Sacred Sojourn

A year ago today I boarded a plane for one of the most transforming five-day adventures of my life.  Tom didn’t come along; neither did any of my kids or my friends.  My destination was a beach but it wasn’t a vacation.  I brought a few changes of clothing, a couple of books, and a boatload of expectation.

Ever since I read Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s classic, “Gift from the Sea,” in an earlier season of my life, I have longed for a chance to go off alone, take stock of where I have been in my life and look ahead to what is next.

Last May, through a confluence of opportunity, provision, and what I could only describe as God’s invitation, I received my own Gift from the Sea.   The five days in God’s exquisite company have shaped every day since then.

What happened there is my story but you have a story waiting to be written too.  The only requirement is to get away, invite God to show up, and be open to respond.

Don’t worry, my first fifty or so personal retreats were 24 hours or less in length.   This was the first time I took a plane or even crossed state lines.  Trust me, a lot can happen in a short amount of time close to home, just not usually AT home.

Here is how to get started:

  1. Choose a day or evening for your personal retreat.
  2. Decide where to go:  Retreat center, hotel, public garden, cabin in the woods.
  3. Determine your primary agenda: Prayer, rest, listen for God, read/study.
  4. Design a loose schedule for your time so it’s not all a blank slate.
  5. Show up with an open heart and expect to encounter God in a deeper than usual way.
  6. Repeat often!

Any relationship benefits from concentrated, consecrated time. Try getting away with God and, in the words of CS Lewis, be “surprised by joy.”

Have you taken a personal retreat?

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3 Responses to “Sacred Sojourn”


  1. 1 Donna May 10, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    i would love to hear more specifically the changes and impact on your life that you refer to in your post! you are one of the most inspiring people I know !


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