And I did it 2 hours away from home in a remote Minnesota lake cabin with three other beautiful women. We talked, laughed, played games, ate lots of chocolate and drank lots of coffee, shared music and faith and struggles. We stayed up late and slept in. We stayed in our jammies most of the day and didn't shower until the middle of the afternoon. We sat in silence and we shared God's Word.
We did all this...and, yet, we did nothing.
Because we did not chase kids, do laundry, or stress about our jobs or our churches or our homes. No one cleaned a toilet, or changed a diaper, or ran car pool for the 3rd time this week. Not one of us left to run errands, or pick up a sick kid, or attend a committee meeting.
We were four weary women sneaking away to do something other than the something that we normally do - and, in that, it felt deliciously like we were doing nothing.
And it felt good.
And we need to do that. It is too easy to think that we can do it all - all the time. Culture screams the myth of Wonder Woman at us everywhere that we go - yet it never reminds us that even she had a tropical island to escape to when life got a little frazzled!
Jesus, perfect and sinless, took time to sneak away from the crowds and the noise to refocus and refresh. And His word tells us that he did it often. The God of the universe, the creator of all that we see and all that we are, knew that his human body, mind and spirit needed a break once in a while.
So why should we be any different? Jesus tells us to follow his example; to do as he did. If he took time away from his ministry to seclude himself and be refreshed, to re-focus, and to reconnect with God his Father - how much MORE should we, in our frailness and humanity, need to do the same thing?
I long to see you so that ... you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
When Wonder Woman flew her invisible plane back to Themyscira, she was not alone. Instead, she was welcomed back into the fellowship and encouragement of her Amazon sisters.
We need to put down our dishtowels, our car keys and our computers (ahem) and look another woman in the eye and tell them what is going on in our lives. And then when we are done we need to
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today... (Hebrews 3:13)
This weekend did more for me than I can express in words: I was refreshed and encouraged. God's Word felt fresh and I felt him speak to me throughout the weekend. But I was also reminded how good it felt to be in the company of other women. No agendas, no lists, no purpose - other than just being with one another. It was good.
I need to hear their laughter, struggles, ponderings, and victories of other women. I need to share my faith, and questions and dreams with someone else who will understand. And I will go back home and find ways to make it happen. Someway. Somehow.
I encourage you to find a time - somehow, someway to get away for a retreat. Don't see a way? Pray - God will provide (and seeing God provide is a great way to build your faith.)
In the meantime, find some time to do nothing this week. And find a friend to do it with you. You may not have access to a remote lake cabin, but there is a living room couch, or a park bench, or a table at the local coffee shop calling your name. Find it - use it. Laugh, share, cry, pray, love, live...and be encouraged and refreshed.
And, whatever you do, don't forget the chocolate.
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. (Jeremiah 31:25)
When is the last time you were able to get away from it all? How are you making time to block out the world and allow God to speak into your life without distraction. When you pack for your retreat, will you bring milk chocolate or dark?
And just for kicks and giggles...