Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Sanctuary

Our sons and their wives had a sign handcrafted from cedar for us for our 40th anniversary. The Sanctuary, established 2012 is perfect. It describes our desire for the small cabin we are building in the Wet Mountains—a place of sanctuary. We are anxious to hang it—that is as soon as the tongue and groove walls cover the exposed insulation.

In the meantime, it sits on our hearth at home; it welcomed me back after enjoying three weeks with four generations of our family. A place of sanctuary beckons me; it is the need—the best place to start the New Year.

I come with the need to be; I come to return, remember, review, reflect; I come with questions; I come with a heart for quiet; I come to listen; I come with expectation. I come with joy; I come with a desire—to meet with God; to understand His path of life (Psalm 16:11) for me. What do I trust God with in 2013?

To go to my sanctuary is a form of retreat, a holy pause in the fullness of my life. For me small retreats, an almost daily habit, leave me hungering for more—for longer retreats, longer pauses. My sanctuary is a place of solitude—that is solitude WITH God. It is a time of honoring where I have been and its meaning for where I am going. It is the way to stay present with the woman God created me to be. It is not an extra; it is a necessity.

This morning (a week ago) my 2013 retreat begins. I sit in the quietness of our great room in my favorite overstuffed chair. My legs rest on the ottoman and support my computer. Even though the snow fluffers down, there is no need for a throw for warmth—my hard-working computer fills the need. Even in the mornings, I enjoy the soft glow of a nearby candle. And of course my coffee is a perfect compliment.

Sometimes I start my retreats with my journal (I find it good to remember and review); sometimes with a favorite author who spurs my thoughts; this morning I open to Colossians. I read with new ears. I listen to God in that first paragraph (after the greeting) as if He is talking to me—not me borrowing His words to communicate to another.

We always thank God, …when we pray for you, Sue, since we heard of your faith Sue, … the love …the hope laid up for you Sue … the gospel is bearing fruit and growing in you Sue …and on it goes.

How refreshing; how encouraging. Like Cleopas and his friend who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, my heart burns as I hear God's words written not just for me, but to me. I plan to camp out in Colossians as I retreat this month. I wonder what I will hear?

How about you:  Do you have a sanctuary? Do you have times of retreat planned? How do you hear from God?

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above,”
Colossians 3:1

1 comment:

  1. I loved hearing what you come to God with in your sessions. Also the reminder that it is not an extra but a necessity!!! I also like the question --- what will I trust God for in 2013. I need to start using my journal again ---- so many thoughts swirling around in my head --- especially after reading any of your blogs ---thanks once again for your needed words SUe!