Our prayer is that “On Retreat” will help you break from habituated patterns of mind and frantic activity, make more space for God, and step into a new way of seeing, believing, and abiding. Each retreat will focus on a healthy body, a serene mind, and a powerful spirit. Your devoted guide will be modern day Christian mystic, Betty Skinner.
Affirming the Hope Hidden Within You,
~Cathy and Kitty
A Healthy Body
Do a few simple stretching exercises to energize your body, then silently integrate the inner peace of your practice for a few minutes.
A Serene Mind
Begin this portion of your time with God by sitting with a warm cup of coffee, tea, or water with lemon in a comfortable chair in a quiet place with your Bible close. Light a candle as a symbol of God’s presence with you.
A Reflection from Betty
When I met hope, in my fifty-fifth year, on the southward side of a high mountain in North Carolina, it was unmistakable. ‘Now abideth faith, hope and love.’ Hope, for many years of my spiritual journey, was overshadowed by faith and love. Love’s relentless wooing had won me with its unspeakable beauty, mystery, and grace. Faith became the ‘yes’ within me on which I slowly began to stake my whole life, while hope remained invisible and elusive. Faith and love built my self-confidence until I broke inside, then faith began to fade and love dimmed. It was in my despair that I met hope. It had been resting in the shadows between faith and love. It was in the suffering, wounded, and broken places of my life that hope began to come out of the shadows and bring me to wholeness. It was in the emptiness and stillness between faith and love, in the hollow of a heart carved out by despair, that hope took hold.
“What I realized on that unforgettable day was that hope had always lingered in the shadows of my darkest times. What awakened within me was that precisely when faith crumbles and love dims, hope begins. Hope is not the same thing as optimism. Rather, hope, in its purist form, is perfect freedom perfected as we choose to accept in Love whatever God brings as good. For those who deliberately choose to act only for the glory of God and the good of others, to eliminate all selfish motives from their lives and their work, hope becomes the golden cord in the landscape of their quest. It is the certainty that something makes sense, is worth the cost, regardless of how it might turn out. Hope is a sense of what might yet be. Hope is precisely what I had when I had nothing. It strains ahead, seeking a way behind, through, and beyond every obstacle. Hope does not try to determine how God’s way will be shown but remains open to new and astonishing manifestations of God’s presence at work in the circumstances of life. The more difficult the circumstances, the deeper the hope. The Hidden Life Awakened
A Powerful Spirit
Spend a little time now, letting the Living Word speak to your heart.
Psalm 126 The Passion Translation
Rest Quietly with God
Use your imagination to visualize Jesus sitting there with you. You love Him and you have faith in Him. What hope do you have?
Journal whatever thought arises without filtering or censoring just as a child would. This is the indwelling Spirit speaking truth to you. Trust this for now.