Virtual Voices

Retreat and reset

Faith & Inspiration

I enjoy retreats and conferences. Last year I got to go to the L'Abri Conference in Rochester, Minn., and later this month I will attend the Relevant Conference in Harrisburg, Pa.

There is something about attending a well-structured, well-thought-out conference that pushes a reset button in my heart. I enjoy the educational aspect, but I also enjoy how the time away allows for spiritual reflection on the content presented. Perhaps the best part is oftentimes I meet someone who makes a profound impact on me for years to come. I've also made several new friends over the years this way.

As a parent I appreciate the opportunities to refuel spiritually, not just for me, but also for the refreshment and perspective I am newly able to provide to my kids as a result. True, it's a boatload of work planning and prepping to be gone from home for a weekend (and yes, it's work for my husband who has to cover for me while I'm away), but the pros always seem to outweigh the cons for our family when all is said and done.

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This weekend in Fredericksburg, Va., Michael Card is launching the first in a series of conferences across the country on the concept of Biblical Imagination. He writes:

"There is a bridge between the heart and the mind: the imagination, the means by which the Spirit begins to undo what was disintegrated by the Fall. When we allow our imaginations to be recaptured by the Holy Spirit, the facts we know in our heads come to life in our hearts, and then (and only then) do we become more like Jesus."

Imagination as the bridge between the head and the heart. Hmmm. I need to think about that some more. I know that as a parent, I should be helping our kids develop their imagination so as to help them function more in the way we were created. We focus so much on their obedience, respect, and overall education that it can be easy to forget about how their imagination fits into the overall picture of who God created them to be. It's easy to let this slide in us, too. I'm looking forward to attending this conference when it comes to St. Louis in January.

Is there an upcoming conference or retreat that you've been to or are planning to attend to refresh yourself for the sake of others?

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