Monday, April 20, 2015

Release Retreat

I went to a retreat this weekend -- right in my own home. An online community of overseas workers held a virtual retreat, with almost 700 from 92 countries participating. Mostly we flew solo, although some gathered in small groups to watch the videos together and then separated to work on their journals and pray. The team who put this together also suggested including other activities (music, doing something creative, a little pampering maybe) and while my intentions were good, I didn't actually pull any of that off. But I did hear of one group who got together and hired a masseuse to come in and give them all massages. Sounds wonderful! Even without the extras, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the retreat.

I wasn't able to print the journal they provided, but I saved it as a PDF and kept it open on my desktop, then took notes in my every day journal. Keeping in mind I'm an avid note taker, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I have 21 full pages of notes. I plan to type them up (and tidy up while I'm at it) so I can easily refer back to them, long after I've finished up the journal and packed it away.

I love how God orchestrated the timing, which couldn't have been better! It just so happened Ivan went to a men's retreat this weekend and I had the house to myself, allowing me to fully focus on the retreat experience.

I have a lot to share, but there was just so much it will take time to process. And then I have to decide how much to put out there. I've had a mental block for a long time when it came to blogging. I struggled with what to share, how much to share, when to share. Even before the retreat (just last week in fact) I read a wonderful post that articulated so well why we need to be careful on this very public forum: We have to go beyond deciding if it's our story to tell, we also have to determine whose story is it to hear? That encapsulates so well the thoughts that have been rattling around in my head.

But as I sort it all out, both what I've learned and what's okay to share publicly, I'll be posting my thoughts. I'd like to end with one of the passages of Scripture included in the journal for the retreat. I appreciate the way the intent is expressed in The Message. I hope it encourages you, as it did me.

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of the Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me -- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:27-30 (emphasis mine)


rita said...

So happy for your profitable retreat, without having to go anywhere or travel far (like Peru!) Look forward to hering more.

Mari said...

I'm glad you were able to take part - right from your home! I appreciate what you shared from it today too.

sara said...

these passages are so good in the Message! So glad you had that opportunity. That is something I think I will be looking into as I will be in a small town and will probably need the support as time goes on. :)

Christy Duffy said...

Looking forward to hearing more about your retreat. And I also understand the blogging block - it's tough to decide at times what should be shared. The link you posted was a good thought-starter for me. Just know I love to hear about what's going on with y'all! I'm thankful your blog makes you feel a little closer.