Take a Personal Retreat

In this issue:

This is for anyone who has ever wished they could escape from regular life for just a few days; a personal retreat is calling your name! A getaway with God is a time to pull away, refresh, and renew. But where does someone start? Author Letitia Suk makes a guest appearance to explain how her own personal retreat turned into a ministry of helping others plan their own getaways. We talk about how it has changed her life and the lives of others.




Inspired Life: It Isn't a Girls Weekend

In this episode, I interviewed Letitia Suk, author of Getaway with God: The Everywoman's Guide to Personal Retreat. I think the idea of a personal retreat sounds fantastic. But I often wonder where I could begin. In her book, Letitia (Tish) gives ideas for the entire process. I'll talk more about that in the resources section at the end of this issue, but for now, let's focus on why we need a getaway sometimes.

This is different from a girls weekend where you go away with friends. That is fun, and it's an escape, but it isn't always refreshing. Have you ever felt as if you needed a vacation after a vacation? That's how a weekend with friends can be with crafting and shopping and scheduled activities. But a getaway with God is personal. Even if you go away with friends to do a group getaway, most of the time is spent by yourself with God.

For some, it's a weekend planned for spiritual renewal. For others it's a time to physically rest and just be with God.

It's important to note that a getaway is not for super-spiritual people who want some sort of "nun for a day" experience, as Tish puts it. But it isn't a vacation either. Tish says, "For a day or two, you check yourself into a place to rest, pray, listen to God, feel his love, take a walk, and enjoy a nap or two" (p. 21). This restores a soul in a way that no chocolate or mocha frappuccino can!

Tish gives some ideas for where to go, what to pack, what to do, and how to personalize it for your needs. I don't think we need to be convinced any more of how much we need it, but in the next section, let's look at how it benefits us and changes us to have personal time away.

Find Letitia Suk on Facebook 




Life, Repurposed: Soul Renewal 

In episode 18 and episode 19, I have mentioned Sabbath. It has become a theme! So it's no surprise that Letitia talked about it too. It's something she also talked about in Getaway with God and also in her book Rhythms of Renewal.

But a personal retreat is something special that is more than just a weekly break from our work. It's more intentional. Letitia also covered all of the objections we might have that stand in the way of just doing it. Fear is a biggie. But finding time is the most often mentioned. Um. Yeah. So here's how it goes: I have no margin in my life, and no time for anything. I know I just need a retreat. But I have no time for a retreat.

Get it? That very objection is a sign we need it!

In order to help the readers understand how much it benefitted her to take a retreat, Letitia includes her own journey in the book. She emphasizes that the idea of doing a retreat at home to save money doesn't usually work out. Trading homes with someone else might be an option, since it's easier to ignore someone else's to-do list than it is our own. But getting away where you can have uninterrupted time is important! And you're worth the price of spending money on spiritual renewal! [Disclaimer: I am not responsible for women who claim Michelle Rayburn advocated for breaking the bank on a spiritual retreat. 😉 I'm advocating for you figuring out what fits in your own budget, but to also not squash the whole idea just because of budget.]

Letitia has been doing personal retreats for more than 35 years. She says, "Time after time, year after year, I came away filled with a renewed sense of purpose, clarity of vision, trust in God's ability to untie all the knots in my life, and an overwhelming sense of being loved." She has had personal retreats help her get unstuck and find direction.

That's life, repurposed. It's when we press the reset button and figure out a way to experience something more fulfilling than the stuff that weighs us down. Repurposed life shows up whenever we spend time letting God make some improvements in us!

Recommended Resources 

Getaway with God: The Everywoman's Guide to Personal Retreat by Letitia Suk

In the book, Letitia asks:

  • Are you weary of the rush to the next day?
  • Do you feel stretched edge to edge?
  • Are you overbooked and overwhelmed?
  • Do you rarely leave room for margin in which to refuel?
  • Do you long for time to just be with God?

If you raised your hand on any of those (I did), then this book is a great place to start.

From the back of the book:

Does spending time with God sound like just one more thing to check off an ever-increasing to-do list? How are you supposed to fit in anything that threatens to be more time-consuming? Too often there's simply no room to experience the intimacy, grace, and peace that God offers us.

Getaway with God does more than invite you to step away from life's pressures to take a personal retreat. It shows you exactly why you must--for your sake and for your family's.

With grace and warmth, Letitia Suk provides step-by-step guidance and the necessary tools to enable any woman on any budget to plan time away, whether it's a quick, half-day break or a weeklong time of restoration. You'll find detailed steps for preparation, including descriptions of different kinds of retreats and how to choose the best one for you, and you'll learn ways to bring the renewal you experience home with you. Practical appendixes identify retreat centers nationwide and provide exercises and prayers to kick-start your getaway with God.

No matter what your season in life, the time for retreat is now!

I highly recommend this resource!

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(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book. ) *This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.

Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.

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This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.

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