Have you taken a weekend for your spiritual health? I recently enjoyed a 24 hour spiritual renewal weekend and wanted to share some ideas for anyone thinking about doing one. All of us, as believers, should be doing this regularly.
Psalm 23, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul..."Do I really need it?" YES. "Isn't my daily quiet time enough?" NO! " I'm not a Pastor, I don't need to have a spiritual getaway." Yes, you do, and you deserve it! Some of us get regular quiet times in the morning and count that as enough. Some of us Moms, laugh and think, "when and how could I ever get away for 24 hrs. alone, I can't even go to the bathroom without being needed!" Sometimes money is an issue and we pass the opportunity up. But all these pale in comparison to the truth that we are in a battle daily with an enemy who does not want us to succeed. Getting away alone for an extended period of time - Just you and Jesus - is important to refresh, restore and refocus! God's Word is true, "Without vision my people perish." He desires to lead you beside still waters, to renew your soul, but if you never stop or never take a moment out to follow Him to the pastures you might miss your refreshing! Take time out of your routine and enjoy a weekend alone with Jesus. Getting refreshed will do wonders for your service to others in every area, as well as, take off burdens and un-necessary baggage you may have added to yourself that Jesus never intended for you to carry!
*If you can't take a weekend, take 24 hours, if you can't get 24 hours right now, take four and just be alone those four hours with no other distractions or interruptions! But try for an extend period! It will refresh you and bless everyone you have in your life!
* Make it Fun, Easy and Affordable so that you can do it often. If you have a family - make sure it's a fun weekend for them too! I wanted to stay in our home for my renewal weekend, so the boys took a GUYS Weekend and went on a ropes course, bike riding and stayed in a hotel - father son bonding time. On the other hand, if you go away, create some fun things for your family to do while you are gone. Buy a new puzzle or board game for them, movie/pizza night, special lunch out or whatever fits your budget. (It's like counseling, most couples who need it can't find the money for it because it's not a priority. When we know its value and how it will help us we will make it a priority and find the resources.) We might not be able to get away every four weeks, but we can find ways to carve out getaways that are affordable and if it's a priority we will find the means and the way! Your getaway will be unique. My husband's spiritual weekend looks very different from mine. He prefers camping or going somewhere to get into nature. For me, I like the comfort of home or a hotel. Whatever makes it fun and easy on everyone. If it's not fun and easy, someone will dread it, and the frustration will keep you from doing it again!
* Idea for getting started: Write each one of your roles/jobs/title on a separate piece of paper. (For me I had things like, mom, missionary, wife, teacher, student etc.) Throughout your time ask the Lord what it is He wants for you to be doing in each role. What are some goals, what are things you are doing you don't need to be doing. Write down things you hear the Lord speak, or scriptures that help you focus on how to accomplish that role. You can even ask for God to help you prioritize your roles. You may have 6-8 that are all important, but not all a priority at this time. Adjust as He shows you. For me, I thought I was ready to move in a different direction, but the Lord showed me my number one priority was different than I expected. When we know what we are called it can keep us from jealousy of others because we know we are right where we are supposed to be. If you find you are jealous of someone else doing what you want to be doing - your priorities might be out of whack. When we know our purpose, we are content and focused on our job and it keeps us from looking at everyone else and being jealous of what they are doing. You will find refreshing as you take on only what God has given you to deal with!
* Let the Lord speak to you through every sense and mode. I like to listen to worship music, hang out in the sun reading my Bible, time in prayer, and some time journaling. Take markers and art work if you like - some of my friends make incredible artwork when resting in the Lord and learning in His Word. We are created so uniquely - just take whatever makes you come alive and enjoy it with Jesus, reconnect with the Lover of Your Soul. The world zaps us of energy. The very ones we love the most get a worn out model, unless we get refreshed with Jesus on a regular basis. This weekend I also watched a speaker on the role of moms and wives. A few Bible Studies on Philippians and James. Take a few resources with you that can help you dig your roots deep into God. Be careful not to fill your entire time listening or taking in from someone else, though. You want to hear the Lord and His Word. And each time you get away you might have a different focus or reason for getting away, so be easy and flexible and know what your goal is for the weekend.
* Obviously if you don't have connection to the outside world it's better. Forget facebook, news, the phone, except for emergency etc.
* Do things you enjoy: Just do it alone with God, filling up your heart and Spirit the way God made you. It also depends on the season your in. Is it a weekend you really need direction or is it a weekend to seek the Lord in prayer for something, or is it a weekend to just refresh and enjoy the Lord. Ultimately, we want to be with Jesus, hear from Him, grow in our spiritual walk and refresh who we are! This weekend for me was different than others. I needed time to just be me, time to reflect, listen and rejuvenate. But I also wanted specific strategies to help me fight off the enemies attacks and to be more aware of what they are so I could be ready for them.
The number one thing is: Just Do It - make it happen, take an extended time period away from everything and just be with Jesus, the more you do it the more natural it will be become. Each time will be unique! Try it soon!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!