Friday, January 28, 2011

Be Still

2011 is still so fresh. 
Our resolutions and hopes have set the first few prints of tracks in the snows of January.
As the snow blows into February and threatens to sweep away the beginning tread we've put in, I still feel sure of where I'm headed, thanks to a weekend this January at The Cove.

Over a snowy Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Neal and I threw a few hoodies and sweatpants into a small suitcase and headed for Lake Geneva, WI.
We'd decided ahead of time that getting away to watch movies, surf hotel cable channels, and lounge around eating Oreos, while it wouldn't be bad, wouldn't be much different than what we do at home on the weekends at our laziest.
So instead of traveling to WI to cozy up and do just what we can do at home, Neal planned a spiritual retreat of sorts for us, knowing the refreshment would be much deeper, besides just being flat out needed to head into 2011 after such a tumultuous 2010 for us.

I read recently that really we shouldn't call such getaways retreats, but rather advances.
 I can't decide now which I think it should be.

Retreat was important: we shut off phones, internet, TV, all media.
And simply rested.
We got away from work and to-do's and people.

But advance happened: we studied chapters of God's word, sought the Lord in prayer, recorded the ways He's been faithful to us in this recent season of trial, read books, found new promises in Scripture to cling to, grieved losses, celebrated hope, planned for the present.

Retreat in order to advance.
There, that seems about right.

Honestly, it was amazing.  Within a matter of hours of no media, we both felt more calm than we had in months.   
Apparently we picked the right weekend, because the hotel was pretty much ours... the pool, the hot tub, the workout room... just us (sweet!).
Our focus in Scripture was on Psalm 31 and James 1... and the Word did not return void.

It was ground-breaking for me in processing how to go forward from here with my health trial, but instead of trying to write it all out here, somehow I'd rather talk about it in person with all of you dear friends.
Phone date, coffee date, pajama pants date?
I hope we get to do that soon!

So for now, a few pictures to remember what I know already will be one of the best parts of all of 2011.

{The Cove}
 

{View from our window}
{Be still}

{The pool}
 
{Walk in the snow}



{Away is a good place to be}
For a little while.
 

I'll sign off with a few verses from the weekend that are still with me as my boot prints cross from January into February.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have it's full effect." 
James 1

"But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.'  My times are in your hand."
Psalm 31

"Oh how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you."
Psalm 31

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ash,
That is so encouraging to hear about your weekend. I'm so thankful to Him that you were blessed by the Lord's presence. Oh how we need His reassuring presence and those indescribable moments in our life. I'm so glad you were spiritually renewed that weekend. I have been praying for you to be encouraged. I'm so thankful God answers.
Alissa

Maria said...

Mmmm. How perfect. I love you.