Tag Archives: abide

Writing & Retreats, Accompanied by Angels

 Sometimes a big idea starts as a small nudge, a whisper you might ignore for the wildness of it all. You carry the dream of an idea around and wonder if someone else is hearing it, too. Then one day you jump in and ask, “Do you have a moment or two to talk about well, Something?”      
     And you make a date at the park, the one where the air show is practicing (’cause you forget when you pick the location that’s it’s August and the Blue Angels are in town) but you picnic anyway.
     And over tuna and chips you blurt out your “what would you think about????” to your bosom friend and she practically shouts (because of all that noise–remember the jets?), “Yes. I’ve been thinking that, too!!”
      And you spill out your thoughts, scribbling fast on paper (because she has four children to manage–all you had to remember was your lunch and your journal) and the dream starts to take shape.What if we did something different? Not to go against the stream, but create our own current?
     What if we found a quiet place for writing and retreating and relationships where women of faith could be encouraged to live into their gifts as Jesus grows in them?
     What if, instead of all the ‘how-to’s we gave away what we know–and Who we know–and wove that into 3 days of writing and listening and practice–and REST?                              
     What would that look like?  What would we call it?  You dub it ‘Abide’ and now that it’s named, it’s really happening….and oh….Jesus, we expect you to show up, big time.
     You find the Holy Spirit had been speaking to you both—for many, many months–about the same word–Abide. Through the same Scripture passages–John 15.  And you talk about what that might look like–a session on Lectio Divina (a phrase you’ve never heard but want to know more about) and maybe practicing poetry–even pantoums.
     And you share your passion about Writing as a Spiritual Practice–just listening to Jesus in the woods with your journal and pen and some questions.
     Then you plan and you pay and pray and you meet and over many more lunches (noisy ones, there’s all these kids…) and you cry for the connection and the peace that God is bringing with the little band of 12 women God has put together.
     Then you ask for someone to help you lead the worship and one of the attendees is a stellar guitar player and you practice (more than once) and the glory comes down like a kiss from Heaven that says, “Yes!” again.

And you know Jesus is up to something. 
Something big. As big as the sky with the angels above the trees in the blue you can’t see the end of.

And you thank God for your friend Kimberlee.
 
And you tremble in your boots at the big God that whispered the nudge
in all it’s wild goodness.
And you fly.
~~~~~~~
After eighteen months of prayer and planning, 
my friend Kimberlee Conway Ireton and I are heading over to the 
Cascade Mountains in Washington this weekend to scope out the setting for ABIDE.
This is our first writer’s retreat for women of faith,
a place of rest and relationship,
borne of a little dream from our big God.
You’ll come? 

Sharing a Dream–‘Abide’ Writer’s Retreat

A Retreat for Women Writers of Faith
 
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain.”                                                   –John 15

When I first met my friend Kimberlee she had just returned from a writer’s retreat in Texas.  While we drank tea and ate sandwiches, she began to share a vision with me about a smaller, more intimate, restful kind of true writer’s retreat. You know what, it might look like if SHE were in charge.

God had been stirring a desire in my heart for the very same thing, but I held onto my Big Idea for awhile. I wanted to give it time…was this really you, God?

Then last summer I popped the question–What if? What if we did just that–started small and created a quiet, relaxed retreat for women writers? Provided space to write and rest, to pray and worship, to connect at a heart level with other like-minded creatives, and to enjoy the beauty of the natural world.

And most of all, what if we allowed the space–physically and spiritually–to tune into what the Holy Spirit might be speaking into our lives?
‘ABIDE’ IS THE FRUIT OF THAT DREAM

In October, we will be heading into the Cascade Mountains for a weekend at Grunewald Guild, a retreat center outside Leavenworth, Washington. We have room for 17 other women to come with us, and I would absolutely love it if one of those women was you.

We’ll be meeting from Friday, October 16th at 4 pm till Sunday, October 18th at noon

at the Grunewald Guild. (You can check out their website to see photos of the campus and the rooms: Grunewald Guild.)

Many times the words of John 15 are are hard to believe, especially when we don’t see the fruit we want to see. In such moments it is easy to shrivel up inside ourselves and our disappointment and pain. Instead, we need to keep clinging to the vine —because God is infinite possibility, and only by abiding in Him can we also dwell in possibility.

Over the weekend we’ll ponder this, reflect on ways to abide in Christ, worship together, share stories, write, make art, laugh, cry, and rest.
Kimberlee and I will be leading some small groups—very small, there will only be 24 of us altogether—modeling various writing practices. We look forward during this time to having other people share as God leads as well.
The cost for the weekend (room, board, art supplies) is $229.00.

$100.00 is required to reserve your spot.

If you have questions or want more information about the retreat, please don’t hesitate to ask! Just shoot me an email back, and I will happily answer your questions.

Will you please prayerfully consider coming? I would dearly love to have you there.
~~~~~~~~~~
A note about Kimberlee—she lives in Seattle, is a writer and blogger, mom of four and has a wicked sense of humor.

Her two books are ‘Circle of Seasons—finding God in the Church Year’ and ‘Cracking Up—A Postpartum Faith Crisis’. Her website is http://www.kimberleeconwayireton.net/