Monday, November 4

What I learned on retreat

I spent all of last week in Asheville, North Carolina at a Renovar√© retreat.  A whole week is a long time to be away from home, but the time was not in vain.  Here's some of what I learned.

Richard J. Foster and Nathan Foster
That Richard Foster's message is just as important and timely today as it was when he first published Celebration of Discipline back in 1978.

Gayle Withnell and me
Siang-Yang Tan and me
That spending time with old friends is nourishing to my soul and that praying and working together is a great grace.

Emily Freeman
That Emily Freeman is as inspiring a speaker as she is a writer.  I've known Emily since 2009, but this was the first time I'd ever heard her speak.  What a treat to watch my friend share the truth that God's revealed to her!

View from the Overlook at The Cove
That I can hike 3 1/2 miles up to the Overlook, where even the low-hanging clouds couldn't ruin the view, and make it back in time for dinner--but I couldn't have done it without my friends Laura Smith and Jeff Meyers.   And that friends become even more dear when you make an arduous journey together.

The Chapel at The Cove
Most of all, I learned what I've learned at every Renovar√© event I've attended over the years: that God reigns; that His Kingdom is a beautiful, wonderful, safe place to be; and that He loves me, just as He loves all His children.   Honestly, I can never hear that too much.

When was the last time you got away for a retreat?  Do you need one?


  1. Hi Richella, Sounds like a heavenly retreat, filled with truth blessings and His Spirit. It has been so long since I went on a retreat; I used to go to Women of Faith every couple of years and also on one church retreat. It's been just about 10 yrs since I've gone to one-way too long! When we moved here the church we attended was small and mostly young families =no retreats. Now the church I go to has one every couple of years; I think I need to find one to attend this next year. May your day be blessed.
    Hugs, Noreen

  2. I'm headed to The Cove this weekend for a retreat with women from our church. Congratulations on the hike -- well done! AND you got to hear Emily speak, too!!
    Thank you for posting about your time away at the retreat.

  3. Sounds wonderful, simply wonderful.

    This is a dumb comment on an unsuperficial post, but it is refreshing to see somebody caption photographs with correct grammar.

  4. That retreat sounds like a true retreat, a place to rest one's spirit and receive. How lovely! And I agree with you about Emily. She's gifted with words, whether she's writing them or speaking them.

    Guess what I just popped into the oven? Two loaves of Richella's pumpkin bread. Our first loaves of the season. My house smells heavenly. : ) It really is the best {and easiest} pumpkin bread ever.

  5. Scooper, that makes me so happy! I actually took a few loaves of my pumpkin bread to Asheville for the team to nosh on while we were working before the retreat. It's just a great recipe, isn't it? And it makes me happy that you think of it as "Richella's pumpkin bread." I always think of it as "Aunt Laura's pumpkin bread"!

  6. What a delight to be in such a beautiful setting, with truthful words and lovely friends.


  7. You're right that that is a message we can just never hear enough of! And I'm a teeny jealous that you know Emily Freeman personally. :)

  8. Hi Richella, I love the photos. My husband and I are heading up to our home in the mountains today and will be doing our annual drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I'm afraid we missed peak by 4-5 days according to the reports, but it is always breathtaking. Our church holds their women's retreat at the cove every year - I just used a photo I took of the inside for one of my posts - it is such a peaceful place. So easy to feel the presence of The Lord.


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