You shake the last of the sand from your sandals recall the sun and the sea, the sunburn and the swimming pool,
remember the siestas and the sangria,
empty the last souvenir from the suitcase
and settle back into September sanity.
And the possibility of a clean slate.
"January is the official start of the new year, and I always get a burst of renewed zeal at that time, but September also gives the same feeling of an empty calendar and a clean slate. The air seems charged with possibility and renewal.
Back-to-school is a time of self-evaluation and reflection."
Maybe it's the same for you.
A new start, a clean slate, time for something newer and stimulating? Searching for sanity again already?
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That need for self-evaluation, for reflection and renewal, can be something which drives us to what is sometimes called spiritual navel gazing.
Or it can be something which stirs us to greater things, to a desire to draw nearer to God and start afresh with renewed vigour in our relationship with him.
Get set for September - shake up your schedule and set a time for intentional seeking of God.
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” (Ps 27:8 ESV)
Set a new schedule - now , while you think about it and before everything else takes over! Set a time for those extra moments to seek his face.
And set a date to come on retreat.
Plan to spend a couple of nights away, time for renewal of the energy which has been sapped over the autumn, summer energy seeping away.
Spend a night or two at The Vine @ Mays Farm.
It's been transformed over the past few weeks! So even if you have already been, it's very different now.
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WALKING RETREAT FOR OCTOBER
Walking in the autumn colours, it promises to be a very beautiful time to be away, to enjoy the countryside, to be intentional about searching for God. There's something special about walking, allowing the mind to clear of busy-ness and the beauty of creation to speak of the glories of God. And the peace and quiet as one walks is stunning for being able to concentrate on speaking to God and listening to and for him. Book now - limited places available!
Monday October 14 - Friday October 18 2013
Arrive Monday afternoon in time for a cream tea. A light supper followed by compline and an early night in a comfy bed in an ensuite twin bedded room.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we have breakfast followed by a morning devotion, and then leave to walk for 7 - 8 miles, pausing for a leisurely lunch break at a local hostelry about half way round. During the walks we may chat or be in silence, take part in a spiritual reflection/exercise or pray. Each day's walk is different: hilly or wooded, through the prettiest village in England or past a Georgian building used in filming a Jane Austin novel. We walk approximately from 10.30 - 1.00, stop for lunch and walk again until reaching home about 4.00. Free time until supper, which is followed by compline.
Friday: morning devotion after breakfast, followed by a 3-4 mile circular walk. Departure by noon.
Facilities for guests include: fridge, washer/dryer, wi-fi in the house (but you are encouraged not to use it too much and we do not use technology on the walks!) sitting room and a well-stocked library (both have wood burner stoves and underfloor heating!) lovely grounds including a walled garden and a chapel.
The small print: this fully guided retreat is for 4 nights half board. You will need to buy your own lunch each day at the pub on the way. Dinner, bed & breakfast are provided. Each room is fully ensuite, equipped with a tea/coffee tray and freshly made up beds. (bring your own towels) Accommodation is in twin rooms (bring a friend and share a room, or we can allocate room mates!) COST for the fully guided 4 night retreat half board is just £200 to cover costs; with a suggested donation to MbD of £20 a night which can be gift aided.
There are just 10 places available - so make sure you book now to be able to come!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for a booking form.
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For those who love photos - latest updates!
DONT FORGET TO BOOK YOUR PLACE ON THE WALKING RETREAT!