Plan your colouring devotional retreat
Relax, refresh, re-focus with God's Word
If you've always wanted to go on a spiritual retreat, but never known what to do, here are our tips. Take your colouring, your Bible, and some time.
Set aside time
It could be an overnight, a whole day or half day, whatever is doable. This can be done alone or in a pair or small group.
Plan to be in a quiet space...
...and away from the things that might otherwise require your attention, so that you can refocus and refresh. This might need to be behind your closed bedroom door, but if you can find space elsewhere, it might be more peaceful, especially if you have young children on the other side of that door!
Gather what you’ll need
Planning, gathering and having everything you need on hand means you won't waste precious retreat time scrabbling for your pencil sharpener, for example!
Think about taking:
pens and notebook
colouring pens/pencils or paints
your favourite Christian music
a candle (or whatever helps your space to feel peaceful and beautiful)
food and drink
a 'Slow Food for the Soul' colouring devotional printout for every participant
Plan your time
Structuring your time will depend on whether you are retreating alone or with a group.
Groups may like to build in times of sharing, praying together, or having a meal. You may choose to read the meditation or scripture passages all together before splitting into individual reflection times.
It’s important to have someone designated as the leader, who can keep people on track and focused.
The Bible studies can be done alone or in groups, as can colouring. Individual journalling, personal reflections and prayer times might also be helpful.
Build in time to exercise
Going for a walk, swim or doing a quiet stretching session might also be a refreshing addition to your retreat day. Add in some other way of caring for your physical self. It could be having a natural facial scrub, or a relaxing foot soak, or painting your toenails. It doesn't need to be complicated or expensive.
Think about the ambience
If you enjoy music, play music while you colour, or if you're somewhere with a nice outside space, go outside and listen to the sounds of nature while you colour and meditate.
It doesn't have to be colouring
Obviously, we enjoy colouring, but if it's not your thing, find something else that enables you to slow down and focus on God's word. (That's what we like even more than colouring!) Be creative. Lettering a bible verse, creating a painting, writing a poem or song, choreographing a dance to a favourite worship song are just a few ideas.
Invite God to be present with you
At the start of your retreat time, spend some time in quiet stillness and prayer. Invite God to be with you in this time, and to teach and refresh you as only he knows exactly what you need. You might also like to take a short time to consider these things:
How are you feeling as you come to the retreat time?
What is going on in your heart?
What do you hope for this retreat time?
Share your hopes, feelings and expectations in prayer with God (and with a friend if you're retreating together and want to share.)
Reflect and review
At the end of the retreat time take a little while to consider:
How am I feeling at the end of this retreat time?
What has God shown/taught me that I want to take away into my week/life?
How can I keep this truth in mind over the coming weeks? Is there anything I need to return to and think over some more?
Talk to God about these things.
We'd love to hear how your retreat goes, especially if you used some of our Bible colouring. Send us an email and tell us what worked, what didn't, and what God did for you.