Retreating & Resting

With three rental homes between Missouri and Minnesota, we found ourselves homeless.  

The house in Minnesota was our permanent dwelling for twenty years, and the other two, in Missouri, we’ve lived in, back and forth, for the past four years as we remodeled.  Now they are all rented out.

Thankfully, November 2014, the week before Thanksgiving, we headed north to spend the winter at a friend’s cabin.  They graciously provided us with a temporary shelter, until we could figure out the next step in the adventure of our journey called LIFE.

As ministers, we were burnt out.  Between involving ourselves serving in various Christian ministries over the years, and remodeling houses for the past six, we were exhausted and disillusioned.  It was time to get away.

Sleeping in, reading, watching movies, and exploring the small seniorized towns of northern Minnesota was our main activity for two months.  Asking God for direction, reenergizing, healing, and clarity was our goal.

My best revelations, and answers to questions, came as I began to find an early morning routine, while it was still dark.  Journaling my encounters with God, and sharing insights and encouraging articles with others on social media, helped me document and reference these life changing moments.

I’ve taken time for ME, to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, without schedules or expectations from anyone.

I’ve read and studied many books on watercolor painting, bought supplies, and experimented with several techniques.  What a great creative outlet.  I LOVE IT!

I’ve read several books on homesteading, sustainable living, regenerative earth stewardship (Fields of Farmers, by Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms), and the possibilities of simple dwellings as in the current Tiny House craze.

I began volunteering at the local food shelf and thrift store, once a week, just to have some social interaction and help in the small, but thriving, tourist community.

As our time in this lakeside cabin is coming to an end, I am truly rejuvenated and ready to explore the possibilities before us; maybe taking a truck camper to spend a few months in Redding, CA, motorcycle rides in the west coast mountains, a visit to see my  two year old grandson in Washington, or adventures in Alaska?

“A man’s heart plans his way, but The Lord directs his steps (if you let Him).”  Proverbs 16:9 NKJV – Italics mine.  

I’m not 100% sure what we will be doing the rest of 2015, but as we make time to “be still and know He is God,” it will become clear.

Following is a timely devotional I read this week.  It put everything in perspective, calmed my fear of the unknown, and confirmed some insights.  May you find peace as you GET AWAY!

– Kathleen

Time to Get Away

Mark reports that “while it was still dark,” our Savior had a habit of heading to a “solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35). Evidently Jesus felt the need to fellowship with his heavenly Father in an undistracted setting. In like fashion, for you and me to hear where the Lord is leading us in our journey, to have the ability to commune with him without interruptions, we must get away from the “noise” of our lives, with its endless eye candy and diversions.

This is easier said than done. Almost anywhere you go these days there are televisions cackling away in a corner. From the TVs in our homes, to the multiple TV screens hanging from ceilings in restaurants, to the TV in our pockets on our cell phones, it’s difficult to escape the constant stream of entertainment. Nevertheless, we have this example of Jesus who went to a solitary place to hear from God.

Elsewhere Mark notes, “After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray” (Mark 6:46). Luke writes, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). What’s more, sometimes Jesus “spent the night praying to God” (Luke 6:12). Are you seeing a pattern here? Our Elder Brother wisely leveraged quiet places to hear from God the Father and fellowship with him.

I’m not necessarily suggesting that we have to leave our homes in order to experience solitude — although retreating to the mountains, a state park or a beachside cottage would be a wonderful way to leave behind the noise of this world. That’s not always practical, however. But the isolation necessary to hear from God can exist wherever you are physically. How? By turning off your cell phone, television, radio and any other electronic device that might break your focus.

You might also consider spending time outside, especially during the dark of night or the predawn morning hours. A local park or preserve offers a great place to sit and meditate on the Lord. This time is best spent alone — no spouse, children or friends; no phone contact; no texting. Although the noise of civilization may be around you, such a setting will be much more quiet than your normal routine.

“He Is Not Silent,” a song by Out of the Grey, summarizes our situation: “He is not silent. We are not listening.” Do you really want to experience the Lord’s leading in your career transition? Then recognize that none of us will ever know what his direction is until we nurture a closer relationship with him.

Taken from Why Did I Lose My Job if God Loves Me?  (A daily devotional from the YouVersion Bible App)

Song: He is Not Silent by Into the Grey


2 responses to “Retreating & Resting

  1. Excellent! May your season of rest bring strength and renewal of vision and fervent passion for the life you were made for!


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