retreat: rest

awww….rest. The busyness of life lately has been pretty overwhelming. Running here and there, never stopping or slowing down. My soul was not made for this. I want to get back to the things that bring me life. Here’s what I’ve recently discovered: 1. I’m a workaholic. 2. I often give too much time to the people around me and neglect time for myself. 3. Love is hard. It takes a lot of work. Constantly. And I admit that some days I just don’t feel like putting in the effort.

I’m tired. I need rest. And I need to feel renewed- body, mind and soul.

I recently read Susan Isaacs’ book Angry Conversations with God. Susan describes how she took God to marriage counseling when their relationship hit a rough patch. I could completely understand the place that she described she was in. She no longer recognized herself or where Jesus was in her life and started to panic. Like in any relationship, time alone and away from distractions is needed. I decided against counseling and instead took a vacation with Jesus. Just the two of us. We went back to the place where our journey together began. Where I first fell in love with Him.

I drove to Galveston Island (about an hour outside of Houston) on the Gulf of Mexico last Monday morning. I set up a tent right on the beach and started unpacking. I would be staying here for the next 3 1/2 days. I brought a few dozen books, a few thousand songs, a journal, and a box of art supplies among other things. I usually pack light when I travel but somehow I knew that a lot was needed for this retreat. I also chose to begin a raw food diet this week so I left my Coleman stove at home and packed a cooler full of veggies and fruit.

Day one of my retreat can be summed up in one word- rest. I needed to rest in God’s presence and let go of worry and the distractions of life.

Here was day one’s schedule:

10AM arrive at beach. Check in & set up tent

11AM: silent meditation (a time of silence, no speaking, only listening for the voice of God)

12PM: lunch (start of raw food diet)

12:45-2PM: hike at beach

2-3:30PM: nap/rest

3:30-5PM: Scripture reading/meditation (selected Psalms 16 & 46- both are about resting in God alone)

5:30PM: light dinner

6:45PM: sunset yoga

7:30PM: journal/reflection time

8:30PM: examination of grace/worship time (I selected a few hymns to sing and took photographs of the water as I walked along the shore for my time of worship.)

10PM- sleep

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