Here’s a final idea for a meaningful retreat experience with the Lord…
“Leaving a Legacy of Love” Retreat
Take your Bible, pen and paper (or a laptop computer), and plenty of Kleenex tissues for this retreat. The goal is to think back over your life and recall the most spiritually significant moments that shaped who you are. Make a “spiritual time line” from birth to present and map out the spiritual highs and lows of your life. Ask God to show you these spiritual markers and why He caused or allowed these things to happen. Discern how all these things have worked together for your good and for God’s glory. Seek to understand what your divine purpose in life has been. Then write a letter to your children explaining these events and communicating how the God who carried you through all of these mountaintops and valleys in life will also be the God who carries them through their brightest and bleakest days. Tell them what you hope they’ve learned from you and what you want them to remember after you are gone.
My Great-uncle Dorsey (who was also a pastor) did something like this not long before he died. Using a hand-held tape recorder and cassette tapes, he told stories from his childhood, from his days in World War II, and many of his favorite stories from the pulpit. There are not many family heirlooms treasured more than our own set of Uncle Dorsey’s tapes. Taking time to leave behind this unforgettable legacy of love will speak volumes to your children about your faith in Christ and your love for them. It will strengthen their own faith as well.
As you are planning for your special retreat, don’t forget to take along a few things to make your time alone with God special and pleasurable to you. Here’s a packing list to help you prepare for a memorable retreat:
~ intimate worship or powerful Christian contemporary music and a CD player
~ an aromatic candle and matches
~ bubble bath and a razor to shave your legs
~ facial scrub and fragrant body lotion
~ manicure kit and nail polish
~ duraflame log for a fire in the fireplace if there is one
~ your favorite delicacies (Go for the petite filet mignon and chocolate-covered strawberries!)
~ comfy pj’s, slippers, and your favorite blanket and pillow
~ Bible, a devotional book, a journal, and a pen
~ clothes and shoes to walk in
Anticipate this experience as an exciting date. You are running away with your Lover, not confining yourself to a convent. Be creative and bask in the beauty of intimate time alone with God.
However, let me warn you: Experiencing this incredible pleasure can be very addictive. My annual retreats have turned into far more frequent excursions. No human can meet our deepest needs like God can, nor should he be expected to. My husband doesn’t mind granting me this time away because I come back revived with a renewed sense of joy over being a bride of Christ and a fresh passion for being the wife and mother God has called me to be. I can think of no better way to spend my time.
How about you? Do you need a personal revival and renewed sense of joy? Are you longing for a deeper level of intimacy and fulfillment than a husband can possibly provide? Are you ready to bask in God’s special love for you and relish your role as His chosen bride? If so, carve out some special time and a special place to run away and rendezvous with your heavenly Bridegroom.
Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.