Intentional Marriage: Going on a Vision Retreat

Trice and I are SUPER EXCITED about leaving for our Vision Retreat tomorrow! We are going to a campground not too far from our home and staying in a cute little cabin complete with a fireplace and Jacuzzi bathtub. Whatttt?! The pictures looked nice, and the price was unreal, so I think it’s going to be a fun weekend. We are so grateful for this little slice of time together to talk with God about our year.

So what in the world is a Vision Retreat?

A Vision Retreat is a time when you and your spouse get away from the kiddos, career and housework, have a time of fun and relaxation together, and ask God what He wants for your year. It's important to get away from your norms and responsibilities for a few days so that you can really tune in to the Lord and to each other with no interruptions. With kids, a lot of times it seems like we can't ever get past the opening sentence of a conversation before someone needs a snack or gets a boo boo. So this is time carved out for just you, your spouse and God to get vision for your year and set attainable goals together.

On a Vision Retreat, you basically start off asking God what your purpose is as a married couple and as a family and discussing your values and principles together. Then you get more specific and set goals and make plans for all the different areas of your life, like your health, spirituality, finances, etc. We also like to ask the Lord for a specific word for each of our kiddos and ask the Lord what He wants us to focus on for them. Jimmy and Karen Evans of MarriageToday put together this amazing little handbook that we like to use as a guide for our retreat. 

So why is a Vision Retreat so important? Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” If you and your spouse don’t know where you are going, chances are, you are going to have lots of strife in your marriage. Trust me. We’ve been there. I think the year 2013 I asked Trice like every hour of every day, “What the heck are we doing? Where are we going?” There was no peace. We both felt like we were running as fast as we could... but on a treadmill. So we never really got anywhere. Do you know that feeling? But carving out a weekend for the two of us to get united on what our year would look like brought so much more peace and rest to our little family!

When we intentionally carve out time to get before the Lord together and ask about our year, He always shows up. The Bible says that if we seek Him, we WILL find Him (Matthew 7:7). It’s not a “maybe” type of thing. And Proverbs 16:3 and Psalm 37:5 are two verses that make it clear that the Lord wants to be all up in our business. He wants to be a part of our goal setting, our vision casting, our dreaming and our planning.  It's not like we are being a pain in the butt when we ask for His guidance. He WANTS to guide us and help us. So let's not leave Him out of it!

A Vision Retreat isn't all business either. And I think that is what makes it so special. It's not like you have to sit down and work through this handbook with no fun. We like to work through a section or two at a time and then break for fun! We are excited to go hiking, soak in the jacuzzi (with fresh LUSH bath bombs wee!!!), sit by the fire and play lots of cards! I would really look forward to s'mores but with us doing Whole30, we'll just imagine we are eating s'mores while having an apple instead ;)

What about you? Do you and your spouse do an annual Vision Retreat? If so, what does yours look like? If not, what would hold you back from going on one?

If you and your hubby want to go on a Vision Retreat, remember that it doesn't have to be more than 2 or 3 days, and it doesn't have to be expensive. We are packing our own food this time, and we chose an affordable place close by so we don't have to use a lot of gas. If you don't have anyone to watch the kiddos for your Vision Retreat, send them our way ;) We'll love on them and feed them well!! But really, whatever your excuse may be, find a way around it and ask the Lord for His help in planning a Vision Retreat of your own. Really. It's so worth it!

We are so thankful that we learned about Vision Retreats and are looking forward to this weekend with much excitement and anticipation. We look forward to getting fresh vision for the year, and we might be just a teensy bit excited about getting to sleep in ;)

To read more information about why vision is so important for your marriage, check out this article from MarriageToday.