Retreat Retreat Retreat . . . at home

As a part of the Higher Calling Blog network, I was asked to participate in a cool writing project centered around the idea of retreat. Here’s the fun part: if you particpate, you receive a 50% discount for a retreat at Laity Lodge. Here’s what they offer:
  1. 50% OFF FOR YOU – selected retreats for any participant in this group writing project. (You don’t have to be a member of HighCallingBlogs.com, but we hope you’ll consider it.)
  2. 25% OFF FOR YOUR READERS – Anyone who reads your blog can register for 25% off. When they call to register, they need to ask for “the HighCallingBlogs.com discount.”
  3. A FREE RETREAT – On Friday, May 9, at noon Central Time, we’re going to put the names of this Group Writing Project’s participants in a hat and draw one out. The winner gets a free retreat for a married couple or an individual. Marcus will announce the winners that afternoon

To enter for your chance to win, or to just participate in the writing project you need to do three things:

  1. Write up a blog post on the importance of retreat
  2. Link to the sponsor, Laity Lodge
  3. And also link to this post so I know to include your post in the list of submissions that will be accumulating right here. We’ll also post a link to your post over at HighCallingBlogs.com!

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As I’ve thought about what it means to retreat, I remembered a post I wrote in France, chronicling our time of sabbath on Sundays. At the time we were busy church planters with far too much on our to-do lists, often overworked and overwhelmed. We faced all sorts of stress: financial, family, working, relational, personal, spiritual. And as I reflect on those two and a half years there, one thing kept us sane: time to retreat, although for us it meant retreating within the four walls of our home. I pray this post blesses you, that it inspires you to create rhythm to your week.

***

Over the past year, we, as a family, have tried to make our Sundays sacred. Not in some sort of legalistic, sit-in-a-chair-and-read-a-book-and-like-it way, but with a view toward freedom and joy. I wanted to share our Sunday with you, in hopes of inviting you to slow down one day a week, to trust God for your work, to engage in activities that rejuvenate and re-inspire you. Enjoy! We started with fresh cinnamon rolls with orange glaze. You can find the recipe (and others) here. It’s our habit now to cook the night before. The kids and I made these yummy rolls, covered them (in their dough-state) with plastic wrap, and put them on our outdoor table to keep them cool. (They wouldn’t fit in the fridge). Another fun note is that we had so many, we were able to deliver another tray to our friends down the road, so they could bake them in the morning as well. I also marinated a brisket in a ziplock bag (4 Tbs. soy sauce, 1 Tbs. Montreal seasoning, 1 tsp. worcestshire sauce, 1 Tbs mustard, 1/4 cup red wine) so I could throw it in the crockpot the next day.

The result? A pretty hassle-free cooking day. On Sundays (we now have church in the evenings), we eat a light breakfast, then have a huge brunch, followed by a simple dinner. The kids L O V E D the rolls this morning, accompanied by fruit and juice.

Then we made cards together. We had great fun cutting up things, creating all sorts of fun cards for friends. The mess looks worse than it actually was. Being able to create something of beauty rejuvenates my soul. Does it yours?
Julia played outside, and I did too, in a way. I laid out in the sun, with this as my view. This is our back yard. The red flowers are dahlias. I sat in my lounge chair and caught up on reading the one year Bible. I’m in Jeremiah now. Poor Jeremiah! But the sun felt lovely, and the rest was good for my heart.
Yesterday I went to our local nursery and bought Fall color. I had to force myself not to plant all these lovely, happy flowers yesterday . . . to save them for today. So, after my sunbathing, I planted flowers in the planters that sit on my front porch/terrace. What fun!
And here’s my happy kitchen window as a result. Pink mums, smiling broadly at me when I do the dishes.

I feel refreshed, alive, new, and ready for the week. Sophie said, “I loved today. I needed the break.” With the rush-rush of life, could you take one day off this week? To be thankful? To find retreat within the four walls of your home? To do things in worship that rejuvenate your soul? I hope so.

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