Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2)
I love retreats. I've been on retreats across the United States. I've even jumped on a plane and flown to California (in the middle of finals week my senior year of college!) to make a silent retreat with a friend at a Carmelite retreat house. I've helped plan and lead retreats on my campus. There's something about taking time away from the busyness of daily life and making special time away for you to grow in communion with God.
Since graduation, I haven't been able to go on retreat. Work around the house and with writing can easily fill 8 hours, and then it's supper, cleaning, catching up with Joseph, reading together or going on a walk, and then (before we know it), bedtime.
Born to Soar is an amazing 6 week journaling aide that can help you have a retreat experience from the comfort of your own home!
Melissa draws from the image of the monarch butterfly at every stage of development—egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, hatching, soaring and reproducing. She teaches six simple lessons how to “cocoon” into God’s presence through prayer, Christian meditation and pondering the truths of Scripture.
Each spiritual lesson includes thoughts to ponder. I loved how Marian this was - it reminded me of how Mary kept events in her heart and pondered them in the Gospels. Melissa asks questions such as:
- What do you think of God calling you by name?
- What is one thing you could do to get to know God better and grow in love?
- In what area of your life do you need to grow closer to God?
I loved how Melissa left room for journaling within the book itself, as well.
After journaling, Melissa gives readers easy ways to incorporate prayer into their everyday life. This may be like repeating a Bible verse every time you look in the mirror, or phrases to remember throughout the day. Often when I'm reading a book, it is easy to put it down, walk away and not remember what I was supposed to take from the chapter until the next time I pick the book up again. I loved how Melissa incorporates the reflection into every day of the week.
Scriptures verses based on the themes from each week's lesson are also written, and each verse is followed by a short reflection. Each verse simply takes a quick five minutes of listening to God's word and reflecting on how you can apply it to your life. There is room after each written reflection for you to write down your thoughts and watch your spiritual transformation over the course of six weeks.
But the journaling over the course of a six week retreat is just the beginning. Melissa also offers a Born to Soar online course - which is yours for free when you order the book! Melissa hosts six videos about how to find the joy, peace and love that only God can bring.
If you're looking for a retreat at home, or even just a way that you can start journaling as a form of prayer, Melissa's book
If you have six weeks, this book can help transform your spiritual life! Check it out here today!