A silent retreat? Me?
I’ve known about the White House Retreat Center for probably 20+ years. I never once thought it was for me until I heard about it last year at an Education Commission meeting. The year went by quickly, especially when you add a pandemic to the mix, and all of a sudden it was here!
“Unburden” – that was the word God spoke to my heart on that Friday. I had tried reading a couple of books from their library the night before, then God let me know, “This is My time with you, you don’t need those books. I am enough.” Of course, He was right! But it was so difficult to sit still in silence. Then God took over. What utter peace and joy I experienced as I returned those books and began to dwell on Bible passages, a phrase from a song, or on the incredible nature around me.
To be so tenderly cared for by so many people was overwhelming. I wanted for nothing while I was there. The love of God just flowed from everyone – from the dining room and kitchen attendants, to the groundskeepers, to the priests who stood ready to help in any way. To hear and feel that I am a “Beautiful, Blessed, and Beloved daughter of God” just melted my heart.
I chose to leave my phone at home. I didn’t miss the calls, email, and texting as much as the camera and internet to look things up. The grounds at White House were breath-taking: flowers, trees, the river, the buildings, the paths all lit up at night. I wanted pictures of them all and I wanted to know the names of the flowers! Yet, each day without the constant interruption and temptation drew me more deeply into an “attitude of gratitude” for God’s gifts to me through His creations. My desire changed to one of “soaking up” the beauty of the here and now. And that’s really all we truly have – the present.
The time given for being quiet, for being present with God, was a true blessing. The short presentations from the retreat leader moved us deeper into ourselves and closer to God in wonderful stages of inner prayer and interior conversations with Him. Each break gave us time to absorb what was said and try the suggestions and methods of prayer on our own. Even a nap in the afternoon was brought up! “Let God love on you and bestow blessings on you while you slumber!” Now, you can’t beat that!
It’s all about you. You are a beloved daughter/son of the Most High God, the Master of the Universe! Take a vacation with Him and He will make you whole, fill you with love, and give you the peace you yearn for. Next year’s trip is set for September 9-12 for the ladies. (Guys, they offer men’s retreats as well!) How about it? Contact Barb Steinman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-406-3885 to reserve a spot.