It has been just over 8 months since I last shared one of my experiences with the purpose of encouraging and inspiring you to be challenged and grow in new ways! I am excited to begin sharing again, with the goal of posting at least every Thursday, which is my day of rest each week. God has made it very clear to me that His purpose for my life is to inspire and encourage others to experience the most this life has to offer through discovery of their own purpose or mission. It was during my time away on a personal retreat in Jugville, Michigan last week that I was reminded of this call on my life. I was blessed with the opportunity to take part in a pastor’s retreat organized by Broom Tree Ministries. Their mission is as follows:
The Mission of Broom Tree Ministries is to provide a gracious environment, secluded and private, protected with prayer, to which Christian leaders and their spouses can retreat from frantic schedules and become intimate with God so that He can refresh, refocus, restore, encourage, energize and equip them for the task to which He has called them.
When I arrived at The Shack(photo above), I knew God had created the opportunity for me to meet Him in a new way at a time in which it was needed. I came away refocused and reenergized for life and ministry. How many of you have taken a personal retreat like this in your lifetime? The reality is, many of us go on vacations each year experiencing time away, yet we have never scheduled time away to invest in ourselves. We have difficulty setting aside even one day a week for Sabbath, for rest and rejuvenation. As a result we miss opportunities for reflection and evaluation of who we are and who we are becoming, where we have been and where we are going. Our busy lives keep us from considering these types of experiences. Case in point, this was my first personal retreat in 31 years!
This week away was far to important for me to keep from you. I hope to be able to share more about the specifics of the week with you, yet at a minimum I hope you will consider what it would look like to take time away for you(and your spouse, if married). A personal retreat for anyone can have great impact not only on the life you lead, but the lives of those you impact. It was clear to me as I evaluated my personal mission, vision and values, I became very aware of the impact this clarity will have in my relationships and my work. If I could encourage or challenge you to start with a one day retreat with the purpose of spending time connecting with God in prayer, reflecting on where you are in life and who you hope to become, or simply planning for the future considering the dreams and passions you have. Take my lead, my strategy for investing in myself for the purpose of impacting the lives of others is to take a week-long retreat each year and set aside monthly personal retreat days to create the consistent space for God to speak to me. I look to the life of Jesus as He demonstrated for us the importance of spending His time in the wilderness as He prepared to do ministry. Do we take God seriously when it comes to rest? More specifically do we set time aside for Him to speak to us and lead us to the life He has for us? When will you schedule your first retreat?