The Blessings of Our Weekend Retreat
Have you ever been on a weekend-long retreat? A special time of refreshing and recharging? For several years, I have led and facilitated retreats for women. We enjoy refuge from the outside world, heavenly peace, and lots of love.
Every single retreat is different, but also the same: Different in who attends and the same in the powerful presence of God in our midst. Different in each woman’s experience, the same in that they’re ready to come back next week!
I am convinced that if we could just shut ourselves down for several days—several times a year–we could better maintain our health in our physical and spiritual temples (bodies). When our bodies slow down, our minds will, too, if we allow it. We all need refreshing times.
During these times and places of refreshment, some of us have come away with revelation, answers to prayer over a situation or circumstance, and renewed courage to take the actions needed to make the changes we may have been contemplating or avoiding. Sometimes there are tears—tears of sadness and joy and deep spiritual connection.
As a Christian woman, I say it’s because of what we know in Scripture: “where two or three gather together in My name, there I am with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
God’s Holy Spirit’s presence and energy fill the room and saturate every session, every meal, and every walk in nature. Something mystical happens when women come together to share their stories, their hopes, dreams, and even their sadness and grief. We have the most fun during our creative time, as we make our masterpieces to take with us as remembrances. I will say that some of the ladies are super-serious about their art!
In the late afternoon, we gather for meditation before dinner. This year I chose the Prayer of St. Francis, reflecting on how we might find peace and joy where God calls us to serve. No matter what level of meditating—beginner to master—this is a favorite part of the retreat. One of the ladies commented that the meditation was like a “90-minute deep-tissue massage.” What a powerful testimonial!
The bonfire—sometimes roasting s’ mores if we aren’t too stuffed from the fantastic cuisine served each meal—brings us all together in the evening for more sharing, laughing as we wind down from the day. Some of us stay up late; others turn in earlier. There are no rules about eating and sleeping this weekend. We are relaxed.
Most of all, we laugh and enjoy each other. Real, lasting connections happen here every year.
This year presented slight challenges given the COVID world we’re all currently navigating. The staff rose to the occasion, and we felt safe and secure in a carefully cleaned environment.
Some chose to stay away this year; those who decided to attend came out with a renewal of body, mind, and spirit and were already making plans for a possible spring retreat. Stay tuned.