“Can’t you feel a tug, a yearning to sink down into the silence and solitude of God? Don’t you long for something more? Doesn’t every breath crave a deeper, fuller exposure to his Presence?” (Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline)
I, Katie, have always been someone who has identified with the importance of cultivating spiritual practices in my life. I’ve always considered myself a reflective, contemplative person. I thrive in places of solitude, prayer, meditation. My whole being craves those spaces to more intentionally place myself in God’s presence. I remember times of solitude walking around Como Lake and sitting on a bench to savor the quiet. I remember a solitude retreat at a Catholic Retreat center and the time I had to walk, be quiet, read, journal. It’s hard to find those times away! More so now, as a mom and a wife it feels.
I was so thankful for the opportunity to go away on a retreat with my family and others from our mission staff. It wasn’t quite a solitude retreat, but it was a life-giving, contemplative retreat. We had times together to play as a family; Julio and I had times to be together without the kids; we had times together as a staff to share and reflect; and I had time to savor solitude. For the past couple weeks I had been feeling “dry” both physically and spiritually. I miss having bodies of water around – a lake, the ocean, a mighty river, etc. The water has always been a place for me to go and be refreshed, to be renewed. The mountains in Medellin are beautiful, but I miss the water. So, I soaked up every moment possible by the ocean, listening to the waves, feeling the sand and water between my toes.
I was so thankful for the presence of friends and of Pastor Bob Anderson from Redeemer Covenant in California who came and spent some time talking with us about “traveling mercies.” It was good for my soul to have time to hear God’s word and to be asked reflective questions. It was also good for my soul to be able to share where I’m at and how my team can pray for me. Both Julio and I came away feeling supported and refreshed.
As I come back to reality, there is still a hunger, a longing to be more attentive to God’s presence in my life. To incorporate the disciplines of solitude, contemplative prayer, meditating on the Scriptures more intentionally into my daily life. It’s easy to go, go, go – but I need to find times to stop and listen and reflect.
See more retreat pictures here.