Why Go on a Women’s Retreat?

(Excerpt taken from Why Go On A Women’s Retreat? Deep Cleaning and Growing Something Besides Old)

 


Why go on a women’s retreat?


I’ve told my friends, I don’t really go to retreats to get any sleep – although some manage to. Mostly, it’s a much-needed break from the usual routine – a time to gain a sense of renewal... renewing old friendships, finding new ones, and recharging our intimacy with the Lord.


A while ago, I did something I had never done before: I hired professional housekeepers for a half-day of deep cleaning. It was expensive, it took them longer than they expected—a little embarrassing–and I only could only afford to pay them to do the bathrooms and kitchen!


My house sparkled, believe me, and even though Mark couldn’t quite figure out why I was willing to work sixteen hours to pay them for five hours, it was totally worth it!


And the neat thing was that, with the deep cleaning accomplished, I was motivated to keep at it – at least until the check cleared. And it was easier to maintain the shine because it had been cleaned to the bone.


Maybe a women’s retreat is like that one-time deep-cleaning. It’s expensive – you have to leave the house – there’s a commitment made to let someone else do some heavy-duty scrubbing – you have to make yourself vulnerable.


But once it’s done, you sit back and relax and enjoy the new spotless surfaces and dusted corners.


When we go home from a retreat, shiny and rested and dusted — renewed in mind and spirit, closer to one another and to God, we can more easily maintain the deep clean; we’re motivated to keep short accounts, we notice more quickly that we’ve sinned – we want to wipe up that spill quickly (because we will spill) before it creates layers of grime and guilt.


[...]


I know I don’t see the dirt after it’s been there a while. It takes a visit from my sister-in-law to help me see it – she always scrubs the outside of my white cupboards whenever she comes and I’m always taken by surprised – “Wow, there she goes again – I hadn’t noticed!”


A retreat is for deep cleaning. It can help us see the grime and grease that needs removing. And we are supported by sisters to help us do that deep scrubbing. And when we go home, it’ll be easier to maintain that pure relationship with God and others.


Why go on a women’s retreat? To grow closer to God alongside a sister who needs some deep cleaning, too.

Women's Fall 2017 Retreat Details

Join women from The Bridge and Hope Chapel del Rey for a relaxing and meaningful mountain retreat at Lake Hughes on September 22nd-24th. 


Guest speaker, Dr. Mary Mahon, will be speaking on our theme from Acts 17:28a, "In Him we live and move and have our being." We often compartmentalize God into Sundays, bible studies, and devotional times, but miss Him in our everyday moments -- in our living, our breathing and moving. Mary will help us have a greater awareness of His presence in our lives.


It will also be a great time to have some fun (optional zip line, hiking, and archery), pray with sisters, and listen to the Lord without our everyday distractions.


Cost is $160 (2 nights of lodging + 5 meals). Zip Line: $8 (due with payment). To attend, submit your registration form and payment (checks can be made to The Bridge) in a giving envelope on Sunday (write "Women's Retreat"). 


OR, register by simply paying online at at bridgesouthbay.com/donate (use the Classes & Events box and write "Women's Retreat" in the Comment box). 


If you have questions, email Martha Cason at marthacason4@gmail.com.



Dr. Mary Mahon is the founder of Chicas de Promesa (Girls of Promise), a ministry in Costa Rica that helps girls understand the value they have in Christ. Chicas de Promesa is also the ministry that missionaries, Karissa and Micah Adams (past Bridge members), served with while in Costa Rica. 

If you still need more convincing... 


Four Reasons Why You Need a Women’s Retreat

(Excerpt from 4 Reasons Why We Need Women’s Retreats)




“I can’t be gone for a whole weekend. Who will take the kids to soccer?”


“My husband hates it when I’m gone. It’s not worth the hassle.”


“It’s out of my comfort zone and a little scary.”


We have a hundred reasons why we shouldn’t go to the women’s retreat. Some years the voices win out, and we stay home. Later, when we hear the glowing reports from others about how wonderful it was, we feel a pang of regret, but it doesn’t last long. “Oh well,” we say, “maybe next year.” Other times we make the extra effort, and we’re the ones sharing happy stories and telling how glad we are that we attended.


I’ve been a Christian for over 30 years, and I’m a firm believer in women’s retreats. Here are a few reasons why, with accompanying evidence from the Scripture in case you need extra persuasion.



Why We Need Women’s Retreats:


1. Because it’s hard to hear God’s voice above the noise of everyday life.


When is the last time you sat before God without a To Do list hanging over you, a pile of laundry the size of Texas Stadium in the background, or family members pressing in on all sides? If you can’t remember, you need to attend a retreat.


“To retreat” means to leave our normally occupied positions and go to a place of safety, quiet, and seclusion. By going to a retreat, we physically remove ourselves from life’s distractions, the call of chores, and the demands of people in order to make space for God. If you think you’re less spiritual because you struggle to hear from God in the cacophony of your daily life, be encouraged. Even Jesus recognized the value and need to get away.


“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).


Jesus retreated.



2. Because we need each other.


Faith is contagious. Just like a virulent virus, it passes from person to person through close contact. Today’s busy world allows little time for women to share faith stories, pray together, and hear biblical messages written with women in mind.


As we consider and apply God’s Word together, we learn from each other’s varied backgrounds, experiences, and insights. The better we understand God, the stronger our faith becomes. Then we can strengthen others. Hearing other women’s testimonies about God’s faithfulness helps me realize that God will also take care of me. 


Hebrews 10:25 spotlights the value of mutual encouragement and warns us not to neglect corporate worship: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.”



3. Because meeting together spurs us on to “love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).


The Greek word for “spur on” is paroxusmus, which means to stir someone up. It has negative connotations, such as stirring up disagreement, but in this passage, it underscores the fact that meeting together as believers helps us love and serve God and each other better.



4. Standing side by side with our sisters in Christ, and worshipping, praying, and learning about our precious Savior makes us stronger.


When I join a group of women singing praise songs to God, I experience a taste of what Heaven’s going to be like when we’re gathered around his throne. When I sit with my sisters and open God’s Word, the insights I gain as we study together add weight and credence to its truth. When I pray for others, and they pray for me, I know I’m not alone, no matter how heavy my burden is. Some years their faith strengthens me, and other years my faith strengthens them. Together we bear each other’s burdens.



For these and many other reasons, I place a high priority on women’s retreats.


When my children were young, it took a great deal of planning and preparation to be away from my family. I’d prepare meals in advance, swap carpool duties, and cash in spend-the-night favors. Some years were financially challenging, and I had to find creative ways to finance my getaways. I’d save my birthday money, squirrel away coupon savings, or apply for scholarships. 


Other years I’ve struggled spiritually and had to push myself to go even though I didn’t want to. I’d invite a friend to join me so I couldn’t back out or commit to carpool with friends. On every occasion, I returned refreshed, strengthened, inspired, and closer to the Lord and my sisters in Christ.


I’ve never regretted attending a retreat, but I’ve often regretted not attending. If you’ve never attended a retreat, or you haven’t in a while, why not make plans to attend one? You’ll be glad you did.