Do You Ever Feel Like Running For Your Life?

From time to time I do.

I also know of someone who actually did. Elijah. He was in such a state of desperation and was so fearful that he fled into a cave. One minute he was on top of his world; the next, he was being hunted and on the verge of losing everything, including his own life.

It is unclear that Elijah foreknew his hiding place would be the site of his own Bethel. Be that as it may, instead of being where he would succumb to his despair, the cave was the meeting ground for a divine encounter and where his life was saved and restored. Elijah may not have had a well-thought-out plan but The One whose master plan supersedes all plans, showed up and deployed both familiar and supernatural resources to care for Elijah’s body, spirit and soul.

God met Elijah and didn’t beat around the bush — he went straight to the matter. “Elijah what are you doing here?”, He began. He didn’t judge Elijah for being in the cave, instead, he helped him awaken to his truth, to process and release his worries to God. Fortunately, the prophet didn’t sugarcoat his emotional turmoil and disappointments. He opened up and told God exactly how it was — unlocking the door for his own healing and restoration.

What followed were moments of physical rest and nourishment.  Elijah slept and was supernaturally fed until he regained his strength. The journey went on for a while but all along, God kept on speaking with Elijah, guiding him through his own soul assessment and renewal. At the end, Elijah symbolically stood at the entrance of the cave and there was re-commissioned to his calling and purpose.

God’s blueprint for total well-being works — acknowledge where you are, face your truth, tend to your whole self [body, mind and spirit], all-the-while abiding in Him. We must choose to remain centered, to make soul care and sabbatical rest a way of life or fear having to run into a cave. For, as Dallas Willard said, “If you don’t come apart for a while, you will come apart after a while.”

Thankfully, the issues of your life and your well-being are not lost on God. Whether you regularly make space for Him or occasionally find yourself longing for a hiding place, in His grace, He will surely meet you where you are. He will walk you through it and as He did with Elijah, he will restore your soul.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to hide for a little while. You don’t even need to have a perfect plan. You simply need to accept the invitation and make space for God.

In His grace,
Christine


 

Sabatica Fall 2018 (4)

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Katie_castle-9 copyWe are excited to announce that during this Fall retreat, we will be introducing and creating space for communal worship. We are equally thrilled that Katie Nelson Troyer, a worship leader with a passion for God’s heart, a teacher and talented musician will be ushering us into that sacred space Friday evening.

Wisconsin-born songbird Katie Nelson made the road her home for eight years. She toured the country performing music from her albums Alabaster Worship (2003), Do You Know Who He Is? (2005), and Speak To Me (2007). After a long battle with health complications and consequent songwriting dry spell, Katie is happy to be healthy and has returned this winter with a new album entitled Lavender & Lace: An Anthology of Queens. In addition to writing and performing original music, Katie spends much of her time leading worship for local churches and mentoring other musicians. She and her husband Scott Troyer, live in Greenwich where they enjoy creating music, cooking together, and gardening.



Sabatica-BlueDress PicChristine A. Dorvil is Founder and Director of Sabătica. She is a retreat leader and holds a certificate in Spiritual Transformation from the Transforming Center in Chicago where she studied for two years and was mentored by Ruth Haley Barton. Christine is passionate about spiritual formation, restoration and soul care. She holds an MBA in Finance and is pursuing a Masters of Divinity in Theology and Hebrew. She is a Fellow of the New York City Leadership Center and serves as Executive Director for the Alliance for Thriving Communities.

Sabătica Fall 2016 – Peace that Endures [Reflections & Pictures]

We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God. –Thomas Merton


As we prayed and began to prepare for this year’s Fall retreat, the word PEACE kept on surfacing. Considering the current state of our cities, nation and world, overtaken by fear and despair, we took it as a clear indication of where our focus ought to be and a confirmation that our gathering needed not only to provide a space for serenity and respite but also to engage in practices that would harness an inner peace that could endure through layers of fear, global chaos and uncertainties. So, for two days we gathered and through selected teachings, various practices, rest and community, we pursued the peace that endures. What ensued was a beautiful lesson and testament of faith — faith to trust and proceed despite obstacles; faith to show up, to be vulnerable and to seek peace with ourselves, with others and with God.

For various reasons, this second Fall retreat was very significant to me, especially for the lessons it brought along. It didn’t go according to the original plan but as it unfolded and as everyone later shared about their experiences to and during the retreat, it was certain that it all transpired just as it was supposed to.

To every soul who attended, to our teachers and helpers who selflessly gave of themselves and to all of you, our friends reading this post, we pray for continued grace and enduring peace.

Here are some of the moments that were captured during the retreat.

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You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you…”
— Isaiah 26:3


Sabătica Fall Retreat: {Peace That Endures}
Date: September 23-24, 2016
Location: Dolce Conference Center, Norwalk, CT
Retreat Leader: Peace That Endures, Lectio Divina, Meditation {Christine Dorvil},
Retreat Teachers: Pilates {Sarina Fiorita}; Painting {Vernice Holmes}; Aromatherapy {Dorota Matys}

 

The Enemy of our Peace

There has been many a time when I wanted to run away from my life, to go to some deserted place in search of peace but only to realize that changing location, even less hiding from my world, wouldn’t take my distress away, for wherever I would be, so would also be my turmoil.

Some of us go to extremes in an attempt to find peace. Nations go to war. People try to dismiss their circumstances or opt to numb themselves with substances or temporary highs, often to no avail.

