Friends! I am so excited you are here! I have started a little project called “The Manna Project” that is a series of one day retreats for women. All ages. All walks of life. All of YOU! These retreats are designed to understand better the spiritual disciplines that can help us in our walks with the Lord, and how to incorporate them into our daily lives. These retreats are designed to get away for a day, to think, to learn, to eat some treats, to meet new people, to do a little exercise, and to be disconnected from all of those things that can distract us.
Here’s what you can expect on a typical retreat:
10:00 am: Arrive, meet new people, enjoy coffee and a light snack.
10:30-11:30: Bible study about the spiritual disciplines that we will be learning about that day, group discussion, and practicing the disciplines we have discussed
11:45-12:45: Yoga to stretch our bodies and to practice a discipline called “Breath Prayer”
1:00-3:00: Two hours of solitude. You. Alone. With Jesus. And a sack lunch that you brought.
3:30-5:00: Recap, discuss, enjoy milk and cookies, and one another’s company.
What you get: A day of fellowship, fun, study, retreat, silence, exercise, and of course…treats! But seriously, you will get an hour of Bible study and materials that will deeper your walk with Christ and equip you in order that you may take these tools and use them daily, an hour of yoga instructed by me (did you know I am in the process of getting certified? Heck yes!), a light breakfast, dessert and munchies after your solitude, three hours of solitude on your own, and a take home gift.
Exodus 16 paints a picture of an ungrateful and complaining generation of Israelites who have been rescued from the bondage of slavery from Pharaoh. And when they reach the wilderness, they are worried of what they will eat and drink, and they claim that they would have rather died in slavery than be without in freedom. And so God gives them manna, a substance that is miraculously given, Scripture says “rained down” and it’s literal translation is, “What is it?” For forty years God gave the Israelites manna. Which means that for forty years, The Israelites ate, survived off of, relied upon, waited eagerly for, and hungered for something they had no idea what it was.
How many times in life do we look at around at the hand we’ve been dealt, at the state of our relationships, our health, our loved ones, our country, and our world, and we look at the pieces of it all and we scream, “What. Is. It?” We hate waiting, we hate lines, we hate being lost and so we search and explain and figure out anyone’s yoke that will give us the answer we are looking for. But Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Jesus went out by the lake and prayed. Alone. By Himself. He fasted. He wept. The Israelites spent 40 years living off of a mystery substance. We, fill our lives with so many other things, we have forgotten how light the burden of Jesus really is.
The goal of The Manna Project is to look at the pattern of how Jesus drew away from the crowds of people, and drawing upon the ancient Spiritual Disciplines including solitude, lectio divinia, breath prayer, and fasting, and to reclaim the spiritual disciplines as an essential part of our Christian walk. Because truthfully, we are all wandering. We’ve been rescued from slavery, and we are awaiting the promised land. Yet, we find ourselves uncomfortable with the unknown and having no answers is our worst nightmare. Like the Israelites, we would rather die in slavery than wonder in freedom. J.R.R. Tolkien once said “Those who wander are not always lost.” Spiritual disciplines teach us to sit in the unknown and wait on the spirit of God to meet us, and to teach us what it means to be quiet, to pick up the yoke of Jesus as found in Scripture and to silence the voices of everything else.