Is Personal Retreat Worth It?
I stay on the right side of this log cabin duplex
It’s Friday! I drive back down to the valley tomorrow. I’ve been here atStrawberry Retreat Center near Pine, Arizona since Tuesday. This is my home-away-from-home; the inspiring place where I’ve written several books. Yet I haven’t been here in awhile. This time I came without a specific agenda. Just wanted (okay I needed!) to retreat and just be and listen.
And I have—imperfectly. I wish I could stay longer. Right now, I’m sipping chai tea and looking back over excerpts of the journal notes I’ve jotted while here.
I made it. Been waiting for this. I’m so tired. Since I got here a few hours ago I “worked” on getting the speaker agreement out, had the extended coaching call, answered business emails, didn’t blog (although it’s due), didn’t Twitter or Facebook. Actually I’m really tired of doing all that. My stomach hurts. I want to actually “start” my retreat–to feel R&R.
So many good things happening, Lord. TY! And I said “no” to 2 writing assignments and a speaking opportunity. You asked me to do that. But it’s hard. Jesus, what do you want me to do in this next life phase? . . .
Hi Lord! You are Beauty—and Light. I am grateful.
I started reading The Hunger Games, but I can’t get into it. Maybe later. There are many ugly, cruel things on this Earth: prison-making, joy-robbing things. You’re not the author of all that. You still love, work and care in the midst of the bad and hurtful. I appreciate You.
I just read (again) a chapter in Buchanon’s The Rest of God: “Busyness kills the heart. Busyness makes us not care about what we care about.” I know this. Busyness can lead to burnout and burnout murders the soul and makes us not care about what we care about. I’m reminded of this as I’m propped up with pillows in bed surrounded by books. BOOKS! I love books and reading…yet busynesss, overwhelm, burnout, compassion fatigue can make me not care about what I care about: books and reading.Sad.
What do I really want to do with and in this next phase of my life?
We’ve talked about it before, haven’t we, Lord? To work less, reach more, and love with abandon (or without fear.) TY for the hope, Lord. Really. . . .
Today is the day I would have been teaching the writing classes. But instead I lolly-gagged and read an entire book: Bo’s Cafe. Nice. Tomorrow I’ll lay off Twitter and Facebook completely.
Lord, show me. . . [Well, Joan, you said that you wouldn't take on more until you get help.] I know, I did. say that, didn’t I? . . .
G’ Morning, Lord! Thank you for being here for me when I woke up. And reminding me of Your Spirit’s power. You are active. You are God. You are good. I praise You. I choose to do so. Your Spirit within me praises You. … I believe Your love. Yet still I don’t always “feel” it. I know it, though. Please help my feeling and my knowing to merge into the total person that I am. That You created me to be. The soul of Joan. Will I find this merging in silence, margin, space and rest? . . .
“Don’t break [God's] heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.” Ephesians 4:30 The Message . . .
[Joan, you hesitant to voice what I show you in My Word.] Yes, I don’t want to do it wrong or push people away. [It is only by My Spirit that people will "get" it and understand it anyway. Joan, I've ordained that you speak it out. Know it, learn it, and speak it out. I'll do the rest.] . . .
Let’s talk a walk, Lord.
G’ Morning, Lord! In response to my Q about whether to get up now or sleep some more, you said, “Do whatever your want to do , Joan.” TY for that, Lord.
I read Francine River’s book, “and the Shofar Blew” until 5:00 am. It’s 9:00 am now. I’ll take a nap later.
“Keep company with God, get in on the best. Open up before God, keep nothing back, he’ll do whatever needs to be done. He’ll validate your life the clear light of day…Quiet down before God. Be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.” Psalm 37:4-7 The Message . . .
Amazing how it all flows together, Lord. This retreat. My need. The message of these novels. Your Word. Be still and know that I am God. Ps 46:10 Being away with you is definitely worth it.
And that’s the end of my journal excerpts. When have you enjoyed a personal retreat? What was it like?
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Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.