For many of us the thought of being able to get away for a retreat sounds enticing, but seems impossible. Amidst the crush of every day crowded with unplanned challenges and schedule pressures, we find ourselves running on empty (or on a dangerously low reserve) of energy for much-needed soul care.
Unfortunately when we need it most, resources and a margin of time often don’t permit us to attend a retreat. Conferences and fellowshipping (online and in real life) are wonderful, but when schedule allows, personal budgets don’t always stretch to cover registration, travel and hotel stays.
Sometimes we realize the need for refreshment and a space for time away will help us regain focus, restore energy. Rather than not addressing our own personal soul care because it seems impossible in this season…
Here are 6 tips for creating an enriching personal retreat at home:
PREPARE: Pray for refreshment to come, God’s direction in planning the right setting and topic to explore in your time with Him.
PURPOSE: Determine the needs you want to address. Find a book, sermon series, Bible verse, devotional that speaks to your heart.
PLAN: Select a day, blocking-out a time period of 2-3 hours (if possible). As needed, include childcare or necessary adult care.
SETTING: Choose an appealing environment conducive for your hoped-for enrichment.
IMMERSE: Once in retreat mode, turn off all notifications, put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door — and settle in!
EMERGE: After your retreat, may you be blessed with greater clarity, refreshment, renewed hope, defined purpose and clear direction.
Here are 6 ideas to encourage refreshment and clarity in your personal retreat:
Deep-dive mini-study of a topic, sermon series or a Bible Study.
Select a key Bible verse (or verses), and during your time:
Journal about it (or them), as extensively as your heart wants to roam.
Bible Journal, as a visually creative activity to delve into the topic.
Bullet Journal your study, for note taking, recoding discoveries.
Create Bible verse, prayer or personal reflection cards.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: As a ready resource of Bible verses organized by topic, including journalling tips and ideas we recommend The Grace Daily Journal:
#RelationshipsMatter #ChristianLifestyle #Encouragement #SoulCare #SelfCare #PersonalCare #Forgiveness #RestoringTheBrokenPlaces #GraceDaily #PlanningARetreat #PersonalRetreat #PersonalGetaway #LivingALifeOfJoy Even in the face of adversity #BattlingBurnout
A multi-platform professional writer throughout her career creating marketing/sales and promotional content for clients commercially, in addition to promoting causes and information campaigns. Her tradition of multiple-platform communication continues today.
Becky has written for, her words have been published and broadcast over every form of media. Her first 7 books are based on ministries she and her family participated in for over 20 years.
Resulting from her writing and book publishing efforts, public speaking and presentation opportunities domestically and internationally developed. Audiences range from small events, to business community member audiences (up to 500 in attendance).
A longtime presenter featuring a series of edutraining programs, Becky also presented special track training workshops at an international conference. She recently offered a special program to a delighted audience in southeastern Europe.
Becky is a featured collaborator in 2 published books on the subjects of Injecting Healing Humor in Healthcare, and Herbs, to benefit causes and nonprofits (on the national/global platform).
She wrote a piece on work that looks like play and hearts touched by the hospital humor ministry she and her family served in for nearly 14 years. It was featured in What’s Right in Healthcare, a special edition created to inspire those in the front lines of healthcare. This book was published in 2007.
Becky collaborated on a third book for women in business: Behind Her Brand, Entrepreneur Edition, Volume 5 in 2016. Her contribution was based on her marketing and public relations consultancy business and digital marketing experience.
Since 1999, Becky has published several books, countless eBooks and many websites, creating content ongoing – ‘blogging’ before there were blogs!(Blogging officially beginning in 2004, when suitable platforms were available.)
She has presented numerous training programs, coached and helped area churches, by personally encouraging the Christian community to establish Christian Creative Arts Ministry as a regular activity and special event, enhancing outreach and mission trip efforts, to impact lives.
To support this important outreach work, Becky authored 2 in-depth books on the topic of establishing Christian Creative Arts Ministry. In addition to her books to further prepare and equip these ministries, she created digital media resources. Becky created and developed 15 online multi-media training courses. She began offering online training and resources in 2002.
A media maker with professional experience in all forms of media including New, Social and Traditional. Becky began podcasting in 2008, hosting several internet BlogTalk Radio Shows collaboratively and on her own. Since 2008, she created a branded series of videos for her books on her YouTube channels featuring related original niche content.
