Finding your life's calling is no small matter! Each of us seeks this discovery through our work, relationships, and personal pursuits. Frederick Buechner says calling is found in “the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” My deep gladness has been found in times and spaces where I have gotten out of the everyday busyness of life to be still. Being outdoors in the woods or near water has typically made this experience even more meaningful. Times like these have shown me where my personal rhythms and relationships needed to be put in balance or reshuffled. These experiences have profoundly shaped me and made my life for the better in countless ways.
I am convinced every person needs this sort of experience. Leaders in particular need times & spaces to discover how their rhythms & relationships need restoration, as their health directly impacts those under their influence. They need a place where they can be shaped and be able to thrive in life. Each year I take steps towards my long term dream of creating a Retreat Center to gift the leaders of Bloomington–Normal a space that provides experiences that enable them to thrive in all facets of life. I believe we all have room for restoration in what I call the 4 Broken Relationships. When we focus on redeeming our Relationship w/ Self, Relationship w/ The World & Relationship w/ Others, this work builds a relational bridge that can withstand the weight of the Gospel, and ultimately leads to a restored Relationship w/ God.
My first visit to a retreat center myself was in Spring City, TN when I was 7 years old, and I've wanted to implement something similar here in Central Illinois ever since. Over the past 15+ years, I've had a variety of opportunities to move forward with a retreat center project, but hadn't had the perfect opportunity — doors are opening for now being the time, and I'm excited for how this project comes together & empowers people to connect with themselves, with the world, others & God. Until the time is right, I continue to lean in and learn the needs & opportunities for this type of space to best benefit the community. We're hoping to see results from this development project soon.
For now, take a look at our most recent version of our vision document. I would love to connect with anyone who resonates with the concept!