An Unexpected Advance

A choir director I know used to take his choir on a fall “advance” (instead of a “retreat”) to make progress on the fall’s music.  Usually we think of a retreat as a time to get away or “save yourself,” as in a military retreat. I think all these nuanced ideas work well together: we seek to leave our normal routine, sometimes as a “life-saving” necessity to make progress in areas of our life where we feel stuck. For most of us, these are planned events. I want to tell you the story of a forced retreat.

Read More Post a comment (0)
Please Don’t Break

Please Don’t Break

by Anne Grizzle


After keeping silence together

where the only sounds are the wind’s

whistle, woodpeckers drumming, high

pitched melodic trills from half a mile away,

one’s own heartbeat and soul stirrings,

the Creator’s soft whispered care —

it’s hard to find a word that’s worthy

to break that clearest crystal space.

On Retreat

I find myself frequently and joyfully “on retreat” these days…facilitating them for leaders and teams, guiding them for our own ministry teams, planning them for others on Sabbatical, and engaging in them for myself. No matter what the context or the group, the purpose of a soul care retreat is pretty straight forward: deepening intimacy with Christ.

Read More Post a comment (0)
Forced Desert Retreats

We often think of retreats as times of refreshment, as times when we choose to get away from our normal activities of daily living in order that we might behold God and also examine ourselves and our ways. And that is what retreats usually are.

Read More Post a comment (1)
Retreating to Be, See and Hear

I am on retreat even as I type this. Over the years I have found that I need to pull back from the maddening that is sometimes my life. I have found that retreats have given me an opportunity to schedule time alone to regain my equilibrium. Retreats help me align myself to the presence of God. When I am no longer sensitive to the fact that I’m barking and biting or that my life has again become unmanageable, retreats make space for me to simply “be still and know”.

Read More Post a comment (0)
You *Can* Get There From Here

There are no good ideas in front of me, only colorful sticky notes covered in gibberish.  Pre-writing was not going well this time, but what could I expect after abandoning common sense?

Read More Post a comment (2)
Unhurried Life at Its Best

For many people this summer included  vacations, enrichment tours, hiking trips, or pleasure cruises—all crammed with pressure-packed schedules. What about a day or two of rest and renewal? Personal retreats are just that. But people wonder how to take one.

Read More Post a comment (0)
Admitting the Truth

Okay, I’m coming out of the closet on this one: I don’t like retreats.

Read More Post a comment (0)
Having A Beth Day

It sounds so indulgent. And I suppose it could be. But for me and many who work in people-oriented professions; who have lots of plates spinning; who say yes to more than we should, having a personal day—a “Beth” day, as I call it—is a novel experience.

Read More Post a comment (3)
Babymoon or Marriage Retreat?

First, let me start by saying that I hate that word. Babymoon.  It just sounds antithetical. According to Wikipedia, “The etymology of the word babymoon indicates a private time at home for the parents and their newborn to enjoy their time together. More recently, the travel industry has succeeded in redefining the term to also mean a trip before the birth of a child.” Seriously? You’re going to go on some exotic trip “just the two-and-half of you” to a beautiful place and not be able to enjoy a legitimate pina colada [insert eye roll here]? No, thank you.

Read More Post a comment (0)