In February 2020, speaker and author Becky Cortino established LivRad, a speaking and writing ministrychargedwith the mission of “Encouraging Words for Hurting People.”
PLEASE NOTE: In light of the rapidly-changing COVID-19 situation and varying mandates, Becky Cortino Speaking Engagement Information, including Presentation Topics, and Booking Details are not available.
Friend, do you have a calling you feel is tugging on your heart to answer? Here is some encouragementespecially for you!
In the cool darkness of the still morning arises a familiar shrill chorus calling all to welcome the sunshine. The birds remind me how we should greet each new day gladly, for the opportunities that lie ahead in the hours yet to come.
Breaking through the trees, this sunrise was so spectacular at 6:10AM, it beckoned me outside to enjoy it with our feathered friends, along with all the other wildlife in the wood. joy in the morning!
Why do I say this? Why do I feel this? Because I’m reminded of something so important and want to share it with you: if for even a minute you’re doubting your worth or feeling uncertain about what’s next in these turbulent days, please remember with me…
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26 NIV)
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.” (Matthew 25-26 MSG)
“Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.” (Matthew 26 TLB)
“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 26(NASB)
…and about a red sky in the morning — I’m reminded of an adage found in this reference, assuring me upon further reflection that no matter what the experts’ say no one here (on earth) really knows what’s next — here’s proof💜Read on…
“Some Bad Yeast
Some Pharisees and Sadducees were on him again, pressing him to prove himself to them. He told them, “You have a saying that goes, ‘Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning.’ You find it easy enough to forecast the weather—why can’t you read the signs of the times? An evil and wanton generation is always wanting signs and wonders. The only sign you’ll get is the Jonah sign.” Then he turned on his heel and walked away.” (Matthew 16 1-4 MSG)
“He replied, “You are good at reading the weather signs of the skies—red sky tonight means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day—but you can’t read the obvious signs of the times!” (Matthew 16:2-3 TLB)
“He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the skyis red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:2-3 NIV)
So in all of this I’m reminded not to “fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes,” even while preparing meals for our #shelteringin family. Facing taunting food shortages and crazy rising prices, we have food to eat. We are blessed!
At the outset of this #pandemic, anticipating unimaginable sweeping changes in life as we knew it, I vowed to use what we had on hand, making limited trips out — for all the reasons. The result has been some interesting combinations, fresh new discoveries, and reminders of how spoiled we’ve *all* been when we could enjoy whatever ‘sounded good for dinner’ or what we were *in the mood to eat* at the moment. It’s been good👍🏻
In these days of being #HomeTogether facing an unknown future gives time for pausing to realize being concerned about “whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion” isn’t high priority… after all😉
In order to keep routine I have continued to dress as I always would to go out, for work, etc. (I am a makeup girl — so daily!) With each passing day I recognize ‘current fashion’ is diminishing in importance. What’s trending in my world these days are a face mask and gloves😷They’ve become my essential accessories! I predict the previous intense focus on the ‘latest’ will not resume in quite the same way once we all make it through this.
🦠Pre-Pandemic Days: we were living fast and loose. Things were easier then, right?! Life was happening at warp speed — though never always quite ‘fast enough’ for the times of immediate gratification and short attention spans. The world was rocking at such a crescendo pace, an eventual reset had to happen! It did.
Reflecting on all of this and writing for 3.5 hours this morning inspired by these passages from the Bible, I’m reminded: continuing my work as a speaker and author — no matter how much I’ve always loved my work and all the busyness of a full life (as I perceive it) — the best life is not “tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.” He has a Plan for all of us friends. He is in those plans, included as an integral part of them!
Take heart, friend. These are challenging times, troubling days. We are all truly in this together♥️God has this. You and I are important to Him. His love for all of us is far greater than we can ever fathom. I pray you feel His peace, find Joy in your day, showered with His abundant blessings, find freedom in His Word. The Son shines even on our darkest days🌞
God is good! I’m grateful — as I hope you are — for each new day and God’s reminders delivered to us in extraordinary ways. They speak affirmation, love and blessing through His artistry to our listening hearts.
RESOURCES: Journalling The Word can help us through challenging times. Keeping a journal can help us explore complex issues and make valuable personal discoveries so we can free ourselves from our pain. My 9th book, The Grace Daily Challenge Journal, is designed to help readers and writers explore what the Bible says about grace and finding forgiveness, as they Journal The Word.