“The Women’s Retreat last weekend focused on Isaiah 30, and one verse that resonated with me was verse 15: “For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said: ‘You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence’.” It’s no secret that we live in a world of busyness where more action is encouraged as the solution to whatever challenges we face. “Top 10 Tips to Increase Your Productivity!” is the type of headline bombarding us. The world’s response to this constant stress and stimulation is selfish indulgence: “Making Me-Time a Priority” or “8 Binge-Worthy Shows on Netflix.” But what if there was a better way than these two extremes?
At our retreat—from the speakers to the small groups and from the worship to the panel discussion—we were consistently pointed to God’s truth: He designed us to work to His glory and to rest in Him; these concepts aren’t in conflict, rather in tandem. At the retreat we talked about biblical self-care: to acknowledge our limitations, to be reminded of our dependency of God, and to seek His direction in ordering our days and lives in ways that honor God and are holistic (considering the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional aspects of life). My response in the time since has been to switch some things around, like picking my Bible up more and putting my phone down (this isn’t easy!). I’m also trying to read a little bit every day with my three daughters and to get more than 6 hours of sleep each night because even sleep is a reminder that I’m not invincible, and God created us to have healthy rhythms. I was encouraged, challenged, and refreshed at the retreat and am so grateful for this church and the women I was able to connect with.”
“The Men’s Retreat [at the end of September] was a great time! Thomas Road Outpost is a beautiful location with very nice facilities and great food. The weekend was an excellent balance of studying what it means to be a Christian man, participating in small group prayer, and outdoor adventure. It was a safe atmosphere that encouraged men to let down their guard and be open about the problems we face as fathers, brothers, and husbands, helping us to fulfill Paul’s calling in Galatians 6:2 to share one another’s burdens. This world discourages such openness between men, but it is a critical step in receiving the peace of Jesus. The short time there showed me that there is a tremendous need in our body for men’s fellowship. Looking forward to the next men’s retreat!”