Inside peek at my new Mini. Isn't that fun?!
Hi there, friends.
So, I'm going to start chronicling for you the story of what happened on my 5-day silent retreat in May. In some ways, it's a simple story with a very clear focal point. But in other ways, it has layers.
Accordingly, I think I'm going to tell the story in short installments, first as a way to mark out the high points and small moments for myself, but also to "take you along on the journey" that I experienced along the way. Sound good?
So, here goes.
Since this was intended to be a silent retreat, that meant there was intention going into it for there to be no talking, no human interaction, and no internet or TV distractions during my time away, save two exceptions. The first exception was a daily, one-hour session scheduled with a spiritual director in order to talk through how the retreat was going for me, where God was being present (or not present) to me, and how I was responding to that. The second exception, since I was traveling alone and staying alone in a location five hours from home, were nightly text messages to Kirk letting him know I was still alive and okay. :-)
As for where I stayed, I have a good friend named Jenni who owns the yellow beach house on Captiva Island where we took Kirsten and James in January when they visited us from Seattle. During vacation season, the very cute and comfortable home functions as a rental for people coming to stay on the island. But Jenni's greatest hope and intent for the house, beyond its vacation rental use, is for it to become a place of ministry, healing, and retreat for others. She and her husband were so gracious to allow me to stay there for the purpose of my retreat. Such a wonderful gift and treat!
So on the first day of my retreat, a Sunday, I loaded up the car with my supplies for the week and began the 5-hour southwest pilgrimage over to Captiva Island.
On the drive there, having decided in advance the silence would not begin until I arrived at my destination, I blared Paramore from my stereo and sang loudly along. :-) I could feel the slow disconnection from any other obligation descending as I drove. It felt a bit scandalous to be releasing myself from any other concern or task or duty than simply sinking into this time away with God and what emerged between the two of us.
And then, about 45 minutes out from the island, I popped a Kari Jobe album into my CD player and began to prepare my heart. Stay tuned to hear what happened next, especially as it concerned my expectations for the week . . .