I am also focusing on dreams this weekend. Not the dreams you have when you fall asleep. But the dreams you have as you think about where you want your life to go, and what the future holds. Visions for life. Hopes, plans, dreams.
We didn't plan to have our retreat on the summer solstice, but as I read up more on what the summer solstice it, it is a quite fitting time to have a renewing retreat.
‘Solstice’ literally means stopping or standing still of the sun. It is used as a name for the longest day of the year – 21 June – when the sun is at its highest point in the northern hemisphere.
Many people use this day for rituals, ceremonies and celebrations.
One person described the Summer Solstice like this:
The Summer Solstice celebrate the joy, warmth and laughter of summer; and God's power. The beginning of summer represents a time for purification, renewal and healing of the self and soul, a time to release the sadness, fears and pains from your life. A time for purification and renewed energy.
What a wonderful way to look at today, and what lies ahead. We all need times to purify and renew ourselves. For me, that means taking time to pray and read the Bible, and listen to what God is trying to tell me. What direction should I go?
I thought it interesting in many Christian faiths, this is also a day to celebrate St. John the Baptist. In the Book of Luke it is said John was born six months before Jesus, and so they celebrate his feast day in June.
Christians have long interpreted the life of John the Baptist as a preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ, and the circumstances of his birth, as recorded in the New Testament, are miraculous. John's pivotal place in the gospel is seen in the emphasis Luke gives to the announcement of his birth and the event itself—both made prominently parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus.
This reminds me of the musical "Godspell", and the song John the Baptist sings called "Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord". When I was in this musical, I got to sing the first few lines. If you haven't heard this song, here it is:
It is all a part of this weekend's retreat.
Today is the longest day of the year. The summer solstice. A time to for renewal.
St. John's Day...preparing the way of the Lord. For me, this is always a part of the renewal and change that comes in my life. The changes in my life are always affected by my relationship with Jesus.
A Midsummer Night's Dream......Part of my time here is to look toward the future, and dream about what comes next. What do I want to do in the next day, week, month, year?
This fall I am taking an e-course called Mondo Beyondo, a six week course about dreaming big. I am doing it with two friends beginning in September. I can't wait to see where it takes me!! And some of the seeds of those dreams are beginning to germinate this weekend.
My sister is also helping my friend April and I in this process this weekend, by sharing books, thoughts, and creative knowledge, especially when it comes to creating a blog. Soon April will have hers up and running.
I have also been doing some photography, reading, writing and dreaming. Just what I envisioned the weekend to be.
Here are some images from today's retreat.....
The weather and view are absolutely beautiful. Here is April enjoying the view.
April pointing out something wonderful off the deck.
April dreaming but not sleeping.
Shelby getting in on the fun.
Christy and April creating April's blog. Yay!! Big creative effort accomplished today!!
Sweet William posed for some photos. This was one of my favorites.
This weekend has truly been a blessing.