My first retreat is two months away and I absolutely cannot wait! I briefly mentioned it in my new year’s post but I’m just overflowing with excitement and anticipation! It’s a Christian women’s retreat, meaning that it’s a big group of women coming together to worship, pray, and have a blast. This is the first women’s retreat completely under my church’s belt and I must say, our organizers have done a spectacular job putting everything together for us all!
Since we are a beach town church, it makes sense that our retreat will be held in a lovely hotel with a beach view! Retreats are held in all different places, many in the heart of nature! But I’ll admit that in the dead of winter, I’m thrilled to know that ours will be held indoors where it’s heated, and still with a view of one of God’s most beautiful creations. It will be such a gift to take part in that experience.
As I pass out retreat flyers, I see the hesitation on every face. The gears turn behind their eyes as they consider their daily responsibilities, finances, and necessities, all within an instant. We are reluctant to walk away from our lives, even just for a short period of time. There are people relying on us and chores that won’t do themselves. It’s so hard to let go. Even I, one of the retreat’s biggest supporters, prayed about whether a retreat was something that I needed for my life or if I could even fit it into my schedule! After this deliberation, I registered for our women’s retreat and here’s why I think you should too…
1. Freedom. This time is going to allow you to free your mind, relax, and focus on God. Our teaching pastor told a story once about a man who had many children and could not find his watch anywhere (hey, that sounds like my house!). He searched high and low, he even had the children helping him. Eventually, he found it and he was asked how. He said that he had risen early in the morning before anyone else, when the house was completely quiet…and listened for the tick. Sometimes, it’s hard to hear God over the noise of your life. Give yourself this freedom to hear God in the silence from your life. Quiet time with God is “me” time, the best “me” time you could possibly afford yourself.
2. Fellowship. Find your tribe of like-minded people. Get acquainted with other Christian women in varying walks of life and walk with them. There is something so magical about the camaraderie at these spiritual events. We’ll stand arm in arm as we sing our praises to the Lord, pray together and for each other, laugh and cry as we relate with our stories. Create bonds that will last a lifetime.
3. Detox. Take a breather and detox from the negativity and the daily stressors of life. Sometimes we just need to get away and refresh ourselves.
4. Personal growth. The spiritual growth offered to you by spending this time with God can only further develop you as a person. Take this time to meditate on God’s plan for you and your life.
5. Learning. With Bible studies, small groups, and guest speakers (ours is Whitney Capps from Proverbs 31), you are guaranteed to walk away with something new. How can you live a peaceful life without worry and anxiety? How could you enhance your daily relationships? Dig deep into God’s Word and practical applications to your every day life.
6. Helping others. Sometimes we don’t realize how much sharing our testimony, praying with, and encouraging others can truly touch their lives. We are stronger together as God’s church.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25
7. Inspiration. Let this adventure inspire you. With your mind free and renewed, realize that you are capable, you are strong, and you are worth it. Don’t let me tell you, just go and feel it!
8. Fun. Of course fun factors into the retreat! How often do you really allow yourself to have fun in your adult life? Come play games, let your creativity loose with crafts, get your workout on with a faith and fitness session, get a little pampering, and other FUN activities!
So if you find yourself with an invitation to your local retreat, try to attend. Go and allow God to restore your soul, refresh your spirit, and give you rest.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? – Psalm 42:1-2