Saturday, August 20, 2011

Retreat to Lassen

Last weekend and a few days into this week was my annual celebration of "the last hurrah" before summer vacation is over. Two wonderful friends from church were able to go to Mt. Lassen with me. Along with the getaway being "the last hurrah", it was also a mini personal retreat.

(At the top of Mt. Lassen, 10, 457' up. Took 2 hours 20 minutes to get up and 1 hour and 10 minutes to get down. Hike was 5 miles round trip with 2,000' climb. Absolutely beautiful up there. In the top picture, we are standing in the middle of the volcano crater, wind blowing like crazy and a wee bit chilly.)

(I am going to kinda skip around here in this post with the pictures. And who knows if it will format correctly. There were pretty flowers on the ascent to the summit.)

The weekend prior to this trip, I was up at Mt. Lassen with my dad. I had some wonderful reading time and I read this little book called Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed by Carolyn Mahaney and her three daughters, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, and Janelle Bradshaw. Suzy too had read the book and said our weekend away could be our own personal retreat, which was one of five tips given in the book. The book lists 7 topics for you to list your priorities and prayerfully consider how you are doing with each one (thank you Suzy for typing them out for us). They are:
  • Grow in godliness: How is my prayer life? Are my quiet times fruitful? What area is God calling me to grow in? What scriptures address this?
  • Love my family: What relationship needs more attention? How can I show more love to this person?
(In this photo I am taking the photo in the middle of the crater of Mt. Lassen and can see off in the distance another volcano, Mt. Shasta)
  • Serve in the church: Am I using my gifts effectively? Humbly? Am I too busy with good things? Am I too busy with worldly things to serve the body?
  • Fellowship with Christians: Is there a relationship I should prioritize? Is there a relationship that is hindering me? What specific practical changes do I need to make so that I am investing in the right people for the right amount of time?

  • Evangelize non-Christians: 'Each one reach one.' Who is one person I can develop a friendship with for the purpose of sharing the gospel?
  • Attend to my work: Am I doing the right work? Is there a way to be more effective or efficient in the work God has called me to do?
  • Care for my physical health: Am I giving too much or too little attention to this?
(I have never seen so much snow up in the park in August. Helen Lake was still snowed and iced over.)

In conclusion what one or two priorities do I want to focus on for the next three to six months? What steps will I take to grow in each area?

The time away was a good time for me to reflect on a few areas that I need to grow and improve in. The two areas that I want to focus on for the next 3-6 months are grow in godliness and evangelize non-Christians.

My quiet times have been stale and sometimes non existent. Part of making my quiet times with the Lord more fruitful and consistent includes
joining the 5am club and restructuring my time. I've been getting up at 5am pretty regularly (even during summer vacation) BUT I have been turning on the tv to watch the news. My first moments (turns into several minutes, even up to an hour) were not turning to the Lord. The routine now is to program the coffee the night before, get up feed the cats, shower, dress and then sit down with my Bible, journal, cup of coffee and ready to meet with God. What a nice and pleasant change this has been for my routine in the morning and for my time with Him.

Being a school teacher for the public school system, has frightened me away from sharing the gospel with students, co-workers and parents at work. I know all the red tape and all the possible consequences. I do talk of the Lord but I am not intentional with one or two people. I am specifically praying to develop a friendship with two gals that I hope will lead to gospel opportunities.

Looking forward to my next personal retreat.

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