Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Get Your Bad Self Down

Deb on her He & Me Retreat
I think we all reach a point in our lives when fifteen minutes of quiet time in the morning just isn't cutting it. We're exhausted physically, frazzled emotionally, and parched spiritually.

We need an extended time of renewal in every sense of the word.

After nearly completing work on my newest book, I was at that point recently and was completely blessed to sneak away for a five-day spiritual retreat. Alone. Yes, girlfriend, that's what I said: Five days alone! 

No whining kids, inquisitive husbands, nagging bosses, gossipy workmates, chatty friends, borrowing neighbors, nosy mothers ... just me and Papa God. I call it a He & Me Retreat.

As I described in my book, More Beauty, Less Beast, a He & Me Retreat is a time to break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and imbed yourself in our Father's pure, unmarred creation. To listen for that still, small voice that often gets drowned out in the cacophony of life. To rest. To revitalize. To refuel our tanks.  

My He & Me Retreat was located at my favorite spot in the world - our remote Smoky Mt. cabin, deep in the quiet woods about 3/4 of the way up a mountain where the 4200-foot elevation provided a refreshing 60 degrees in the mornings and evenings, quite different than our 92 degrees with 90% humidity at home.

After a long sunrise prayer walk (rain or shine), I spent my mornings reading, marinating, and recording insights about scripture, crooning praise songs aloud in the woods with no audience except the One I was singing to ... along with a nosy chipmunk or two. I danced with wild abandon to toe-tapping, spirit-swellin' songs played on dulcimer, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo.

I picked bouquets of wildflowers in mountain meadows by the Christmas tree farm, and rode my rootin'-tootin' four-wheeler, Sir Lancelot until it got too dark to see the twisty path. Then I chased lightening bugs in the forest clearing like I once enjoyed as a 6-year-old.

And I ate chocolate. A LOT of chocolate. And never felt guilty one single second.

My little recouping get-away was fun. It was fulfilling, It was essential to sanity. But it certainly wasn't original with me. There are many scriptural examples of Jesus stealing away alone to retreat sites like the mountains (Mark 6:36) or the seaside or lake (Matthew 13:1).

I figure if it was that important to him, it should be that important to me.

So how about you? I strongly encourage you to consider the benefits of a He & Me Retreat for yourself: uninterrupted time to get to know yourself again, to touch base with the marvelous creation Papa God made in you, and to embrace the opportunity to relax and enjoy His rejuvenating presence. As an added benefit, you'll revive your enthusiasm for the Word.

You'll fall in love with Him all over again.   

It's something you really can't afford not to do.

No comments: