There is something sacred about old things.
Whether I am walking through an ancient city carved from stone in Jordan, or peeking into my grandmother’s closet at the lace ball gown that matches the one in the photo on her dresser, my mind is drawn to the story, the significance of this thing and the story it represents. The story makes it special. Alone it is just a dress. Just a city. But what happened in them is the reason you chose to save the dress or visit the city.
Every time I got a new Bible when I was a teenager, I wanted it to look old. Old Bibles had stories, stories of being well read. And if my Bible was well read, then I must have a depth and relationship with Christ that was really something. So, I would take my new pink leather Bible, open to every page, and crinkle it. (This space provided for you to cringe.) Then I would look up all of my favorite verses and underline or highlight them. I would spend hours with it the first few days. But the story I wanted it to tell wasn’t exactly a true story. I didn’t really spend hours in the Word back then, so after a couple of days this book would sit by my bed or get moved to the dresser.
And then every once in a while, I would walk through someone’s living room and see their space. Their sacred space. Their Bible was left in the spot where it had been closed after their morning reading. The binding was worn. The pages had dark discoloration in the middle from where the dirt from their fingers had rubbed off during the repeated flips to new chapters. And I knew who it belonged to. I knew their story. I knew it was real. Their relationship with Christ was really something.
As I have gotten older, my Bibles don’t have to lie anymore. They get their own stories because I choose to find a sacred space where we daily meet Jesus. My chair, my coffee, and my Bible…the holy trinity that gets me out of bed in the morning. We weather the storms of the day and rejoice at the ones we survived.
However, since I am now truthful Denise, I can tell you that sometimes my storms add up and I need more than a daily Bible crinkling. In those times, when I can take my Bible and leave my crazy behind for a couple of days, He meets me in a new way. He teaches me and transforms me, and those places and spaces are heavy with the stories He showed me. Stories of who He is. Stories of who I am. Stories of who I am in Him. There is a chair, facing a rain forest in Kenya where we created a sacred space together. The lessons He taught me there still bring a tightness to my throat and cause a nostalgic settling to fall on me.
We at Velvet Ashes recognize the gift of retreat and what can happen there. We know there are a lot of options for you to pursue doing those all over the world. We also know that sometimes all you need is one excuse to not do it. Seriously, every year I decide to retreat I almost back out at the last minute. Anyone else? That is why we are committed to bringing an excellent retreat experience to you. Whether you make it a group party get-away or a protected couple of afternoons alone in your bedroom, we do all of the preparation work for you.
Save the date for this year’s Velvet Ashes online retreat: April 23-26! This year’s theme, “Yet I Will Celebrate”, will encourage us to see joy in every season! Early bird discount registration is February 23-29th.
If this is your first time retreating with us, here are a few “Need to Knows”. This totally downloadable retreat experience can be done alone or with a group and will be available to download for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after retreat weekend. While you can do the retreat any time after you download, we try to all retreat together as a community on the same weekend all over the world. We post pictures and enjoy our experience together over social media. Stay tuned for more details!
So, make plans to create the space for Him to continue writing truth into your story. The stories He writes in your life become the old stories worth telling.