Winter can feel especially long in the Midwest and I’ve learned that scheduled breaks and weekends away bring joy to my soul. True rest begins by putting aside your daily routine for quiet, soul filling moments.
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
At the end of January I hosted a small, intimate retreat for my bible study at our cozy cabin in Michigan. We spent time together exploring the topic of rest, knitting, coloring, snow shoeing and cooking fabulous food.
I am blessed beyond measure by this group of ladies and their hearts for the Lord, here are a few snap shots and reflections of the weekend.
Giving gifts is totally my love language. I’m currently doing the Contentment Challenge to save for some big goals and cultivate a heart of gratitude. But, grace not perfection friends. For a few dollars in the Target Dollar Spot I picked up some cute notebooks, pens and used craft supplies I had on hand to create a little treat. Sometimes we can focus to much on getting “the perfect look” that we miss out on the joy of the moment. I had a blast assembling little goodies for the girls and wanted them to feel pampered and welcomed from the moment they entered the cottage.
“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come away with me.” Song of Songs 2:10
My favorite part of spending time at Koselig Cottage (a swedish word for “cozy”) is our morning routing of digging into the scripture. The early morning light on the river, cozied up by the fire with coffee in hand. We spent time digging into the theme of rest over the weekend and it was just the reminder my heart needed. In Winter it feels easy to rest, to set aside time to be still and pause, but one of my goals for 2016 is to claim a spirit of rest, in the midst of every season.
Snow shoeing has become one of my favorite Winter activities. It’s a great workout and way to explore God’s beautiful creation. We took several hikes through the surrounding area. I collected pinecones and birch bark for crafts and we talked and laughed the whole way. For several of the gals it was their first time snow shoeing and they had a blast. I’m constantly reminded by these ladies about the necessity of community. Authentic community pushes you out of your comfort zone, it gives you courage to try new things and encourages you the whole way.
It was a life-giving weekend with dear friends. Winter can be a beautiful time, if we purposefully include times of quiet, refreshment and community. I’m looking forward to Spring but for now, I’ll take joy in the rest, coffee and beauty of this season.