Monday, November 26, 2012

Soul Rest: Retreating to the Heart of Life

I'm very excited to have a gift for you all today! I've written an ebook titled Soul Rest: Retreating to the Heart of Life. It's a short guide to making a retreat right in the busy heart of life, where we live up to our elbows in diapers and clutter and phone calls and demands. Right where we are.

a Bible
comfy pajamas
a candle or tea light
a match
grown up bubble bath (no princesses on the label)
a few bags of herbal tea
at least two packets of instant Starbucks Via or other coffee
your favorite mug
a small, pretty notebook

The book is an outline of a weekend, Friday evening to Sunday morning, carved out and set aside for a personal retreat. I wrote this because a friend of mine went on an organized retreat a few months ago, and I was so jealous! As soon as she told me about it I knew it was something I wanted to do, but it isn't offered again for months. I think taking time to withdraw and refocus is so important, for all of us, no matter our age or denomination. So, the guide. It's like all the good stuff, but with snacks and no strangers. In it you'll find spiritual practices that are a part of my own life. Practices that help me slow down and listen to the small voice. Check out the first page below to learn a little more.

 To download a copy, just LIKE me on Facebook and click on the SOUL REST tab. See you there!

Dear Lovely,

This little guide is just for you. I know that you’re tired and stressed and up to your eyeballs in diapers and dirty laundry that seem to multiply if you turn your back. I’m SO there. In fact, as I was trying to jot down my ideas for this ebook one baby snuck into my bathroom and splashed in the toilet, and the other one climbed into bed so she could write with me. There was a lot of stopping, starting, and deep breathing.

I know you understand how I feel, and that’s why you need to retreat. There’s no shame or weakness in that, none at all. Self care is biblical. Even Jesus withdrew for times of quiet reflection. Life is busy and loud and urgent, and the still small voice is, well, so very small. All the things we love, our children, our homes, our church, our community, our jobs, can completely smother that quiet whisper before we even miss it.

“Where are you God?” I wonder then. “Have you slipped away to greener pastures, to commune with better, more reverent souls?” Then, if I’m not careful, the busy calls again and I’m off chasing all the shoulds and oughts and wishes, and I forget the voice altogether. It’s so hard to remember when there’s so much pulling for my attention.

One of my friends went on a retreat a few months ago. It was organized and lasted several days. She had an awesome experience there, in a place designed for resting and sitting and waiting. There was no phone or internet or TV. There were no video games or movies. There were only trees and birds and blue lake and wide sky. It was a place where she could shake off all the stuff piled on top of the small voice and hear again.

We all need that. Quiet spaces. Margin. To just sit. To wait. To rest. To let things fall away, and to see what resurfaces. To discover what goodness catches us when we stop running. We may not have a physical camp to go to, or a church to organize this for us, but the desire for retreat comes from a deep soul place.

I share with Laura (Playdates with God), Anne(1000 gifts), Michelle (Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday), Rachel (Finding Joy), Jennifer (God Bumps), Rebekah (Take Delight Tuesdays), and Soli deo Gloria.


  1. You have wowed me once again. I hope that one day I can pour out my heart as you have and be a help to others.

  2. Thank you for this! Looking forward to reading it! I need more structure during my retreat times, otherwise I get lost in my to-do list. :)

  3. wonderful. another "good girl" here - looking forward to taking the time away in two weeks.

  4. will spread the word. Going on retreat - in whatever fashion - is soul refreshing!

  5. This is so cool! What a wonderful idea!
    Thank you for the gift!

  6. Oh, wonderful! Thank you for this sweet gift! We all need retreat moments in our daily life.

  7. Anna, thanks for linking up with me. Delighting in the wonderful works of God. That we can stop and rest and praise Him and give thanks in the midst of a busy life!

  8. Thank you for doing this work, Anna, and making it available! I can't wait to share it with my friend, Linda, the Sabbath and retreating queen around here!

  9. If this is still available, I'd love one. :)

  10. A big thanks to everyone who subscribed. I am so excited the guide and these practices are going out into the world. It's awesome!