Happy New Year! It is the beginning of the Jewish New Year and a perfect time for a personal retreat.
A personal retreat is about taking time to get away from everyone and everything and allow Holy Spirit to revitalize our spirit, soul, and body. We carve out room to spend an extended time with God and allowing Holy Spirit to do what He wants to. Get away from your daily routine, celebrate His goodness and listen for His instructions for the upcoming year. It is like taking a weekend with your best friend.
To live the delightful life God has prepared and planned for you, it is necessary to get away from it all sometimes. Jesus set an example of taking a personal retreat. If He needed to do that, then we do too.
Luke 5:16 But Jesus often slipped away from them and went into the wilderness to pray.
Every year, in September, I try to make time for a personal retreat. I chose September because it is the beginning of the Jewish New Year. Three holidays make up this month of celebration for God and his people.
- Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 6-8, 2021) is a time of celebration, reflection, and prayer.
- Yom Kippur (Sept. 15-16, 2021) is when the Lord seals your instructions and assignment for the upcoming year.
- Feast of Tabernacles(Sept. 20-27,2021) It is a time of celebration, breaking off oppression and releasing joy into your life. Jewish tradition says on the last day of this feast, the Lord opens your instructions and reveals what was sealed at Yom Kippur.
My birthday is also this month as well as jodelights! anniversary. So it is a good time for reflection and planning ahead.
During this time, I get my Word for the upcoming year and seek direction for my business and personal life. I realize many people do this in December/January for the upcoming year, but I find the Lord speaking to me in September about the upcoming year. So I take time to listen this month and then do a simple review in January. This year I'm planning on taking 3 days at the end of this week. My retreat coincides with my birthday, so I'm throwing in lunch and some shopping with Jesus.
Planning your own personal retreat. Here are a few tips to help you have a successful time at your retreat.
- Schedule your time. Block the time off on your calendar. Clear up any loose ends or other pressing matters. Tell your friends and family that you will be busy. Treat this as you would any other vacation or retreat you would take.
- Find a space While I'd love to go away to a quiet vacation spot or a 5-star hotel, that isn't going to happen this year. But one of the things about a retreat is going someplace different. It gives you a fresh perspective. So if you can't get away, consider creating a new place for your retreat around your house. Use a spare bedroom, porch, or other unused space. You will want it to be somewhere you won't be interrupted, where you can be quiet and comfortable.
- Plan your itinerary. You will need to plan your time around what you hope to accomplish. Is it a prayer retreat around an area in your life? Do you just want a vacation with God? If you don't go into this time with a plan, you'll end up searching for what you want to do. You'll end up frustrated and won't get the benefits you want out of this time.
- Disconnect Limit your phone calls, texts. e-mails, or social media during this time.
- Be prepared If you are staying at home, gather everything you need and have it ready for your retreat. If you plan on going away for your retreat, make sure to pack what you need. Here are some items you will want for your retreat.
- your bible
- a new journal
- pens, colored pens/markers
- Comfortable chair/blanket
- Peaceful music-instrumental or nature sounds only
- Vision board supplies
- Plan you menu You won't want to spend your time deciding what to eat and fixing meals, so do that ahead of time.
- Get excited Come expecting to have a great time with the Lord. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you."-Matthew 7:7
Have you taken a personal retreat recently? What did you do? Where did you go? I'd love to hear about it! You can share about it in the comments below.
Below is my itinerary for this year. You can also download this PDF Personal Retreat Guide and Journal for you to use to plan your own personal retreat.
Get your copy of the Personal Retreat Guide, Planner & Journal by clicking below.