Retreat: nounThe forced or strategic withdrawal of an army or an armed force before an enemy, or the withdrawing of a naval force from action.The act of withdrawing, as into safety or privacy; retirement; seclusion.A place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy
Doesn’t the word “retreat” conjure up images of rest and rejuvenation? Joy and fellowship together with other mothers? A retreat is all those things, but also, as the first definition suggests, we need to “withdraw before the enemy” occasionally. As crafters of culture and influencers of the next generation, we are prime targets of the enemy. If we love and follow Jesus, this is a reality that will be a constant battle in our daily lives. Sometimes, I think the enemy can get to us in the daily-ness of regular life more easily than through other entry points. In order to guard against such attack, a wise woman takes time to renew her heart and “gird up her loins” by retreating.Here are a few simple steps of how to host a retreat for your Mom Heart group:-Choose a date.-Find a location such as a hotel that serves breakfast, a house rental or even a friend’s home with enough room for everyone.-Invite the women. Try to use restful language, not productive language. A retreat is different from a crafting weekend or a planning weekend. Make sure your invitation makes that clear. The goal is to make each woman take a deep breath just by receiving the invitation.-Pray over what God has for the women. Of course, this entire process should be bathed in prayer, but be sure to ask Him what His plans are for the time away. Remember, at the intense mothering season of life, women often need quiet, fellowship and rest more than anything else.-Schedule some silent solitude time. Suggest that the women go sit in nature, on their bed, or in a quiet corner with their Bible and a journal. You might also consider writing a simple solitude time worksheet. Just some scripture with a question or two for pondering. You can find ideas for topics in Own Your Life. A worksheet will give the women who need more direction something to “do” during a quiet hour.-Plan simple meals. Eat out, bring crockpots ready to be plugged in or take turns cooking easy meals together. Don’t bring your daily chores with you- find a way to give everyone a break.-One Mom Heart leader has used previously recorded sessions from Sally’s conferences to encourage the women during a retreat.Let go of perfectionism. Unless leading retreats is a special calling of yours, choose to be content with a simple gathering of like-minded women in a place away from home. It doesn’t have to be complicated.Have you even taken your Mom Heart group on a retreat? What did your time look like? Please share your ideas in the comments.