This year, I’ve traveled over thousands of miles, all over the United States, to lead women’s retreats. Every place I go, I see the same need. Women are starving for real, face-to-face connection. Over and over, they share stories about feeling lonely and stuck–and they’re looking for answers.
A women’s retreat is the answer. Here’s where women come together for Word & worship, for connection and inspiration–for a new perspective.
You should help give them that. You should plan a women’s retreat.
Here are five reasons…
1. Connection. Connection. Connection.
You need real, vulnerable connection with other people. God wired us to be this way. Eye contact releases the endorphin oxytocin (the warm & fuzzy love hormone). Just looking someone in the eye makes you happier. This is the message throughout scripture. See other people–the hurting, the lost, the found, the young, the old. Don’t give up meeting together for the face-to-face connection that sparks the conversations and compassion.
Women in your community are searching for this. Give it to them in a women’s retreat.
2. Your Comfort Zone is Your Comfort Trap. Escape it.
Maybe you don’t like retreats because they feel like a pain. All the planning, set-up, leaving home, and the vulnerability to something else. You’re afraid other people don’t like that either and no one will show up for a retreat you plan.
I totally get it. Sleeping in a bunk bed in camp, or eating pancakes when you’re avoiding carbs is inconvenient. And asking women to do that feels hard. Besides, what kind of music does everyone like and will anyone show up if the venue is too far away?
Don’t worry about it. Everyone wants to be invited out of their comfort zone. Because here’s what I’ve learned: all the convenience in our lives is also a trap—and we need to escape it.
So, yes, it’s the connection and God’s Word at a retreat that changes you, but there is also this. Let go of a little control and you can see because then you see you’re still fine. You aren’t in charge. You never were.
In our modern, stationary lives, we need so few reasons to leave the house, leave the couch, leave our screens. See how your world changes, when you change it.
3. Women are Searching for Inspiration.
When I lose myself in scrolling social media, I’m looking for connection, and for inspiration. Instead, I keep seeing dumb memes. You too?
Drop your phone and plan a women’s retreat. Make it simple or huge or whatever you want. But we need inspiration like we need oxygen. It’s our collective faith we express in worship. It’s the hope through God’s Word. It’s the stories from other women who have been where you are. It’s the care and encouragement from new and old friends.
Inspiration is so necessary and women find it at a retreat.
4. This is Intentional Rest in Lives that are Too Full.
When I lead a retreat, I hear the stories about what people left behind to carve out the time to be there.
Everything—that’s what they leave behind.
Dance competitions, baseball games, caretaking for someone, volunteering, a big birthday party r, shopping for the house remodel, whatever. All of that totally matters—but not as much as this.
I’ve discovered this in the past few days. The “Yep. We’re Free That Day!” answer no longer exists. Something is always on the calendar.
But what do you want on your calendar? Real change? Connection? Rest? A New Perspective? A chance to turn down the volume of busyness and hear God’s voice?
You’re going to have to carve that out, sister. And you’ll find it a women’s retreat. Plan one and invite those who need this too.
5. Women Need Stories.
Telling someone your muddled, scruffy, awe-inspiring story is so essential to understanding it yourself. Hearing the stories from women who have gone where you’re going can change your perspective—and that changes your life.
When you listen to what other women are living, you metabolize the understanding that you’re not alone.
This is the realization that comes from a Women’s Retreat. You are not alone.
We all feel like we don’t belong. We’re all mourning where we’ve been left out. We all feel like no one sees the real us. And so—the next step to real connection is telling your story, and listening to other stories. All for that one moment of hearing, “Yes. Same. Exactly. I get it.”
And Some Tips…
1. I can help you! Email me and we’ll chat. And I love to speak at women’s retreats. LOVE IT.
2. Organizing one isn’t as hard as you think. God takes care of so much of what’s important at a retreat. It’s loaves-and-fishes. You bring what you can, and God fills in the gaps.
3. Remember, your are giving a gift. This retreat will bless the women who are in hard relationships, who want to be invited to a Bible study, women who feel stuck and isolated, women who need prayer but are not asking for it. This is a gift to them. Every time.
4. Be bold. Be yourself. Have fun. Make the food really good and charge a little bit more (and offer scholarships for those who can’t afford it). Chose a location you love, even if you have to wait for it. Make the theme “Bloom” and decorate everything with your favorite flower. Find joy in the planning.
5. Trust God it will all come together. Pray. Have faith. Know God will bless this.