening poses open your heart up to receive and give more.
Some of the poses we did were
(Yes, that is how Crew spent half of the practice.)
Here is a great reference outlining the benefits and instructions on 20 Heart Opening Yoga Poses.
We ended with a family ohm and shavasana. I appreciated my family indulging my yoga passion even though it was a little weird for them.
After yoga, we made breakfast all together. The best way I have found to have my family all work together in the kitchen is to give everyone a specific job.
We made one-eyed willies (fried eggs inside cut-out bread). Elle chopped veggies since she isn’t eating bread right now; Croft chopped strawberries; Crew prepped the bread; Dad manned the grill, and Locke was our miscellaneous runner (getting things from the pantry, throwing things in the recycle, etc.) I rarely give myself a job because I am the floater that goes from one station to the next, answering questions, teaching skills, and correcting. I also usually fill in the holes that the specific assignments don’t cover. And of course someone needs to take pictures.
We had a lovely, yummy heart-centered breakfast.
After breakfast, everyone was assigned a bathroom to clean, and they had to have their rooms clean before we could leave for the next activity. I believe that work is one of the pillars of a good home.
We drove down the canyon and went out to lunch. A fight ensued over which restaurant, but we landed at Cafe Rio.
I found an indoor archery range were we could shoot legit bows and arrows. For those local friends it is Jake’s Archery in Orem. We reserved a time and it only cost us $8 a person because we had over 5 people and a reservation. It is normally $12 per person if you just drop in. The kids could shoot as long as they wanted.
We had so much fun and it was nice to get out of our usual bowling-swimming-arcade- comfort zone. We all learned a new skill and had fun. And of course, I was super proud that I could connect our family activity with the theme.
On the way home from archery, we did our traditional Connections to Christ. I asked, “How does archery relate to the gospel of Jesus Christ?” (You can ask this question with virtually any activity, by the way.)
My kids are getting pretty good at this exercise by now. We’ve been doing it since 2012.
Crew talked about the safety of staying behind the line and how that’s like commandments.
Croft compared the arrows to Satan’s fiery darts.
Elle said it wasn’t about hitting the target, but at aiming at the right place.
I noted that the targets were closer for Croft and Locke and that is how the gospel is. God expects different things of us depending our age, abilities, knowledge and commitments.
Chad observed that it felt good to hit the target. Shooting aimlessly is fun, but hitting the target in the center feels the best. (He is the only one that experienced this feeling. Ha!) There is joy and happiness when we meet our goals and hit the center of the target– or metaphorically hit where God wants us to hit.
Locke may have been asleep.
When we got home we all went our separate ways. The retreat was over. I am super happy with how everything turned out in the end- even the fighting and tantrums. I’m learning to embrace the gift of imperfection by now.
I want to retestify to the enabling power of the Holy Ghost. I remembered I wanted to do a family retreat one day; the idea for the theme came to me shortly thereafter, and ideas started to flow. There was an ease and calmness that accompanied the planning, much of which was in the moment. Everything worked out from finding an indoor shooting range to the color of the post-it notes. Turns out the Holy Ghost is an event planner too.
Let me know if you have any questions. I would love to help another family get started on their own family retreat.
And in case you missed the other days, here you go: