Have you ever been on a retreat?
Where you go to a conference center for a weekend?
I remember many of those in my youth and first seven years of marriage, when my husband was a pastor to Middle and High Schoolers. Churches here in the states, did a lot of that prior to Covid! One, two, three times a year.
There was a distinct feeling that seemed to permeate those events. As a leader and a participant, it came upon me when I was leaving the parking lot. It was a feeling of expectation, but also release.
I remember feeling free from normal habits and routines. No one could reach you. Plans couldn’t change. For a few days, you were going away to a somewhat remote location. Most times to hear spiritual teaching, evaluate your life, hang out with friends, and remove all ordinary distractions and responsibilities. (Except in my teens, the distraction of boys was never abandoned … rabbit trail😬)
It was a lovely welcomed anticipated cherished feeling!
We are staying with dear friends who have a lovely piece of property: a historic farm with lots of charm, character and peace.
They were gone the first ten days we moved in.
The first day, I got up, made my coffee, walked down the brick hallway to the family room. While in route to the large cozy room with high ceilings and fireplace, the feeling surfaced. I got the “retreat feeling again”. I was totally not expecting it. I’ve visited our friends here many times, but something about unpacking my suitcase and settling in, in this place, brought me back to retreat.
Every morning since, I make my coffee, carry my mug down the brick hallway to the family room and it’s happens … the retreat feeling returns. It’s so welcomed; looked forward to.
God has us in a unique place in our lives: as my father says, “We’re homeless.” That’s not been the case before! In the midst, God’s given us this haven of rest where one hurdle is crossed and we wait for the next door to open. The very roof over our heads is a gift of grace from our friends.
Being without our own home, in this moment, is freeing and holds great anticipation of what God will do next, just like retreat time.
Our “home” roots are being transplanted: we’ve been dug up and await the new “home” soil/turf, if you will.
In the meantime, God’s given us a greenhouse to thrive in where He and our friends bathe us in love and care and this gracious gift of bed, warmth and dwelling place: it’s nourishing our spirits.
Every morning my cup of coffee and brick walkway call me … I love retreats!!
Do you have a memory of the “retreat feeling”?
Or something similar?
Maybe it happens when you leave for vacation, etc.
Share with me/us!
Feel free to share with a friend(s).
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