Maybe it’s the New Year, maybe it’s the weather, maybe it was the sacredness of hearing Justin and Danielle say their homemade vows to each other last weekend, but everything in me said it is time to have an intentional pause in my life.

This weekend I booked a night at a nice bed & breakfast in San Diego for some time away, just me and God.  I don’t think I’ve done this since Portugal in 2006, when I spent the night at the Uhler’s side house to fast and pray and listen.  I was making a huge decision in considering whether to leave Portugal for a new season, and I wanted to make sure I was moving in the right direction.  What a sweet time that was.

With my move into community in Boyle Heights, the new car (and saying goodbye to the bike), and new eras in my vocational life, it really feels like I’m strolling into a lovely new chapter of life.  I want to celebrate it with some protected solitude and silence.  And in some small way I’m trying to say to the Lord that our relationship is worth a mini-vacation to honor it.

Danielle and her homies often go on these getaway thingees they call “Friendship Advances,” because they think the word “retreat” sounds backwards.  I agree.  I was going to call this a prayer retreat, but I think we should all just have more “prayer advances” in our lives.

Staying true to a certain urban monastic-ish form, I’m following up my prayer advance this weekend with a tour of Stone Brewing company with the Last family clan in Escondido.  (Hooray!  I love all of the Lasts!  Scott, Terri, Andrew, Janneke and baby Damien!)

I’ve grown to enjoy IPAs a great deal more in the last year, and it makes me feel like a more legit beer connoisseur to go visit one of the region’s best IPA breweries.

If you think of it, pray that I’ll really hear some nice things from the Holy Spirit this weekend.  I’m really looking forward to turning everything off and dialing down to what’s real.

p.s. When was the last time you put some protective borders around your time for silence and solitude?

[ lovely Holga by po1yester ]

6 thoughts on “Stretch Out Your Arms to Rest; or, a Prayer Advance + Brewery Tour

    1. Oh Mel, I’m so honored that you’re still reading my blog after all of my silence! Hope you get some time to rest, soon. We all need it, so.

  1. Hey Chuck!
    Last time I did this was in March. I’m due for another in May-June. Thanks for reminding me! I need to call my lady with the b&b and make a RSVP. It really has been a highlight for me.

    Thanks for reading!!

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