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Tonight, I’m going to our church’s Encounter retreat. The church hosts them a couple of times a year to facilitate healing and spiritual growth.  Anyone attending our church is welcome to go. I’m anticipating the Holy Spirit to move among us.  I’m really looking forward to getting away for a little bit.  Truth be told, my ideal retreat would be just to go somewhere by myself.  I’d stay at a hotel.  Alone.  I’d eat.  Alone.  I’d do activities or not – you guessed it – alone.  Some of my mom friends will understand that.  I’m not anti-family or anything.  It’s that sometimes you can lose your sense of self when you’re always “on”.  Getting away from distractions and obligations can help you hear God’s still, small voice better and gain some focus.

I forget what movie it was, but a husband, wondering if his wife was wandering from him, asked his wife if she was seeing someone else.

Taking care of several children, exasperated, she cried, “Seeing someone else?!  I just want to eat a sandwich and drink a Sprite.  Alone.  That’s my ideal date.”

That sums it up.

I think getting away from the normal routine is a good thing.  We appreciate what we have more.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or something like that.  A little space, a little time apart help us gain perspective.

For me personally, I need some clarification.  I need confirmation.  I wouldn’t say no to some refreshing as well.  I pray my fellow attendees and presenters have a great time, hanging out and getting what they need, too. And someone else is cooking and cleaning up.  Huzzah!

Today, as I packed (this time I won’t forget a towel!) and cleaned most of the house, I prayed the Lord would clean out my spirit to be ready for the next thing, even as I make the house  ready for my family.

A friend of mine says he thinks of retreats in military terms.  Like, “We’re going to retreat now. The enemy is too strong for us. Back to the keep.  But we’re not losing the war!”  I confess I’ve never thought of it that way.  I think of retreat as getting to a safe place, so maybe getting to a secure location resonates.  I remember David, hiding out in the caves with his mighty men, resting and lying low for a while. He didn’t move again until he heard from the Lord. It’s not about giving up, but about regrouping and rejuvenating.  It’s a short season.  Even Jesus took time away to be alone with the Father.  Then back to business.

It’s time.

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