I was tired.

Spiritually. Physically.

When Richard suggested a prayer retreat this past weekend, I wasn’t sure we could do it. In the midst of moving from one state to another, how could we justify the cost? How could I just stop everything and go away?

I’m so thankful that we did. Because this past weekend I found something.

I found me.

Even as you and I have dug deeper into what it means to rediscover intimacy with Jesus, I’ve wondered about the timing of this challenge.

Should I have waited until I was moved into our home?

Should I have waited when we weren’t living out of suitcases, or when I wasn’t slipping into our temporary bed in the playroom and finding dinosaurs and popsicles between our sheets?

But maybe that’s the point? Why wait for the perfect time to get alone with our Savior?

The reality is there is no perfect time. That applied even for this weekend.

But I sensed God asking me to simply stop.

Richard and I found an affordable place just an hour and a half away. It was a tree house.

Yes, I said tree house.

Set in the woods. A one-room tree house. In our budget. Set in nature. Solitary. Not fancy.

But Heavenly.

I climbed in that car, sick from a cold. Exhausted from packing up a house, and juggling all my tasks, trusting God as we live in limbo after months of living between God’s plan for us, and the obstacles that stood in the way. And in that small tree house, I discovered all over again why Jesus is called our Sanctuary.

As we drove home, I realized this was something I had never done for myself … ever. But I will do it again. I would trade any small luxury (like eating out on occasion) to save up for this.

Just as I find time throughout the week for Jesus, there are times we hit empty and we need to schedule in a time of sanctuary. Maybe, like me, you are on a budget, so that might be an afternoon in a park, or by a lake, or even in a tree house an hour and a half away.

It’s not the place, it’s the intentional refueling and filling up.

Maybe, like me, you just keep on going when your spiritual and physical tank is on empty, and God is whispering, “Slow down, sis. Create a respite, even if it’s just slowing down long enough to turn everything off and pray for an afternoon or rest in My presence.”

Have you been running on empty?

If you were to plan a sanctuary / respite, what might that look like for you in the near future? What plans might you have to make to carry it through? (Journal this.)

Why do you think that God led even Jesus into solitary places to pray? What benefits might be there for you?

What verse comes to mind about rest or Jesus being our sanctuary? (Share that here.)

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