It was incredibly exciting to see God move in big and small ways for us to be able to close on the Macon Road property. Many things about this special place make it a fit for all that we want The Retreat House to be. So we took a moment to celebrate, Britney and Lacey moved the global mission forward with a trip to Kenya, and then we hit the ground running with phase two of this endeavor.
As we enter phase two, our staff culture statement gives a window into what anchors each piece of this project: “We value connection, attention to detail, and going above and beyond in all things.” We want to prioritize these values throughout the 5 focus areas of this stage of the process: our finances, the grounds, The Cabin, The Main House, and our offerings.
Having the needed funds and stewarding them well are crucial to this project. As we trust God to bring the resources, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Ps. 127:1, we seek to notice and pursue opportunities that will allow us to renovate this property and open our doors! The initial phase of fundraising allowed us to purchase the property and cover our operational expenses for a year. No small thing! That funding was instrumental in making the purchase possible and brought together the beginning of a village of people that want to support this mission. Generous giving of individuals and families will continue to be a key part of how we believe the Lord will bring this into reality.
In addition, we have begun applying for grants that fit our ministry. We received a community care grant from a local business and applied for a national grant with extensive requirements. The process of grant writing has strengthened our clarity and focus as we continue to be open to when and to how the Lord wants to provide for the phases of this project.
Groundskeeping is another foundational part of this phase. Connection to creation is a beautiful way of experiencing God, and we want the outdoor spaces to create opportunities for that. We have had our first family work day and plan to have more soon-if you are interested in helping in this way email firstname.lastname@example.org. We now have some initial landscaping done, a fountain installed in the pond, and a trail blazed around it. General upkeep of mowing the grass, tearing down unusable structures, and clearing large, fallen limbs from a recent storm, have kept us very busy this summer!
The cabin will be the first structure open for use this fall. This will be an inviting space that welcomes families or individuals to step away and connect. The kitchenette and bathroom are being gutted and renovated for hospitality and functionality. Once those renovations are complete, we will bring in the furnishings needed to make this a cozy, restful spot.
The Main House exudes character and potential. It is easy to imagine the rooms filled with people receiving individual care, attending a group seminar, eating a meal, or spreading out in silence to be with the Lord. But before that can happen, there are several ways the spaces must be improved, so that we can offer that with excellence. We are working with a builder to begin those repairs and changes, while we continue to fundraise toward all that is needed.
Offering welcoming space to be with God, self, and others is the heartbeat of our mission. Contemplative practices, inner life care, spiritual direction, marriage support, and helping people practice listening to the Lord are why we write grants, chainsaw limbs of trees, meet with architects, and paint walls. We are setting the stage and preparing the space. But while we do that, we want to come alongside others in the spiritual journey in the ways that we can during this launch. Britney and Allison are each open to new clients for spiritual direction or coaching. We are also planning our off site half-day silent retreats, seminars and book study for the fall. Dates and info coming soon to bfrlocal.com.
In all of these areas, we want connection to be our guiding focus. How are we staying connected to God, His love, His ways and movement in all of this? How are we staying connected to each other, to our Board, and to the village of people that God has already brought and will bring? How can each decision made and each dollar spent facilitate the connection future participants feel when they experience these spaces? The details matter to us. We believe this phase is important. We long for wisdom, discernment, and love to be present each step of the way.
“I believe that to effectively realize the creative work of God within us, we must learn to become narrow in our range of focus. It takes great attention and concentration to nurture a creative instinct.”
-Beth Booram from Starting Something New: Spiritual Direction for a Dream
Areas that you can get involved:
Join us in prayer.
-Prayer for provision and favor in the grant writing and approval process.
-Prayer for wisdom for the team in decisions.
-Prayer for a smooth building and renovation process.
Join us for a family work day.
-Email Lacey for opportunities for volunteer at the property. Lacey@befreerevolution.com
Check BFRLocal.com for upcoming events and offerings.
Mark your calendars for October 26th for the Taste of The Retreat House!!! This event will be a chance for you to see the space, get involved in our offerings, and purchase items from the silent auction.
We are eager to share this beautiful space with you!