The theme for my fall is “Retreat!” I will have participated in five of them by the time Thanksgiving arrives, and I love it!! I’ll be on the giving end of each of these retreats, but I’ve had the blessing of being on the receiving end MANY times! I know that to attend a retreat:
- It takes a ton of preparation – Getting the family cared for in your absence includes meals, schedule juggling, packing, rearranging of normal routines and responsibilities. In other words, it takes HARD WORK!
- It’s often a financial stretcher – There’s usually always a cost involved that you wonder would be better used for something else.
- It’s a sacrifice of time – There’s so much to do and you wonder if your really can afford to take the time to get away. Can we say, Guilt?!
But once you finally get there, all those cares are left in the trunk and you’re at that retreat to get something to help you survive when you return home! I also know it’s easy to get distracted once you plop yourself into the seat in front of a speaker who has been brought there to “bring the goods.” You may begin to worry about home or just wander aimlessly in your thoughts. But there’s a way to deal with that!
Whether you’ve recently attended a retreat, or you have one on your upcoming schedule, let’s answer one question –
How can you make the most of these few short hours at a retreat?
How can you reap from the teaching you will/have received?
- Open your Bible.
At the retreat – Follow the speaker into God’s Word. Read. Mark your Bible. Engage in the sessions.
When you return home – Go back to the Scriptures that were taught. Reread the passages. Ask God to show you Truths He wants you to learn and apply to your life.
- Open your notebook.
At the retreat – Determine to write down important points as you listen. The speaker didn’t make an outline to simply keep you occupied, but to help you learn and digest the Truth. Fill in the blanks they may have given, but also write down quotes or Scripture references that spoke to you.
At one retreat I attended last spring, the speaker had so many good points that I didn’t want to miss that I pulled out my phone and recorded her voice! I also opened up my Notes app and typed things in as she was speaking. That was really helpful!
When you get home – Review those notes a little at a time in your Quiet time – don’t toss that book into the trash or a basket. Highlight things that really spoke to your heart. Add those notes into your Bible, where it’s applicable.
- Open your prayer journal.
At the retreat – Ask God to speak to your heart and hear what He wants you to learn.
When you get home – Write down in your prayer journal things you believe God wants you to obey. This will keep you accountable to the Lord as you open that journal regularly. You might also ask someone else to keep you accountable for those steps of obedience.
You took the time the money and the sacrifice to go to a retreat. Get the most out of those hours away so you might be more of the woman God desires you to be!
What is one truth you’ve gleaned from a retreat that is still in your heart?