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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Retreat

"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Matthew 5:16

In about nine sections of scripture it talks about Jesus withdrawing from the crowds to take a break. He spent that time in prayer, and also as a concentrated time to teach his disciples. I have been thinking and praying about this a lot lately. I feel that it is something that I am in desperate need of doing myself. Because of the various things I have been going through lately, my body has been responding adversely to the stress of it all. Most days I have chest pains all day long. It is rare that I am without this symptom. So I feel that it is time for a change.

Over the next six weeks I plan to have a time of retreat and withdrawing to a lonely place like Jesus did. I feel the need to have concentrated times of prayer and digging in God's Word, to learn more about peace and joy especially, and also how to better manage stress. I hope to share my insights along this journey.

This first week is more of the planning and preparing process. I hope to have a generalized plan of the areas that I desire to focus on during this time of separation. I haven't gotten very far in this process yet other than thinking. Yesterday was my son and my first day back at homeschooling, after taking a five week Christmas break while my oldest son was home from college. I am trying to get caught up with school planning, as well as planning for my spiritual retreat too.

The month of February will be my main time of spiritual renewal. I have a few books and a Bible study or two that I hope to work through, as well as doing my own study on Philippians as well. Also during this time, I am praying that God gives me clear direction for what He wants me to be focusing on doing. I feel a strong desire to be more specific and intentional when it comes to my writing.

As of now, the first week of March will be a time away hopefully visiting my friend in Georgia. It will be a great way of finishing out my spiritual retreat. I am excited about what God wants to teach and show me over these next six weeks.

Perhaps you aren't able to take a long break like I am planning to do. Here are some ways that you can have a mini-retreat throughout your day.

  • Take a hot bath and have restful music playing in the background.
  • Prepare a hot drink and curl up by the fireplace.
  • Light a candle.
  • Put on relaxing music - for me this is often Christmas music or praise music.
  • Choose not to answer the phone for a few hours, or check email, etc.
  • Read a good book, even if you only have a short time to do so.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Do something creative.
  • Look for a joy from your day. (Yesterday mine was seeing a beautiful male cardinal come to the bird feeder).
Hope this gives you some ideas to get you started on being rejuvenated today. Feel free to share some of your ideas as well. One of the things I have been enjoying each night is just sitting and looking at the lights from our Christmas tree. We have a fresh cut tree that we got just days before Christmas, and it still is quite green and regularly drinking water. So it is a joy to look at it each day. Surprising it still has that great pine smell as well. It has been a special blessing and joy in my life.

1 comment:

Zoe said...

Hey friend,
You ideas for rejuvination and rest sound GREAT!! I can't wait to follow your journey.
Enjoy that fresh piney fragrance of your tree. It would be heavenly to join you by the tree.