Friday, October 17, 2014

So, She Went On a Retreat

Yesterday on Maz Hawes' blog, Diving For Pearls, she made a statement that "creativity helps to boost well-being". I have found the opposite to be true also, well-being helps to boost creativity.

I have been long overdue for a personal retreat. I last went on one two years ago and came back with was just the place I was in at the time. For months now I have been working through some issues of burnout, some character pruning, and some "in-the-grip" personality stuff. Not always fun stuff. All of this has led me to really feeling the need to get away and spend some time in solitude with God. I even unplugged from most of my technology in order to prevent distraction!

I stayed in a little cottage at Beulah Beach near Huron, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. For me, being near water makes my retreat much more relaxing.

I spent some time walking along the water each day.

I spent time enjoying nature and the colors of Autumn.

I spent a lot of time thinking, reading, studying God's Word, praying, and listening...lots of listening. I have started another book by Ruth Haley Barton about solitude. In it she talks about meeting with a spiritual director who told her, "you are like a jar of river water all shaken up. What you need is to sit still long enough that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear." She goes on, "The image of the jar of river water helped me identify where I was, but it also captured my longing and desire to go somewhere else.To be still long enough so the swirling sediment could settle, the waters of my soul could become clear, and I could see whatever it was that needed to be seen..In the desire this image stirred up, I recognized an invitation to be still and know beyond my addiction to noise, words, people and performance-oriented activity. It captured my desire for something more and different, something beyond the head knowledge that no longer sustained my soul."  ~Ruth Haley Barton, Invitation to Solitude and Silence

Ruth's description of the jar of river water as an image for her soul really resonated with me and going on retreat helped the waters of my soul start to clear. God met me in my time there and I came back refreshed. And the creative ideas have been jumping around in my head like sparks! When I get overly tired I begin to experience a dryness spiritually and creatively. Well-beings helps to boost my creativity!

I have a lot from this retreat to reflect on in the coming weeks.

And now, a little art I did on my retreat:

The beach there is covered with these black, flat rocks. I brought some home, covered them with matte gel medium and wrote some reminders from my retreat on them - a few things I don't want to lose track of.

Now to get back on track with my blog postings!


  1. Looks like a beautiful spot, Mary. A good place to just breathe and rest.

  2. The jar of river water image is a wonderful one. Its so important to find the time to be still before HIM. What a beautiful place to go on your retreat. Love your art too. Blessings.

  3. Oh, how lovely. I can feel the stillness, the solitude, the reflection in your words, pictures, and journal. It's cleansing.