However, as I have had the grace to experience, even in the midst of the loudest chaos, inner peace is very much attainable. It is a sweet and inexplicable phenomenon. It is a treasure that must be protected and intentionally maintained.

Perfect peace enables us to stand with our feet firmly planted on the ground. At the same time, it is constantly under attack by an enemy whose arsenal can dangerously take on many forms and which requires that we remain alert, vigilant and properly armed to counter-attack. Yet, in order to do that, as written by Sun Tzu [a Chinese General] in The Art of War, we must know our enemies and study their war strategies.

With that in mind, do you know the enemy of your peace? Are you aware of the instances when you are the least at peace? Do you know your triggers?

If for instance we were to look at the current political environment, we could easily identify propaganda, fear and division as some of the strategies or tactics being used by the campaigning parties and which may have an effect on our peace. While on a microscopic and personal level, it might be mistrust, unprocessed pain or resentment, to name a few.

In every aspect of life, we are faced with options and choices. Sometimes, even in not choosing we are choosing. When it comes to peace, whether as a world, country or individual, we all have a part to play. The need for our involvement is even amplified when it comes to our own inner peace, for it is who we are as individuals that impacts who we are as a nation or world. For fear generates fear; brokenness generates brokenness; peace generates peace.

Last year, I was on a flight back home when one of the attendants approached me and asked what I did for work. She followed by saying that I had such a peaceful aura and was curious to find out my secret. I laughed and answered, “only if you knew”. At the time, I was working in the financial industry, was involved with several personal projects, with a schedule that seemed chaotic. As I briefly shared with the attendant, whatever sense of peace I had came from within and was the result of a journey that span from brokenness and layers of pain to healing and faith. My life although seemingly chaotic was anchored and sustained by God’s perfect peace.

My peace comes from years of journeying with Abba, surviving a series of wars and being sustained by a continuous longing that is supported by personal choices, one of which is to safeguard my mind and heart, as every aspect of my life [the way I live, respond to life and even how I ultimately impact my world] flows from there.

We live in a world where our ability or even willingness to co-habit as citizens of this one earth is increasingly in danger. Furthermore, we are systematically being subject to a myriad of ideologies, views and agendas that have the propensity to become enemies of our inner peace. Today more than ever, it is imperative that we become good steward over our mind, heart and soul; it is crucial that we are intentional in the pursuit and preservation of peace not only for ourselves but also for our neighbors and our world.

Reflection:

When you have a minute, go to your sacred space, quiet your mind and reflect on the following questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you seek to find and maintain your inner peace.

– How is it with you these days? If you were to measure your level of peace right now, where  would you find yourself — is your soul agitated within you or are you totally at peace?
– If not, what is keeping you from it? What are the triggers/enemies of your peace?
– How is your lack of peace manifested?
– What do you think must be done to attain and preserve your inner peace?

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace…”

–Romans 14:19
Sola gratia,
Christine

 Please join us this coming September for our Fall 2016 Retreat, as we slow down to rest and pursue the kind of peace that is able to stand through the layers of fear, global chaos and uncertainties.


Peace that Endures

Friday, September 23rd – Saturday, September 24th
Dolce Conference Center in Norwalk, CT
 

The fee has been reduced and while we encourage you to disconnect and join us for both days, 
after receiving some of your comments, you are now able to register for both or either day.
Take advantage of the multiple options, register today

RETREAT SCHEDULE: HERE
FEES & REGISTRATIONHERE
 

There is Something I Wanted to Tell You

As we start this new work week, I wanted to share this prayer as a reminder [to us all] to be mindful of how we spend our days, to be consciously aware of life’s daily distractions and to be intentional about scheduling regular time alone with Abba — the one sure way to remain true to our divine identity, to renew our strength and to find sustaining peace.


Holy One,
there is something I wanted to tell you
but there have been errands to run,
bills to pay,
arrangements to make,
meetings to attend,
friends to entertain,
washing to do…
and I forget what it is I wanted to say to you,
and mostly I forget what I’m about,
or why.
O God,
don’t forget me, please,
for the sake of Jesus Christ….

O Father in Heaven,
perhaps you’ve already heard what I wanted to tell you.
What I wanted to ask is
forgive me,
heal me,
increase my courage, please.
Renew in me a little of love and faith,
and a sense of confidence,
and a vision of what it might mean
to live as though you were real,
and I mattered,
and everyone was sister and brother.

What I wanted to ask in my blundering way is
don’t give up on me,
don’t become too sad about me,
but laugh with me,
and try again with me,
and I will with you, too.

What I wanted to ask is
for peace enough to want and work for more,
for joy enough to share,
and for awareness that is keen enough to sense your presence
here,
now,
there,
then,
always.

Ted Loder, Guerrilas of Grace
As adapted and reprinted in Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton


Do you emotionally feel heavy and dejected?
Are you weary, in need of lasting rest and peace?

Please join us this coming September for our Fall 2016 Retreat, as we seek sweet rest and enduring peace to sustain through the layers of fear, global chaos and uncertainties.

Peace that Endures
Friday, September 23rd – Saturday, September 24th
Dolce Conference Center in Norwalk, CT
Registration is Open

The fee has been reduced and you are now able to register for both or either day.
Take advantage of the multiple options, register today
Review Schedule: HERE
Register: HERE

We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God. –Thomas Merton