This week I am going to share about various kinds of retreats that I seek to participate on an annual (if not more frequent) basis. Some pertain to personal and familial health and growth, and others are ministry-specific.

Day 1: Personal Retreat

Purpose: To get away and allow space for God to minister to my interior person.

A few weeks ago, after a long (and candidly, physically and emotionally draining summer), I recognized I needed a Southwest moment. I needed to get away. So, on a Tuesday morning Adriana drove me out to the eastern end of Long Island and dropped me off at a friend’s cottage with my bike, some groceries, and a backpack with nothing more than a couple of changes of clothes, my Bible, The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle (a book of prayers), The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, and my journal. No computer!

I spent three days simply relaxing, praying, reading, journaling, and enjoying nature. I went kayaking in the bay, collected sea shells, watched an Osprey catch and eat a fish, biked, and went swimming. I truly felt God’s presence as I quieted my heart and listened to His still, small voice. He spoke words of life into my heart and brought much-needed healing and restoration to my soul.

Leading a healthy family and a healthy ministry starts with a healthy individual. A healthy me is centered in God. A healthy me means embracing spiritual disciplines – including the practice of solitude – which keep me connected to Christ. When I create space in my life to get away and be alone with God He heals my heart and forms (and re-forms) me for His service.

How about you? When was the last time you had some dedicated alone-time with God? I’m not talking about daily quiet time (although valuable and important). I’m talking about getting away for an afternoon, a day, a few days – simply to breathe in God’s presence.

What are the challenges to practicing personal retreat?

What can you do to build the rhythm of personal retreat into your life?

One thought on “Retreat Week Day 1: Personal Retreat

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