A Retreat From Life

Durnstein, Austria

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; Matthew 14:23

My life is so very blessed and I am indeed grateful for the ways God has worked over the years. And yet, my messages of life and my books and my strength has not come out of a vacuum, but out of a rich and cultivated home life; a rhythmic spiritual life through a day by day discipline; centering myself over and over again so that I may hold fast to ideals and put away those things that distract from the center.

My message of influencing my children is born out of in intimate acquaintance with the discipleship relationship with Jesus, which requires focus, immeasurable time and a rich spiritual life. Such a life must continually be cultivated and treasured, it does not come by happenstance. It is the integrity of the life lived behind closed doors, the days that no one else sees, where integrity is crafted and grows strong. 

Yet, my life has been surrounded in the last few years by crowds and multitudes. Our ministry is such a blessing. How privileged I am to be able to be used, even in a small way, by Jesus, to encourage moms to embrace their divine role as mothers. Having met thousands of precious women, in person and through writing, I have continued to develop a heart to support and encourage them, to help them uphold their ideals, to point them to God. It is a passion from Him.

And yet, if I do not continue to protect the very place from which my messages come, my secret place, my home, my family, my abiding time investing in His wisdom and perspective, then I will spend myself in vanity and will empty myself from Him and just give of my own flesh--but not please Him, who truly is my treasure.

And so, the past two weeks, I have been sequestered away, in Austria, with my own wise counselor, Sarah--my first child.

Sarah, having just finished a semester at Oxford, (with the highest of honors, my mama heart soars with her great news), said, "Mom, let's meet in Austria, and we will rest and pray and talk and drink coffee and seek the Lord together."

I am indeed blessed to have children who now inform my life and who help me reason Biblically and make intentional plans for my life, as it has been the warp and woof of their own upbringing.

And so, wonderful Clay, sent me away, knowing how I long for peace, quiet and time for reflection, and generously held the fort down with delightful adventures with Joel and Joy. I am very blessed to have a husband who is so very generous to me. I adore spending time with my sweet children, we had free airline and hotel points, and I was one tired and spend mama.

So, two very precious weeks were invested in walking the familiar streets of Vienna, where I cut my spiritual teeth so many years ago as a young missionary. Even just the moving amongst familiar places, as we walked miles and miles, (also my therapy!), I caught again, the spirit of my mission heart that had beat so strongly over 30 years ago, when I entered this missional life. God began to meet me there and He began to unfold to me some of the ways He wants me to seek in the days and years ahead.

He is pretty true and simple in His direction of life,

Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness,

And so, I am rearranging some of my priorities and commitments so that I may continue to invest in what He has for me to do.

Sometimes the pulling away from multitudes is what is necessary in order to hear His voice, But then, I want to end well, having sought the praise of Him, my cherished and beloved Friend, who has led me so faithfully over the years, and not be swayed by culture, as I have less time left on this earth to please Him than I used to have.

So, please pray with me, that my commitments will be the right ones, that my home will continue to be a place of grace, truth, wisdom, life and peace, and that I will have the faith to follow hard after Him.

Be blessed in His will today, as that is where His peace will follow your soul.

And my prayer for all of you, is that you, too, will seek to hear His voice and follow hard after His pathway for you.