Saturday, October 3, 2009

Are you Growing or Just Going?

In the mind spinning and hectic pace of our lives, there are times when we need to jump off the six lane highway. Retreat means something negative when you are in a war. But when your enemy is time pressure, “retreat” is a positive term of refreshment and rest. Praise God for retreats with other Christians, but an extra hurrah goes for retreats with Christian women.

This weekend I sojourned to such a place. A special retreat for writers of Christian media happens each year in October in a private cabin in the North Carolina Mountains. Many of the women have been coming for all six of the retreats thus far. As a result we’ve melded into a sisterhood of Christian writers. We keep in touch throughout the year by email or blogging. Our accomplishments in publications and our lives’ highs and lows are celebrated and prayed over. We’re family.

During the retreat we had the blessings of a live-in chef extraordinaire, and a loving hostess who provided extra toiletries and accommodated for any special needs. The paramount blessing was being cocooned inside the grandeur of God’s creation. What is it about these Appalachian Mountains that puts our hearts and lives into perspective? Is the air clearer, the sky bluer, the birds more joyful in song? Whatever it is, life is at a pace of ease allowing our minds to unlock secrets and satisfy the thirsting soul for drops of love from Heaven.

This past weekend we have shared from our hearts and souls through our writing, our reading, our devotions and all the great meal conversations. I had one of the best roommates ever. It seems we have lived very similar lives and experienced much of the same heartaches within a half century. Our friendship reached a higher level and now we have promised to be accountable to each other within a small critique group birthed out of our retreat. “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our joys and griefs to share…”

Can you find a time in your own life where you can retreat for several days without your own biological family? I think this is critical for your soul and spirit to grow immeasurably. It broadens your network of friends in Christ. It opens your heart to the trials and dreams of others. Lastly, it spreads a sense of awe about God and his ability to give you such wonderful gifts in this life. Makes me want to shout—Hallelujah! I see a glimpse of heaven here on earth.

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." NIV, 2 Peter 3: 18


  1. Linda,
    Loved your article about the retreat.

  2. Ahhh...I'm ready to be back at the Cabin Cove again! Thanks for sharing the need to retreat with your readers.

  3. My favorite retreat areas are in the mountains, where the peace of God prevails like a constant, gentle breeze, or the beach, where the movements of the waves remind me of his awesome faithfulness and power. Thanks for sharing.