Sunday, February 2, 2020

How To Take A Spiritual Retreat - Part Three

You have said, Seek My face,inquire for and require My presence as your vital need. My heart says to You, Your face,Your presence, Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require of necessity and on the authority of Your Word. Psalm 28:7 AMPC

For part one of this series click here.
For part two of this series click here.

I began this three part series by sharing about a recent personal spiritual retreat that I took during a time of spiritual depletion and inner weariness. In part one I shared some of the symptoms of spiritual depletion. In part two of this series, I shared some practical tips on why you may want to take a personal spiritual retreat, how to take one and what to do on a retreat such as this. Today, in the final post in this series I want to share about how to build times of personal spiritual retreat into your normal life.

When we were a young married couple my husband was still in college during the day, worked swing shift in the evenings and volunteered in our church on the weekends. We lived one town over from the town where everyone we knew lived and we had only one car. I was home alone with our first baby much of the time and began to resent my husband for my loneliness. I was under the mistaken impression that once I got married my husband would meet all of my needs and I would never be lonely again. Our pastor may have saved our marriage with one simple statement he made - "If another human being could meet all of your needs, then you wouldn't need God."  His comment spurred me to begin what would become a lifelong journey of getting to know God as my intimate friend. I remember praying as I rocked my baby, reading my Bible when she napped and singing in worship as I spooned baby food into our little brown eyed baby's mouth. Back then, I didn't have quiet mornings to pray and read my Bible and journal. But, what I did have was a desperate and determined heart. I was going to seek God in every available moment I could find. Much of the time my baby girl was right there with me. I like to think that perhaps her lifelong journey of getting to know God grew from those seeds planted in her heart as an infant. Whether you are in the early child raising years or you are driving teens to all of their extracurricular activities, whether you are neck deep in a demanding career or caring for aging parents, there will always be things that make taking time to seek God difficult. But, if you are desperate and determined, you will find a way. You can't afford not to. You need God's help and wisdom to raise your children, to deal with the responsibilities of your job and to care for your aging parents. Ask God to show you where and how to find time to spend with Him. I'm confident that if you ask God for His help He will show you a way where there seems to be no way.

Here are some practical things that have helped me find time for moments of personal spiritual retreat in the middle of my busy life:
I kept my Bible, journal, pens, etc. in a book bag so I could take it with me wherever I had to go. I began to anticipate the challenge of finding stolen moments to spend with the lover of my soul-during lunch break at work, while waiting for an appointment to begin...five minutes here, ten minutes there.

I would leave for work early enough so I had time to grab a coffee and then I would sit in my car in the parking lot of the school I worked at for five or ten minutes reading some scripture and praying over my day.

I would do "double duty" by getting my exercise, walking for an hour, while listening to worship music via earphones and praying. You could always tell when I was really praying with intensity because the harder I was praying the faster I walked!

I started getting up earlier. In 2016 my word for the year was LISTEN. I told God that I desired to grow in hearing His voice and heeding what He said. Previously, I was neither an early bird nor a night owl. I always preferred to wake up between seven and seven thirty and to go to bed between ten and eleven. Suddenly, I began waking up at five or five thirty, wide awake and alert and eager to see what God wanted to speak to me through His Word. And that's the way it's been ever since! 

I would go on "Jesus dates."  In a marriage, getting out of the routine and taking time to go on dates together helps keep the spark alive. In my walk with God, I can get into a rut as well. Sometimes, to get out of my rut, I like to change things up by grabbing my Bible bag, buying a coffee, and finding a lovely spot to spend time with God. I think God honors our desire to be intentional and purposeful about wanting to spend time with Him and meets us in a very real way when we are purposeful about seeking Him.

Whatever season you are in-whether you are like me, an empty nester, who has a very supportive husband who encouraged me to go away for a three day personal spiritual retreat or whether you are like the younger me, home alone with littles with no way that you can have long stretches of time alone with God, God promises to be found by those Who will seek Him. He wants to be known by you, He wants to be your intimate friend, He wants to reveal Himself to you as the lover of your soul. It's a lifelong journey worth taking that you can begin today.


  1. Your post is so full of excitement for a love of God. Beautiful, inspiring words. I do keep my Bible on my computer desk so I don't forget, but love your idea of go have a coffee and read. I do love the mornings that I can sit out back at the table and read so Spring and Sunny warm days are always so anticipated. Thank you for sharing your retreat.

    1. I look forward to the warmer weather as well. Devotions outside is lovely!


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