Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Retreat

Missouri River, eastern border of Ponca State Park, NE
Rest, Refreshment, Restoration—
Body, Spirit, and Soul

“‘…you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me! I will let you find me,’ says the Lord. Jeremiah 29:12-14 nasb


For nine months I have been going non-stop. The last ten days have been no exception…that is until my husband and I arrived at our favorite annual event. This was my husband’s 7th year to volunteer at the Missouri River Outdoor Expo weekend at Ponca State Park in northeast Nebraska. It gave us pause in the midst of our chaotic whirlwind life of late to review, reflect, and renew our bodies, spirits, and souls.

Turkey family outside of our cabin

On Friday, while my husband did what he loves—being outside and teaching kids—I immersed myself into Lord’s word. I relaxed into the Father’s embrace like I haven’t done in months. I shut out the world and turned my heart toward God.


“Cease striving and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 nasb

Like Elijah (1 Kings 19), I needed to get away…to retreat to a quiet, safe place. The park provided that, as did my understanding husband. My to-do-lists were not permitted in. All worries were locked out. And God spoke to me in His still, small voice, a soft calming whisper.

After a couple of hours of reading His word and writing out my prayers, the perfect weather drew me out of the cabin. As I walked up and down the rolling hills and breathed in the fresh air, I prayed. I gave thanks for the beautiful surroundings. I praised the Lord for the opportunity. And I felt the tension slide from my shoulders, down my arms, and out through my fingertips.

“…Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. 
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls…” Jeremiah 6:16 nlt


Making Gourmet S'mores
Cooking Pizza in Pie Irons
Saturday, however, provided a different relaxation. Instead of staying alone with the Lord, I joined my husband and the thousands of people attending the weekend event. As he assisted with the kids’ cook-off—S’mores for the younger group and “pie iron” pizza for the older—I took pictures and talked to the participants and their parents. The creativity of these youngsters was awesome and brought joy to my soul. I could tell some had watched a few cooking shows…as they “plated” for appearance!

Besides the kids’ cook-off events, the Lord lifted my heart by encouraging me to assist my outdoor-cooking-husband. You see, cooking is his thing—whether inside or outside—but for me it’s a chore. Nevertheless, it delighted my spirit and soul to be his supportive “helpmate.”

The two days of rest, relaxation, and refreshment, renewed my whole being as well as my husband’s. We both returned home recharged and ready to take on the tasks of life. It strengthened our resolve to stay in the race and fight the good fight.

I encourage everyone to periodically “retreat” and go to where you can truly get recharged. The place or activity of retreats needs to fit the individual. What works for one person, might not work for the other—aka married couples. In order for this past weekend to work for both of us, we needed to understand one another’s requirements for recharging, and then give each other the space to do it.

What would be your perfect weekend retreat to recharge your batteries?

Wilbur from Famous Dave's watches as pizza is judged