Last weekend, I had a chance to getaway for a couple of nights. There is a little place in the mountains that I have come to love. The Awakenings Center for Inner Healing and Empowerment is a non-profit retreat and healing center, with a main log cabin, garden, walking trails, and acres of woods. Deborah is the operator and host and is an amazing cook! The Center has a great vision for ongoing expansion of facilities and ministry including chapel, greenhouse, private cabins, and a walking labyrinth.
I have come to realize how necessary these weekends away are for me. I am a better wife, mom, and pastor when I take a personal retreat. They give me a chance to rest, allow someone else to care for me (primarily through cooking and listening), sit in the woods, and just be quiet and listen. The three things that are a must do on my retreats – sleep, sit in the woods, let someone else cook good food for me. These are essential.
The rest of the time, I read, journal, and take a balcony view of the next few months and plan out the calendar. Taking time to do this high level planning is essential for me. It allows me to use some of my gifting and helps my life run in a more functional way.
My favorite part of my retreats though? Sitting in the woods. It’s like I get under the thick trees and by the stream and I can breathe again. I feel grounded and connected. The hustle and bustle fades away and I know God is with me. I settle into a sense of centeredness and peace.
I leave different than when I arrived. I leave, once again reminded of who I am and whose I am. I leave with direction and focus and a smile. I leave knowing I am indeed loved, just because I am.