Do It For You!
As we are about to kick off our 13th annual Esther by Design Retreat (August 6 – 8), I wish I could describe the excitement that is overflowing within the EBD team, and even the participants that have such great expectation for what the Lord has in store. I often refer to these retreats as a personal investment. Many people mistakenly call our retreats conferences, and I am not offended in the least. However, at times I feel led to take the time to explain why I continue to call these particular gatherings “retreats”. This is a time when we withdraw from our daily grinds, never-ending responsibilities, and personal regimens. Sometimes we go days, weeks, and months tending to the matters that concern us and our families without taking into account that in the midst of it all we have neglected ourselves. Neglect – whether it be physical, mental, spiritual will eventually catch up with you and often at a time when you least expect it. When that happens, you are subjected to a “forced retreat”. Your body begins to shut down, oftentimes due to a compromised immune system. Our bodies and minds are intricately designed by God, but they are not machines. We learn in the gospels that Jesus often went away alone, not just for rest and a change of pace, but to spend time alone and in the presence of His Father. If Jesus saw the need to “retreat”, we should follow His example! Jesus taught, He fed, He nurtured sometimes great masses, but there came a time when He knew He needed to pull away.
Two of the most famous athletes at this time, Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles have demonstrated to the world that their emotional health is more important than worldwide recognition and Olympic medals. Thank God these two incredibly gifted young women “got it” early in life while at the peak of their careers. What a statement their recent decisions have made to the world. But how does that translate to us? Will it be just “breaking news” or the headlines of every media outlet, or will we take what they have done and somehow see how their decisions can become applicable to us as individuals?
I could not have been more perfectly matched with the man I have spent my life with! Although very different in many ways, one thing that we share a great love for is ministry. When we have the opportunity to do ministry together, we find tremendous joy and fulfillment. However, we also have learned that it takes a toll on us physically, mentally, and even spiritually. In very simplistic terms, ministry can be draining when you endeavor to give it 100% — and we feel we owe God and His people just that. We started doing something many years ago when we first began traveling internationally in ministry together. We would plan our trips so that we would minister on the first leg of our journey, and then when ministry was completed, we would spend at least a week or more wherever we were to rest, relax, and have fun! Talk about the perfect end to an intense time of ministry, that is it!
Well, I will end this blog the way I began. It’s Retreat time! As you are reading this blog you still have time to join us for the entire weekend or just a part of it. Don’t miss this perfect opportunity to RETREAT! Don’t you need a refreshing, a rest, a spiritual refueling, some good fellowship, a change of pace? This one’s for you!