Before the days of "holiday/vacation one up manship," teachers used to ask students to "write about their vacation/holiday." Some teachers still do this, but many are straight-away on to the topic of the term. This September I want to challenge you to take a little time to collect the photos, your thoughts and bring them together in a reflection of the summer. (If you are in Australia or New Zealand you can hold this until January!) I want to share with you something I have just started to change in my life. I am committing myself to a yearly retreat. And I hope you take a moment to click on the link to the amazing, eye opening Northumbria Community. I just got back from this remarkable retreat center in the North of England, and so blessed by this time of reflection. Please click on "Comments" below share one or two of your reflections from the summer months..........
The retreat was in the last week of August, and even up in this very northern part of England; we had sunshine! PP (Prayer Partner from church) and I checked into this modern monastery and quickly settled into what the Northumbria Community calls "The Modern Monastic Life." While we spent most of the mornings either with the Community in prayer or in personal study, the afternoons included adventures of a boat ride out to the Farne Islands, walking on the Northumbria beaches (note photo on the left) or tea at the foot of Bambourough Castle. I wrote out daily prayers for family and clients, and we ended the day with good food (5 rating on the kitchen for hygine-excellent), and prayer from the Celtic Daily Prayer. (It was the Celts that drove out the pagans and brought in Christianity to this area of the world.)
Upon reflection, I can see that as a teacher; I still think of September as the beginning of the year. This time and quiet space gave me time to listen to God and reflect on the upcoming months. I spent the majority of the time giving thanks for my son's wedding and praying for their marriage; as well as praying for the new little ones in our family. I gave thanks and prayed for my small group of clients. I realised I very much intend to keep my client group small, so that I may serve them out of quiet and prayer, not rush and setting goals.
What hasn't worked? Selling books online. What needs to change? I am going to reduce the cost of Parents on the Move to £5.00 plus postage all year round. I need to get the word out about successfully and happily moving into a new community.
What especially worked for me at the Northumbria Community? Well, it is a Level Four dinner party every day! For more on the "dinner party test," do order Parents on the Move on the Shop page of this website.
Happy New Academic Year, what ever you are studying.