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'5-Minute Retreats for Moms'

By Sue Augustine The 5-Minute Royal Treatment

When a little girl was having a difficult time grasping the concept of marriage, her father got out the wedding album in an attempt to help her. Once he explained the wedding ceremony, the little girl said, "oh, now I see! That's when Mommy came to work for us."

It's not hard to see why that little girl-or our children-might think that's true. A while ago, when I seriously scrutinized my "to-do" list, I noticed something dreadfully wrong. It wasn't so much what was on the list-buy a present for the baby shower, organize dessert for the church supper, pick up kitty litter. The problem was what was missing from my list..time for me, for excursions into enchantment. Now that may sound a bit selfish, but think about it. As moms, we spend most of our time taking care of others-our children, spouses, elderly parents, friends, Sunday school students, and coworkers-but we spend next to no time making sure we're as balanced and cared for as all the other people in our lives.

On the brink of burnout, I knew I had to make some changes. While I was sure a 10-day trip to the Mediterranean would solve the problem, I decided to settle for a few simpler-and more budget friendly-pampering rituals. Here are some ways to experience the simple pleasures and sweet indulgences that will make sure your children don't think your wedding was the day you were hired to work for them!

Plan a temporary escape. Do you remember snow days? During bleak winters, it was always a treat to be able to stay in our pajamas, sip hot chocolate by the fire, munch on popcorn, and watch movies or play Monopoly. Even without the snow, plan to do that again for part of a day. For another escape, go to your local coffee shop one evening or when the kids are in school, order a special blend, and read a few chapters of the book you've been longing to get into. Allow yourself some private time each day, even if it's only 5 minutes at a time.

Splurge on one thing just for you. Buy a bouquet of spring flowers for yourself at the market. Indulge in an expensive brand of ice cream, or gourmet hot chocolate and a pretty china mug. Pick up a bottle of your favorite perfume, a new CD, or some lacy silk lingerie, even if no one else will see you in it! Each time you wear, smell, eat, or drink whatever you bought, it will brighten your day and remind you that you are special.

Reward yourself when you've achieved a goal. Sink into your tub for a long luxurious soak with bubbles and candlelight. Snuggle up in bed with a good book. Go for a leisurely stroll. Put on your favorite music, turn it up loud, and dance. This time is not about being selfish. It's about recognizing you are a precious woman created by God, and you deserve to be treated as such. Put yourself on the to-do list and take an excursion into enchantment!

Excerpt taken from 5-Minute Retreats for Moms by Sue Augustine, copyright 2003. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

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