While my family is living in Germany, we are taking every single opportunity to travel.
It is the greatest blessing of being stationed overseas and we are doing our best to embrace it. Our family has had a lot of wonderful adventures and we are looking forward to a whole lot more in the next few months. Travel has taught me again about wonder. It’s reminded me how to observe and celebrate the world and challenged me to take in all the feels new and wondrous.
A few weeks ago, my husband encouraged me to take some time away. I don’t get much time to myself. Being a mom requires most of my head space and there is little escape for wondering and reflecting.
I hesitated for all of the reasons that it is hard to go on retreat. It’s hard to claim that time for yourself and value that time as a priority among all the other things for which you are responsible. Nonetheless, I took the invitation and planned a weekend away in Cologne. It was there that I started to daydream about some downloadable retreat guides.
Retreats are so often a big expense requiring a continuing education fund, childcare and time. It’s hard to find all of these things and I want there to be something that I possible to find rest and renewal for an afternoon in a beautiful place that might be be so far away. I started daydreaming about this in Lent and so I started with gardens thinking particularly about Holy Week but as summer is approaching I started having ideas about the beach.
I wanted each retreat to be grounded in a place that could be explored so that there would be an opportunity to be fully immersed in the wonder of this place. There would be echoes from scripture tied to reflections and prayers. Most importantly I wanted there to be full sensory experiences to be had in that place because I know that I struggle with what to do once I’m on retreat.
Now that I have this time, what do I do with it? How do I pray? What if I don’t feel like praying? What if I can’t push past the to do list that awaits me at home? How do I allow myself to be fully present?
Each retreat provides a series of opportunities to experience the place with your whole heart and usually your hands. This has been my very favorite part to write and it’s so hard to focus on finishing and releasing these two retreat resources as I’m already drafting resources to retreat to:
There might be more possibilities and I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me especially for places near your home that would be ideal for a retreat. Though I’m imagining this resource to be used at one time, perhaps over a few days, it could be something you return to again and again over time. To that end, the resource doesn’t indicate where to start or how to navigate through these offerings. I hope instead that you take what you need when you need it. One of these meditations or prayer practices might speak to you in the moment where another might be something you pick up weeks or months into the future when you return to this place of retreat for new discovery.
My deepest hope that these retreats offer what I’m still finding with each family adventure. There is something wonderful here that might help me to know myself and my God better. I can only pay attention and open myself to wonder.
I cannot wait to share these resources which I hope will be a gift to you this summer even for a morning of reprieve.
When these gifts finally release, which I hope will be soon, I’ll share the good news on Prayer Threads and offer a discount code for subscribers to my Holy Threads shop on Dandelion Marketplace.